Walking on the Moon

Jillian Woolmer
City of Cockburn
120

Glow in the dark Moon Deck treatment on paths is helping to activating shared paths at night by helping walkers, runners and bike riders find their way in the dark by following the glowing line marking through coastal dunes. It is a surreal feel, when you see and walk on the path - much like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz following the yellow brick road when you go Walking on the Moon.

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We were lucky enough to be part of the product trial in WA. Staff from parks, environment, engineering, geographic information systems, events and communications were initially consulted to determine whether the product could be trialled and where would be appropriate and over a year of planning and investigation was conducted.

Edge line and centre line Moon Deck treatment marking has been installed on various paths in the City of Cockburn as a trial, to help people be able to find the edge of the path in the dark and avoid obstacles. The product is only effective when it is dark. If there is any light source, it just looks like normal white line marking. The product absorbs the light and releases it slowly over 12 hours. It spikes brighter if you shine a torch on it or expose it to sunlight and reaches its full brightness after 14 days exposure to sunlight. The product is very difficult to photograph but this was achieved by photographer Tim Burns. We rode the path together just after it had been installed on a night where there was no moon as this makes it glow more.

The path winds through the sand dunes and it is difficult to ride or run without good personal lighting. The shared path links Port Coogee to South Beach and is a popular path for bike riders to ride into Fremantle at night or to attend the popular South Beach night markets in summer and avoid busy roads. I experienced the difficulties riding along the path one night, riding back from a Bikeweek Glow Ride with several people who did not have good bike lights. It was very difficult for them to avoid the sandy edges of the path and I assisted them with my brighter bike light.

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Installing Moon Deck in these areas has been supported by the local community and helps to activate dark paths and facilitate safe, efficient, connected and sustainable movement around the City. The project was the first glow in the dark path project in WA.

Lighting a dark path through natural areas is always difficult in local government. The City of Cockburn has many areas around the wetlands as well as the coast, where artificial lighting is not possible as it affects wildlife breeding cycles and behaviour.

The innovative product has been used in NSW (2013), ACT (2015) and Qld (2017) to transform dark paths into a safer and more user-friendly glow-in-the-dark path for pedestrians and cyclists, but had not been used in WA until the City of Cockburn trial in July 2018.

Moon Deck initially presented information about the product to staff. A number of locations with lighting issues were identified by staff and inspected over several nights to determine locations where the product could be installed effectively for a demonstration project. We were interested in seeing the product in use and are considering using it in other difficult to light areas throughout the City of Cockburn, to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.

The treatments have been installed at locations recommended after night-time onsite visits:

  1. Glow in the dark edge line and centre line marking along the coastal shared path from McTaggart Cove to Rollinson Park;

  2. Glow in the dark treatment on the vertical surface of a concrete retaining wall that is on the edge of the path at Rollinson Park;

  3. Glow in the dark edge line and centre line marking along the North Lake Road shared path from Discovery Drive to Bibra Lake Drive;

  4. Glow in the dark warning/wayfinding sharrow on a small local path in Coogee

  • Moon Deck product specifications and properties are:


    • Environmentally sustainable passive form of illumination;

    • NATA certified Australian Slip resistant AS4586-2013 Class P5;

    • Glow intensity and duration for up to 12+ hours with regeneration;

    • Harnessing light can be done via incandescent or daylight including shaded areas;

    • Designed for a generational life span and long service life;

    • Used for safety solutions in both emergency and areas of no light;

    • Applications for line marking, paths, floor coatings, stairwells, ramps or any need for hazard identification;

    • High tensile strength with flexibility that exceeds commonly used quality epoxy paint coatings;

    • Comprise of safe biologically and chemically inert natural minerals;

    • Can be applied to any suitably prepared concrete, asphalt, timber, composite or suitable prepared and primed ferrous or non-ferrous metal substrates.

  • The warmer spring weather will soon make it more pleasant to go for a walk or ride on the Moon. Check it with your family or friends and see it for yourself.


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    Kylie (Your Move)

    Hi Jillian, what an innovative solution to increasing bike path safety in natural areas where you don't want a lot of light pollution! I'm sure this isn't that last we will see of the glow in the dark Moon Deck treatment. You have earned bonus points for innovation and explaining the steps you took to install it. I have also bumped up you activity points to align with other infrastructure improvements like putting in bike parking.Let us know if cyclist numbers increase?

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    Jillian

    Thanks Kylie - we have had bicycle counters in that area previously, so we will consider installing them again so we can compare the results.

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