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Talk About Tulsa => Other Tulsa Discussion => Topic started by: dsjeffries on March 11, 2008, 09:39:04 pm



Title: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: dsjeffries on March 11, 2008, 09:39:04 pm
Anyone who's been on Highway 75 at night knows the group of blindingly bright, insanely tall lights around the Highway 11 interchange (south of 36th St. N.).

The unnecessary brightness and height really creates a TON of glare and yet doesn't seem to light the roadway.  You can actually see the poles for miles if you're traveling southbound.

So here's the question:  Who bears the costs for lighting highways in cities?  Is it the State or the individual city?

If it's the city that will have to bear the costs of these atrocious lights, couldn't we demand better lighting plans when ODOT decides we need lights?

Here are some photos I took tonight...
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2363/2328563724_6f39991c71.jpg) (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/2327744811_0d033a2b21.jpg)
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2292/2327745147_9ee751721f.jpg)


I spent the weekend in Orlando a few weeks ago and let me tell you, it was amazing to drive down highways with full-cutoff light fixtures.  The road was brighter, glare was minimal or non-existent, and the sky above was black.  Not only were they full-cutoff, but they weren't stuck 100+ feet up in the air!  They were maybe 20-25 feet tall and kind of leaned over the the closest lanes so that the light was more centered on the roadway than on the right of way.

Here's a shot I took in the daytime of one of the poles.  Yes, I took pictures of the poles whilst zipping down the highway... Don't worry, I wasn't driving:
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3247/2327593621_69a728ef47_o.jpg)

As the plane descended into Tulsa, I saw the golden glow of the upwardly-projecting, ineffective city and highway lights, and knew I was home [:(].


Title: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: mrhaskellok on March 12, 2008, 12:33:27 am
Out west like Phoenix, they have an ordnances against light pollution...wish everyone had them.  It is simply a waste of energy, ruins the night sky, and adds strain to the already aging infrastructure.   I had a discussion one day with a friend of mine...if towns looked at their lighting bills each month, they usually will find enough money to add a significant number of officers on the street to patrol the now dark and apparently more dangerous streets.  


Sid


Title: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: PonderInc on March 12, 2008, 02:38:43 pm
I noticed the same problem several years ago near the HWY 75/BA exchange. (Obnoxiously huge, tall, glaring lights.) At the time, I was told that the city didn't have any jurisdiction over these highway lights.  I think they said it was a state thing. (I can't remember who told me that, though.)


Title: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: dsjeffries on March 12, 2008, 03:40:13 pm
quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

I noticed the same problem several years ago near the HWY 75/BA exchange. (Obnoxiously huge, tall, glaring lights.) At the time, I was told that the city didn't have any jurisdiction over these highway lights.  I think they said it was a state thing. (I can't remember who told me that, though.)



So does the state pay for the cost to light them or do they just have the jurisdiction?


Title: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Wrinkle on March 12, 2008, 05:52:00 pm
Henry's cousins brother-in-law got a good deal on some pole fixtures from an online surplus military site, sold them to DOT for pennies on the dollar. On time, under budget.

Electricity comes from someone elses' budget.



Title: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Vision 2025 on March 13, 2008, 03:29:54 pm
quote:
Originally posted by DScott28604

quote:
Originally posted by PonderInc

I noticed the same problem several years ago near the HWY 75/BA exchange. (Obnoxiously huge, tall, glaring lights.) At the time, I was told that the city didn't have any jurisdiction over these highway lights.  I think they said it was a state thing. (I can't remember who told me that, though.)



So does the state pay for the cost to light them or do they just have the jurisdiction?

Typically paid by the local municipal jurisdiction unless at a major highway interchange.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on November 15, 2017, 02:03:51 pm
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/repair-costs-approach-million-since-copper-thieves-began-killing-lights/article_47bddfd2-8bd0-540b-9fab-8cd5e4e9ea4b.html


...Why does the city of Tulsa maintain lights on highways built by the state and federal government? Because about 30 or 40 years ago, that’s what local leaders agreed to do.

“We are the only large city in the state that maintains their highway lights,” Ball said. “Back in the ’60s and ’70s, the city of Tulsa made the decision that they would maintain them. The other cities, like Oklahoma City, their power providers maintain their highway lights.”

