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New Safety and Warning Light System Installed

A new In-Roadway Warning Light system (IRWL) is now guarding the path for pedestrians and attracting attention from drivers at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). The so called, Smart Crosswalks system, includes a series of fourteen separate pedestrian crossings embedded with lights, located in front of the airport terminal and the parking garage. The system is designed to augment public safety and provide more efficient and orderly movement.

“We have quite a bit of traffic in that area of the airport and this was a project to enhance safety for those on foot and make drivers more aware,” says Mary Case, airport manager for Hobby Airport. “We understand what it is like to make your way through the airport environment while traveling with small children, those needing extra assistance or just a lot of luggage, so this new lighting system should make getting to and from the terminal and garage a little easier, which makes it a safety and customer service plus for the airport,” says Case.

The IRWL enhanced crosswalk system- designed by LightGuard Systems – is a series of in-pavement signal lights strung across the road along side and in front of the crosswalk lines. These signal lights are positioned toward approaching traffic. A flashing light pattern used for the system was scientifically designed to capture and hold a driver’s attention, while clearly defining the pedestrian zone.

Adjacent LED enhanced pedestrian crossing signs are positioned at the parking area entrance. They are synchronized to flash at the same flash rate and in conjunction with the crosswalk system. The inventor, Mike Harrison, was a commercial pilot who developed the idea using the concept employed for airport runway lighting systems.

Hobby Airport – which served more than 8.8 million passengers in 2008 – is one of only two airports in Texas featuring the Smart Crosswalk system.

The Houston Airport System (HAS) served more than 50 million passengers in 2008, ranking as the 4th largest multi-airport system in the U.S. and the 6th largest airport system in the world. Houston’s three airports contribute more than $24 billion to the regional economy and are responsible for the employment of 151,000 people. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), now celebrating its 40th Anniversary, is the 8th busiest airport in the nation. William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) together have served the Texas Gulf Coast region for more than 150 years. For more information, visit and watch “Houston Airports Today” every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. on KTBU My Channel 55.

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