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CPTEDLights theWay BY PETE GOLDIN C


PTED ILLUMINATES THE security needs of parking facility design, literally, in terms of the actual lighting of car parks.


CPTED, crime prevention through environ-


mental design, takes into account the many fac- tors that impact security of any facility – includ- ing car parks – and lighting is a major component. “There is no one right lighting solution for all


car parks,” explains RandyAtlas, Ph.D., vice presi- dent ofAtlas Safety and Security Design and author of the book 21st Century Security and CPTED- Pro- tecting Critical Infrastructure. “CPTED allows for diversity in lighting, based on a risk assessment and the experience the parking lot owner wants to deliver to the user.” A CPTED-aligned approach to lighting in car


parks is outlined in the IESNA G-1-03 security light- ing guidelines from the Illuminating Engineering Society, which recommend lighting levels of 5 to 6 foot-candles in gathering areas such as stairs, eleva- tors, and ramps; 5 foot-candles for walkways; and a minimumof 3 foot-candles in open parking lots. Meanwhile, entrances should be very bright,


with either 10 foot-candles or twice the level of light- ing in the area around the car park, to make the entrance stand out and increase visibility for patrons entering and exiting the facility on foot. Perimeter fencing should have at least one-half foot-candle of average horizontal illumination on both sides tomini- mize available hiding spots. “Reducing height of light fixtures can signifi-


cantly improve the ability of pedestrians to see past shadows caused by vehicles and obstructions,”Atlas says. “Typical light posts are 30 to 45 feet high and illuminate a wide area, but they create deep shadows between cars.” “Most people are comfortable if they can identi-


fy someone walking towards themfrom20 to 30 feet away,” adds Barry Davidson, Executive Director for ICA, the Canada-based International CPTED Association, pointing out that the psychology of the design is a critical com- ponent of CPTED, intended to influence the behavior of crimi- nals, but also improve the comfort of the car park patrons. “However, a lot of lighting is set so high that everything is in shadow, so you could see a body coming toward you but you don’t have any kind of comfort level because you cannot identi- fy them.” “Light from poles that are only 12 to 14 feet high passes


through the carwindows and reflects off the vehicles, dramatical- ly reducing shadows and dark spots,”Atlas continues. “Ideally, an open parking lot should have a combination of high and low lighting to provide maximum coverage and visibility, with mini- mumshadows and places to hide.”


According toAtlas, paint can also have a substantial impact


on lighting, and he suggests the interior of parking garages should be painted in light colors to increase reflectivity. “One innovative car park owner in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,


painted the ceiling in white circles that reflect light,”Atlas notes. “The ceilings of this garage are also higher than usual, allowing better light distribution by reflection and refraction of light.” In addition,Atlas recommends that car parks utilize luminar-


ieswith polycarbonate lenses which aremore resistant to vandal- ism or breakage.A commitment to ongoing maintenance is also important, to ensure that damaged lights and burned out bulbs are replaced in a timely manner. Car parks can even establish a bulb replacement schedule based on known life expectancy.


Continued on Page 42 JULY 2010 • PARKING TODAY • www.parkingtoday.com 41


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