The lights on city streets are maintained by AEP-PSO, and over the years the city has considered looking into having the utility do the same for the highway lights, Ball said, but that would come with a cost, too.



The irony of the highway lights outages is that while the city throws tens of millions of tax dollars at it, accidents and fatalities went DOWN when the lights went out. 
For some reason, people drive more carefully when its darker.



Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on November 19, 2017, 10:28:12 am
Tulsa Whirled: "Unlit highways makes lanes hard to determine and other traffic less visible. Some particularly shaded areas are terrifying after sundown."

The un-named Tulsa World writer just described 90% of the highways in America, where speed limits are much faster and people manage to survive with only their headlights and painted lines to protect them from disaster.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/editorials/tulsa-world-editorial-city-makes-progress-on-returning-lights-to/article_8c1eafe2-3c57-5c2a-a757-12e5861b3bba.html



Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on November 20, 2017, 07:54:09 am
Tulsa Whirled: "Unlit highways makes lanes hard to determine and other traffic less visible. Some particularly shaded areas are terrifying after sundown."

The un-named Tulsa World writer just described 90% of the highways in America, where speed limits are much faster and people manage to survive with only their headlights and painted lines to protect them from disaster.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/editorials/tulsa-world-editorial-city-makes-progress-on-returning-lights-to/article_8c1eafe2-3c57-5c2a-a757-12e5861b3bba.html




Ha!    Blaming unlit for their massive fail at keeping lanes properly marked.  BS on them!!



Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on November 20, 2017, 11:18:12 am

Ha!    Blaming unlit for their massive fail at keeping lanes properly marked.  BS on them!!


Keeping the reflective lines painted on expressways should cost a lot less that $10 million, but we would prefer that money go to corporate welfare than education.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: dbacksfan 2.0 on November 20, 2017, 09:36:08 pm
Just some observations while I was in Tulsa a couple of weeks ago. The lack of highway lighting while an issue, is not the biggest problem. Driving the BA Expressway at night with the crappy lane marking, lack of any lighting for exits/on ramps/ and lighting of the signs signs marking them, and the fact that you have people driving at 40 MPH in all three lanes along with people driving the posted speed limit, and people doing well in excess of 70 MPH is the primary problem. Mix in those issues and the poorly marked construction,  the march of orange barrels, and the general lack of repair and improvement just makes driving the freeways there crap.

I have driven the 880 through the east bay area of SF at night and in the rain, and at least people know how to drive. I'll take driving in SF, LA, San Diego, Phoenix over driving in Tulsa. I feel more comfortable driving I-10 or the Foothill Freeway (I-210) through LA than driving in Tulsa, and neither one of those LA freeways are lit at night.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on November 22, 2017, 09:59:17 am
Just some observations while I was in Tulsa a couple of weeks ago. The lack of highway lighting while an issue, is not the biggest problem. Driving the BA Expressway at night with the crappy lane marking, lack of any lighting for exits/on ramps/ and lighting of the signs signs marking them, and the fact that you have people driving at 40 MPH in all three lanes along with people driving the posted speed limit, and people doing well in excess of 70 MPH is the primary problem. Mix in those issues and the poorly marked construction,  the march of orange barrels, and the general lack of repair and improvement just makes driving the freeways there crap.

I have driven the 880 through the east bay area of SF at night and in the rain, and at least people know how to drive. I'll take driving in SF, LA, San Diego, Phoenix over driving in Tulsa. I feel more comfortable driving I-10 or the Foothill Freeway (I-210) through LA than driving in Tulsa, and neither one of those LA freeways are lit at night.

While I advocate lighting ramps, interchanges and curves, the assumption that we MUST spend millions to light everything in-between is a false crisis being sold to the taxpayers with fear.  Even a train crash downtown was partially blamed on "dim expressway lighting" because the train conductor couldnt see (he was going backward).


