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.
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.
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:
Moon Deck product specifications and properties are:
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.
Author: Jillian Woolmer, TravelSmart Officer, City of Cockburn