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Traffic Gardens Painted By A Robot
Traffic gardens are becoming increasingly popular throughout the U.S. as a way for youth to experience and learn about cycling. A traffic garden provides a protected open space that simulates real-world road and trail markings on a smaller scale for kids, and can be a fun learning environment for adults, too.
Discover Traffic Gardens has been a leader in helping to increase the number of traffic gardens in schools and public spaces across the U.S. and is an expert resource on designing and implementing the facilities. Discover Traffic Gardens continues to find ways to remove barriers to building the gardens and create a more efficient installation process. On Thursday, February 17, Discover Traffic Gardens hosted a field demonstration of what could be its newest traffic garden installer — a robot. I was there to watch and to be amazed as the robot completed the precise work of painting the many lines necessary for a traffic garden installation in a first demonstration of its kind.
The device is a three-wheeled, 40 lb robot that holds one spray paint can and is powered by a rechargeable battery for its GPS device and computer. Monsen Engineering is the U.S. supplier for this Danish-designed robot from TinyMobileRobots, which “specializes in high-precision, reliable outdoor robots” typically used for surveying and line striping projects.
Fionnuala Quinn, founder of Discover Traffic Gardens, saw this device as a solution to the immense commitment of resources and time that it typically takes to lay out and paint a traffic garden. What once took a full day’s work by multiple people can now be done in a mere 30 minutes to an hour by a robot. Discover Traffic Gardens hasn’t quite made the plunge to purchase the robot but the demonstration proved that this was definitely a tool worth investigating further. The cost to purchase the robot, plus training, runs anywhere between $40,000-$60,000. Stay tuned for a possible GoFundMe opportunity from Discover Traffic Gardens with traffic garden kits as rewards for supporters.
Ms. Quinn and the Discover Traffic Garden team will be leading a workshop on traffic gardens at the National Bike Summit being held in Washington, D.C March 27-30. Registration is still open! To learn more about the workshop and the many other opportunities of the National Bike Summit, visit: bikeleague.org/summit.