Dec 4, 2010 11:48 PM by John Romero

Neighborhoods can keep street lights off

Earlier this year, the City of Colorado Springs turned off many of the street lights around town. It became a symbol of the cities budget problems and enraged citizens. "I was very disappointed." says Colorado Springs resident Etta McLanhan, "I felt like they weren't taking into consideration the safety issues of our citizens."

After a recent budget meeting it seems as if those lights will go back on come the beginning of the year. But the city has also said neighborhoods can elect to keep their lights off if 67% of neighbors want it. "I think we just need to make a policy and stick with it." says City Councilman Sean Paige. He says he's tired of hearing about the street light saga. He's ready to turn them back on and move on. "I say let's just stick with one policy, turn the lights back on and move on to other business." he says, "This is getting ridiculous."

Citizens we spoke to agree they want the lights on. "I feel like it's a safety issue." explains McClenhan, "If our neighborhoods are dark it gives rise to more burglaries and that kind of thing."" Linda Schuehle-Collinson of Colorado Springs agrees. "It's about convenience and safety. And we have a voice. That's the main thing. It seems like our voice has been taken away from us." she says.

Paige says he hasn't heard anyone ask to keep the lights off and worries an option like this could turn ugly in our neighborhoods. "It's just a recipe to create a lot of conflict in neighbors that we don't need to create." he says.



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