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.