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Enlighting the roads of tomorrow, Exploring road users’ preference of road lighting along highways in the Netherlands

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Determining the preferences of road users in the Netherlands will be done using a stated choice experiment. Several hypothetical lighting alternatives are randomly created using the aspects from the study. This includes the possibility to test the preferences of road users regarding present forms of lighting, primarily SON lighting applied from above, and include new types of lighting, LED and EL lighting, as well as alternative placement and uniformity of lighting.

These alternatives are presented visually and verbally using an online survey from Berg EnquĂȘte System. A respondent is asked to rate the alternatives on four variables, namely safety, guidance, detection, and comfort and eventually choose one of the alternatives in one choice- task. This combination of rating and choice will provide not only the preference but also extensive information on the perceptions of road users and the performance of individual lighting aspects and corresponding levels. The survey exists out of three parts, the first determines the experience of road users. The second part of the survey presents the stated choice experiment, including a trial question, extensive explanation, and three choice-tasks. The third and final part of the survey concerns several personal questions. A total of 280 respondents participated in the survey, all aged 18 and above, and they represent the population of the Netherlands well.

It is recommended for governmental institutes and legislative parties to look at opportunities besides dimming or shutting down road lighting, and take the needs of road users into consideration in decision-making processes. For companies in the road lighting industry recommendations feature the need for new lighting solutions, incorporating the most important aspects for road users. New lighting types and alternative ways of lighting should be designed and created to cope with the challenges and measures set by the government. Collaboration and integral approaches during the design and construction of road lighting along highways, taking the needs of road users into consideration is key for the development of future road lighting.

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