The City of Tempe, AZ and SEPCO worked together to design a custom solar lighting systems to match the architectural needs of the space while also providing good illumination to the pathway. This bikepath works to connect multiple cities together for people moving around without the need for cars.
The Tempe Highline Canal Multi-use Path is a project that spans about four miles in the west central, and south areas of Tempe, running from Baseline Road to Knox Road. It connects to the cities of Phoenix, Guadalupe, and Chandler and provides access to a variety of neighborhoods, employment centers, parks, schools, and commercial areas. The project aims to improve the path with lighting, landscaping, street crossings, public art, and other amenities.
The project uses a mix of grid-powered lights and off-grid solar lighting systems to illuminate the pathway along the canal. Grid-powered lights are lights that are connected to the electrical grid and require a constant source of electricity to operate. They are used to provide a reliable source of light in areas where the solar lighting systems do not generate enough power or where it is not practical to use solar lighting.
On the other hand, off-grid solar lighting systems are self-contained units that generate their own electricity using solar panels. These systems do not require a connection to the electrical grid. They can be an attractive option for lighting public spaces because they are environmentally friendly and can save energy and money. Off-grid solar lighting systems may be used to supplement the lighting provided by AC-powered lights or to provide a standalone lighting solution in areas where it is not feasible to connect to the electrical grid.
By using a mix of AC-powered lights and off-grid solar lighting systems, the Tempe Highline Canal Multi-use Path Project can balance reliability, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability in its lighting design.
The project helped improve the safety and security of people using the pathway, especially at night. Other great reasons cities opt for solar on projects such as this include:
To provide a source of light for people using the canal at night, such as joggers, walkers, and bicyclists.
To improve safety by illuminating the area around the canal, which may help to deter crime and accidents.
To reduce energy consumption and costs by using renewable energy sources. Solar lights do not require electricity from the grid, and they can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for lighting public spaces.
To enhance the aesthetic appeal of the canal and create a pleasant atmosphere for visitors.
The Tempe Highline Canal Multi-use Pathway used the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds to complete this project section. This program provides funding for transportation projects that help to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion in areas that do not meet national air quality standards.
Eligible projects for CMAQ funding include those that improve public transportation, encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation such as biking and walking and promote the use of clean and efficient vehicles. The CMAQ program also supports research and technology development activities related to improving air quality and reducing congestion.
Tempe also used funds from the Tempe Capital Improvements Program approved by the city council as well as a local match from the Transit Fund.
Funding from these sources helped the city achieve its goals and provide a way for people to move about without the need for cars, reducing the congestion on the road by providing safe passage on foot or bike and improving the air quality of the surrounding area.
As you can see, this project was able to help the city achieve its goals while not damaging environmental and financial goals. The solar lights met the architectural needs while providing a safe space for people traveling along the pathway. By enhancing the Highline Canal pathway, the project aims to create a pleasant and safe environment for people using the path and improve connectivity and accessibility in the area. This project showcases how cities and municipalities can work on their projects for the future.