Quick Critique – Matt Favero

I decided to respond to the most common doubt expressed about my illuminated crosswalk idea:

Would this solution be too expensive to implement?

My intuition said that my idea would be pretty inexpensive. However, I decided to do some research to determine a price estimate. What I found was pretty surprising.

 

In my idea’s basic form, it consists of three significant components: motion sensors, LED lights, and some sort of controller for each crosswalk. To factor into price, there is also some additional costs like wires, glue, and labor costs which I will not estimate.

So, here’s the bill of materials breakdown:

  • 2 motion sensors: $3.20 (source)
  • 12 ft strip of white LEDs: $9.00 (source)
  • 8-bit microcontroller: $0.46 (source)

As you can see, the parts cost is only $12.66. This is without bulk discounts, too. If a city were to order this they surely could pay 20-80% less. Don’t forget, though, this number does not include labor costs.

 

Perhaps one could argue labor costs might add up once installed at many intersections. Well, here’s a price to compare it to:

“It costs the taxpayer $250,000 to $500,000 to purchase and install a traffic signal”

– Washington State Department of Transportation

For this reason, I don’t think a few bucks more per intersection is out of the budget.

 

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