EVER WONDER: Public to be involved in plan for missing street lights

By: Linda Navarro
May 18, 2012
photo - Solar street lights Photo by OHM
Solar street lights Photo by OHM  

QUESTION: Can you please find out why Woodmen between Rangewood and Duryea (where the driveway to Wal-Mart is, just east of Powers) is so dark. There are 19 street lights in a row, all off, and all have an orange band on them, whatever that means. I was under the impression that only every other light was to be turned off, not all 19 in a row. I called the city twice during eight months, only to be given different answers from “copper wire stolen,” “waiting for repair” to  “waiting to be turned back on in order of preference.”
— Rose Rospierski

ANSWER: Here it is from city traffic engineer David Krauth:

“These lights were indeed turned off as part of the street light deactivation in 2010. This program turned off one-third of the city’s street lights. In locations such as this portion of Woodmen, there are adjacent commercial areas that also shine onto the roadway. The section west of Austin Bluffs is no different than the area west of Union (approximately one mile to the west) where there are essentially no lights installed. All deactivated lights on arterial roadways within the City were individually chosen and reviewed by Traffic Engineering staff in 2010. We have also continued to revisit these locations to verify that the deactivation is not causing any unforeseen circumstances.

“In order to develop a plan for a sustainable street light system for the City, Traffic Engineering is in the process of developing new lighting standards taking full advantage of new technology (such as LED lights which consume 40 to 70% less energy than the current lights). There will be a very extensive public engagement process the week of Oct. 8, where citizens, council members, and industry representatives will have an opportunity to observe and comment on the new style of lights. Colorado Springs is one of the leading municipalities in the country on revamping our street light system to a more efficient and economically sustainable system. We are extremely excited about the opportunities that this process will open up for us, with the information gained from this process we are hopeful that we will be able to reactivate all street lights within the city over the next year, while at the same time reducing light trespass, over (and under) lighting of many areas, and reducing the overall costs of the system. We encourage citizens to keep an eye out for the announcements of the public event in October and help us to shape our system into a model for other agencies to follow.”

Thanks so much, Dave.

— Send questions or answers to questions to linda.navarro@gazette.com.

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