Sunday, January 24, 2016

more isn't always better

A few months ago, I noticed an unwelcome change on many blocks in our ward. Street lights got noticeably brighter, and lights that had been out for a long time were repaired. Some of the long-dark ones really weren't needed. The result: increased glare and light pollution, and uglier streets.

The increase in glare can make it tougher to see detail in the shadows as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver by keeping our eyes from adjusting to night vision conditions. Many of us now need blackout curtains to keep the orange glare out of our homes - not needed before this change.  Having to spend time and money buying and installing heavy curtains was not welcome.

There is a common perception that brighter light creates safety. It may be true up to a point, but this recent change put us far beyond that point. If glare makes it harder to see, does brighter light help us in any way?

If our streets and yards have all the ambiance of a prison yard, does this create an inviting space that encourages more people to be out in their yards and on the streets?   I'd rather have a little less light and a more pleasant environment for people to spend time outdoors, whether they are walking, biking, running, or spending time in their yards. Having more eyes on the street makes our streets safer.


LOAfrom025 said...

The way things are going, with stick ups at the 7-11, bank robberies, armed robberies like the one at 103 and Artesian, I'll take the better lighting over the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Beverly looks beautiful in the daytime, the inconvenience of brighter streetlights during the evening hours is offset by the safety.

Fargo said...

Having more eyes on the street can help deter crime. I'm not sure that having prison yard lighting will encourage that.

LOAfrom025 said...

I understand the lighting isn't diffused in the winter months as much as when there are leaves on the trees, but I don't see too many people or "eyes on the street" in the evenings in the winter months. I think the "prison yard lighting" description is a little over the top.

Fargo said...

You're not living with the conditions in my yard, or my living room. Prison yard lighting is about right.

Fargo said...

If you think that slightly brighter lighting is going to stop incidents like that armed robbery, I think you're very optimistic. A lot of other changes would make more of a difference.