Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DaTrain

Freeways With High-mast Lighting

Recommended Posts

Low-pressure sodium vapor street lights are what you are talking about. Unlike most streetlights U see all over town with the orange glow, these LPS ones have a yellowish glow. They're still some around town on Shepherd north of 610, a couple of them on the Post Oak ramp to 610 east and at the Eastwood METRO Transit Center. San Jose has a lighting policy on this for nighttime aesthetic reasons because of an observatory on the hills, thus that city has the most LPS lights of any city. The only drawback for it is the glow matches the color of a yellow traffic light.

Na-light.jpg

Not to derail this too far, but...

One of the executive news producers at KHOU a few years ago was convinced that the reason the city put sodium lamps up everywhere was so that in the event of an emergency all the blacks in Houston could be killed. According to her twisted logic, the lamps are colored yellow so that when everyone is fleeing the city black people stand out more than white people or Hispanics; and the lamps are placed all along 610 to effectively form a ring around the part of the city with the most black people so they can be shot if caught leaving the city during said emergency.

All the other black people in the office nodded in agreement. The EP claimed she heard it on the radio, so it must be true. The white in the office people kept their mouths shut and their heads down, which was S.O.P. for those who had to work with her.

Who starts these crazy urban legends, anyway? Sounds like a Sharpton Special.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not to derail this too far, but...

One of the executive news producers at KHOU a few years ago was convinced that the reason the city put sodium lamps up everywhere was so that in the event of an emergency all the blacks in Houston could be killed. According to her twisted logic, the lamps are colored yellow so that when everyone is fleeing the city black people stand out more than white people or Hispanics; and the lamps are placed all along 610 to effectively form a ring around the part of the city with the most black people so they can be shot if caught leaving the city during said emergency.

All the other black people in the office nodded in agreement. The EP claimed she heard it on the radio, so it must be true. The white in the office people kept their mouths shut and their heads down, which was S.O.P. for those who had to work with her.

Who starts these crazy urban legends, anyway? Sounds like a Sharpton Special.

LOL must have been some fun times there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure y'all HAIFERS know by now that more masts will be installed at the 45/59/288 interchange where the original cobra head lights line the 59/288 segment including the ramps leading to and from 59. I noticed just weeks ago driving along Chartres under the interchange that the mast concrete foundations were in place, now recently the mast poles are laid down set to be in place. SMH @ TxDot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like high mast lighting. Here in Chicago, several recently-rebuilt expressways use high-mast lighting. You definitely notice the added visibility of it after driving on an expressway or tollway that still uses regular lighting.

The Stevenson Expressway (I-55) is probably the most intensely lit limited-access highway in the United States. It's only 6 lanes wide with a wide median, but it is lined with high-mast lighting on both sides every 500 feet or so for about 16 miles from I-294 to Downtown. The inner-most 10 miles of it from Harlem Avenue to Downtown is straight as an arrow, and seeing it lit with high-mast lighting makes it a sight to see. And you can still get good views of the skyline to boot.

Kudos to Houston for implementing it on such a wide scale. I only hope Atlanta (where freeways are horribly underlit at night) and other cities follow suit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a big fan of the high-mast lights mostly because of the light pollution they create. But I understand they are more efficient and easier to maintain than hundreds of smaller lights. Some day maybe the roads, themselves, will be lit with markers (since you mentioned Chicago, I'm thinking of the fluorescent tubes that line the Jersey barriers on the Ohio Street ramp off the southbound Kennedy).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not a big fan of the high-mast lights mostly because of the light pollution they create.

I'm sure you've also run into problems where the high mast lighting interferes with skyline shots, day or night. I know I have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are adding high mast lighting to 59 right around Minute Maid, going south to Fannin. In fact, one just went up last night within view of my house. Hopefully it wont light up my bedroom at night.

*crosses fingers*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new high mast lights at the 288/59/I-45 interchange are now operational. The old "cobra head" lamps are still being lit up too. The combo of the high mast lights and the "cobra head" lamps make for a nicely lit freeway, though we all know the cobra heads are biting the dust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there are other options that do not "bleed" upward. there are other options that do not "flood" the world with light. the high mast lights show a lack of determination to reduce light pollution. i hate them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really think they contribute to the awful light pollution we have everywhere.

