Belgium’s first ‘smart lighting’ installed along 22-kilometre cycle path in Flanders
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    Belgium’s first ‘smart lighting’ installed along 22-kilometre cycle path in Flanders

    The bicycle path is next to the N15 motorway, that runs through Bonheiden to Mechelen city centre. Credit: Pxfuel.

    The city of Mechelen and the municipality of Bonheiden have joined forces to install ‘smart lighting’ along a 22-kilometre bicycle path next to the N15 motorway in Flanders.

    It is the first time such a system has been implemented in Belgium.

    After young people from Mechelen indicated in a survey that good lighting improves safety, Mechelen and Bonheiden decided to install ‘smart lighting’ along a route often used by young people to travel into Mechelen city centre for parties.

    When ‘smart lighting’ sensors detect movement, be it of cyclists or pedestrians, the lights completely turn on to 100% capacity, acting as a guide for passersby.

    Otherwise, when there are no passersby, the lights are permanently on, but are dimmed and only shine at 20% of their capacity, New Mobility explains.

    Additionally, the data from the ‘smart lighting’ is stored so that the operator’, a company called Fluvius, can be informed about what times there is more need for lighting.

    “Mechelen was happy to join this project because we want to continue to innovate but only want to use technology that has added value for us,” Marina De Bie, Mechelen’s head of Climate and Environment, told Nieuwsblad.

    “The smart lighting guides the cyclist, which is a first for our country,” De Bie added.

    “This will greatly increase the sense of security,” said Bart Vanmarcke, Bonheiden’s head of mobility, who added that “the Christmas holidays are a good time to test this project, [as] there will undoubtedly be a lot of traffic on this route in the coming weeks.”

    Overall, the collaborative project amounted to a cost of €242,000, the bulk of which is being sponsored by the Agency of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).

    Mechelen and Bonheiden together contributed another €48,000.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times