Light pollution?! You guys are nuts, This is a BIG city, i tried to get on the freeway a few times and couldn't see the on ramp. 610 in front of Astroworld is bad at night time. On 225 a mile or so of cable got smashed by an accident and all the lights went out. Ironically The city of Houston installed a new electrical line from Goodyear to Richey in Pasadena. One foggy night on broadway i almost ran over a guy cause it was dark and foggy. They had high mast lighting but it was off. I called and emailed the city/TXdot and they repaired it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Light pollution?! You guys are nuts, This is a BIG city, i tried to get on the freeway a few times and couldn't see the on ramp. 610 in front of Astroworld is bad at night time. On 225 a mile or so of cable got smashed by an accident and all the lights went out. Ironically The city of Houston installed a new electrical line from Goodyear to Richey in Pasadena. One foggy night on broadway i almost ran over a guy cause it was dark and foggy. They had high mast lighting but it was off. I called and emailed the city/TXdot and they repaired it.

You bettcha light pollution. As I started seeing these things pop up I was concerned they would pop up on the North Loop...and sure enough they did. I live 3 blocks from the loop and can see these horrid things through thick trees at night. There was no attempt by TXDOT to "aim" the lights or to try to minimize their impact on surrounding neighborhoods. I know this is the city with a lot of lighting, but now we have mast lights and still have the lighting on the access roads that pre-existed. When I look out my windows at night I just see big blotches of orange light. So much for quality of life. <_<

Edited by gardenoaksguy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They are adding high mast lighting to 59 right around Minute Maid, going south to Fannin. In fact, one just went up last night within view of my house. Hopefully it wont light up my bedroom at night.

*crosses fingers*

So what did the verdict turn out to be? Bedroom to be lit up or not? :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High Mast lighting is safer for travel. I have been to most of the cities in this country and only Houston has so many of these lights which makes other cities a lot darker and a lot more unsafe to travel at night. Now if they can get rid of those ugly utilities lines everywhere then it would be perfect :)

Edited by afang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently, some high-mast lighting was put up near a new overpass near me (College Station), which was weird because said overpass wasn't even an actual highway (it's about a mile stretch between two regular stoplights). I can see the lights from the second floor of my house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If high mast lighting is so desirable, how come image-conscious DFW doesn't use it? Stop viewing this from an engineering standpoint for a moment and consider the damage these things do to the aesthetics/image/psyche of the city. The fact is, high mast lighting is ugly.

US75 through McKinney will be entirely reconstructed and relit with 12-lamp high-mast lighting. I think it's starting to catch on up here. The new Parker Rd./US-75 SPUI also uses high-mast lighting as well as a shorter segment further down that requires extra illumination. SH-121 (Sam Rayburn Tollway) is illuminated past the Dallas North Tollway with high-mast lighting as well. I think wherever they can be built, either because of a new road or reconstruction they tend to be considered. Personally I don't think they're that bad. One of the neat features on some is they have directed cut-off lighting without any funny eyelids so the light ends up on the road and not in the properties behind them.

I always thought Houston had an interesting menagerie of those things. Coming in on IH-45 from Conroe one sees the 12-lamp variety TxDOT has adopted to an old directed lighting system from way back when north of BW8 to another style (Z-pattern) from there on to the 45/10 interchange.

So far as I can tell, there are two other places in the state that use the Z-pattern lighting system found so prolifically along Houston's freeways: a short stretch of IH-35W in Fort Worth and IH-35 and 37 in San Antonio around downtown.

Edited by pderry11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they're going to rebuild 75 again?

The stretch from SH-121 north through McKinney has never been rebuilt (I don't think they've done anything up the the Grayson county line either.) It's the same old highway they had in the 60s when it was first built. Yeah, it's been repaved and a couple ramps lengthened but it's still 4 lanes with two lane feeders. The stretch through Sherman, TX is the same too. I hate those ramps...

Edited by pderry11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

US75 through McKinney will be entirely reconstructed and relit with 12-lamp high-mast lighting. I think it's starting to catch on up here. The new Parker Rd./US-75 SPUI also uses high-mast lighting as well as a shorter segment further down that requires extra illumination. SH-121 (Sam Rayburn Tollway) is illuminated past the Dallas North Tollway with high-mast lighting as well. I think wherever they can be built, either because of a new road or reconstruction they tend to be considered. Personally I don't think they're that bad. One of the neat features on some is they have directed cut-off lighting without any funny eyelids so the light ends up on the road and not in the properties behind them.

I always thought Houston had an interesting menagerie of those things. Coming in on IH-45 from Conroe one sees the 12-lamp variety TxDOT has adopted to an old directed lighting system from way back when north of BW8 to another style (Z-pattern) from there on to the 45/10 interchange.

So far as I can tell, there are two other places in the state that use the Z-pattern lighting system found so prolifically along Houston's freeways: a short stretch of IH-35W in Fort Worth and IH-35 and 37 in San Antonio around downtown.

They need to work on I-20. There is always random crap in the freeway lanes, but it's so dark driving through South Dallas to Forest Hill. You can't see anything. I have noticed more lighting around the freeways here in DFW, though it's mainly at freeway-to-freeway interchanges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MORE HIGH MAST LIGHTING POLES IN THE GREENWAY PLAZA AREA GOING UP ???? :angry: :angry: :angry:

 

 

What's with Houston? Like we need more of these high mast lighting, obstructing Houston's fascinating night skyline views. Doesn't greenway plaza already have enough high mass lighting clouding over the freeway?

 

I almost started a new thread over this, but didn't think my rant was worth it.

 

Edited by scarface
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MORE HIGH MAST LIGHTING POLES IN THE GREENWAY PLAZA AREA GOING UP ???? :angry: :angry: :angry:

 

 

What's with Houston? Like we need more of these high mast lighting, obstructing Houston's fascinating night skyline views. Doesn't greenway plaza already have enough high mass lighting clouding over the freeway?

 

I almost started a new thread over this, but didn't think my rant was worth it.

 

I think they're replacing old high mast poles with new ones. If you take a look, you'll see they're being in close proximity with other poles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I recall correctly, the newer mast lighting may be yellowish as opposed to white. I was a bit surprised that when they added HM lighting for an overpass in CS (that, of all the roads, wasn't a major highway, speed didn't top 50 mph), it was yellow instead of white as expected. Were the older ones white or yellow?

Edited by IronTiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HMLs or UFOs?  I hadn't really noticed high mast lights until they started installing them along the southern stretch of 610, as well as 45 S.  I knew immediately what this UFO was when it was in the news last month

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The newer lights tend to be sodium vapor, with a yellow orange light, rather than mercury vapor, which has a bluer light.  Supposedly the sodium lights create less light pollution; still, there's plenty of spill over into adjacent neighborhoods that didn't occur with the lower profile cobra lamps.

 

I certainly get the idea of having better lighting for safety.  I just hope that the altitude of the light sources can be lowered back down as LED technology continues to improve and become less expensive.  I'd like to be able to take the blackout curtains back out of my bedroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The newer lights tend to be sodium vapor, with a yellow orange light, rather than mercury vapor, which has a bluer light.  Supposedly the sodium lights create less light pollution; still, there's plenty of spill over into adjacent neighborhoods that didn't occur with the lower profile cobra lamps.

 

I certainly get the idea of having better lighting for safety.  I just hope that the altitude of the light sources can be lowered back down as LED technology continues to improve and become less expensive.  I'd like to be able to take the blackout curtains back out of my bedroom.

Sodium does burn yellow, but mercury vapor, especially older mercury vapor lights, tends to green after a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MORE HIGH MAST LIGHTING POLES IN THE GREENWAY PLAZA AREA GOING UP ???? :angry: :angry: :angry:

 

 

What's with Houston? Like we need more of these high mast lighting, obstructing Houston's fascinating night skyline views. Doesn't greenway plaza already have enough high mass lighting clouding over the freeway?

 

I almost started a new thread over this, but didn't think my rant was worth it.

 

I would have enjoyed that rant!

 

One of the things about America's troubled future that I actually look forward to, is the lights going out, and no one replacing them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have enjoyed that rant!

 

One of the things about America's troubled future that I actually look forward to, is the lights going out, and no one replacing them.

 

Don't worry, Houston has enough light hovering over all of its freeways to spare it wouldn't be noticed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...