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on November 28, 2017, 05:36:00 pm
Just some observations while I was in Tulsa a couple of weeks ago. The lack of highway lighting while an issue, is not the biggest problem. Driving the BA Expressway at night with the crappy lane marking, lack of any lighting for exits/on ramps/ and lighting of the signs signs marking them, and the fact that you have people driving at 40 MPH in all three lanes along with people driving the posted speed limit, and people doing well in excess of 70 MPH is the primary problem. Mix in those issues and the poorly marked construction,  the march of orange barrels, and the general lack of repair and improvement just makes driving the freeways there crap.

I have driven the 880 through the east bay area of SF at night and in the rain, and at least people know how to drive. I'll take driving in SF, LA, San Diego, Phoenix over driving in Tulsa. I feel more comfortable driving I-10 or the Foothill Freeway (I-210) through LA than driving in Tulsa, and neither one of those LA freeways are lit at night.


Any of those is better...  Also, anywhere in New England - they really do know how to drive there!  And people are almost irritatingly polite and nice... and not like Minnesota nice...!



Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Townsend on November 29, 2017, 12:57:11 pm

 and not like Minnesota nice...!



(http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/archive/2006/06/1_123125_123075_2143632_2143762_060616_garrisonkeillortn.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpg)


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on December 14, 2017, 09:45:15 am

“We’re not creating neat, interesting places (in neighborhoods) because we’ve allocated our money to making commutes easier,” Ewing said.

But there was some agreement with Ewing’s overall thrust, which was that cities become popular because they’ve invested in creating interesting places to live. Ewing noted cities such as Austin and Denver have much worse traffic than Tulsa, but it doesn’t seem to keep people from moving there.


http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/councilor-says-city-worries-too-much-about-streets-not-enough/article_338f2a37-385a-5758-b4bd-1a03f3e5c26e.html

So lets throw another $10 Million into fixing the expressway lights we didnt actually need in the first place.



Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on December 17, 2017, 11:13:57 am
During an economic downturn, the city actually turned off all the highway lights in October 2009 in an effort to save money.  About a year later and after one highway death was attributed to darkened roads, the city turned the lights back on.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/tulsa-world-survey-finds-percent-of-tulsa-highway-lights-still/article_9a9ac6d4-c36c-531b-92f7-d74b1182ca90.html

One death in one year, and even that was a questionable stretch.  How many other deaths on expressways in the same year under full sunlight? 

No other city this size thinks it has to light up freeways for pedestrian-level utilization.
Even TPD reported fewer crashes when the lights were OFF, so dressing this up as a public safety crisis is a story the Tulsa World is missing out on.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: cannon_fodder on December 18, 2017, 08:22:03 am
It is amazing how often GT's Facebook feed gets clogged with crap about highway street lights.  People really believe they need enough light to be able to play Frisbee on the  freeway in order for it to be safe.  While I can see it being beneficial for someone whose car broke down or in a construction zone, other than that I really don't see how lighting the place up like a stadium is safer.

Is there an argument that it IS safer, or is it just making people feel safer?

Also - the comments on the Tulsa World link are amazing.  I could feel Ewings frustration level growing as he tried to engage citizens. He tries so very hard to explain 1) he didnt' say he wanted to abandon road maintenance, 2) there is evidence that narrow roads are safer and increase commerce, and 3) I didn't say that!


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Townsend on December 18, 2017, 11:48:07 am
There's a stretch of the Creek heading West coming up on Hwy 75 where the lights have been off for about a week.

It's honestly a relief on my eyes compared to the lighted sections.

I see the other vehicles better without the glare from the overhead lights.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: SXSW on December 18, 2017, 08:51:16 pm
I will say that the new stretch of I-244 from the airport into downtown is really nice and I like the (I presume) LED lights in the center that are different than the other highway lights.  Feels very modern when you fly into town at night.  It makes the lack of lights around the IDL and even on the I-244 bridge more obvious.

The TW article stated that Tulsa is the only city in Oklahoma that maintains state and federal highway lights, why??


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on December 18, 2017, 10:03:06 pm
I will say that the new stretch of I-244 from the airport into downtown is really nice and I like the (I presume) LED lights in the center that are different than the other highway lights.  Feels very modern when you fly into town at night.  It makes the lack of lights around the IDL and even on the I-244 bridge more obvious.

The TW article stated that Tulsa is the only city in Oklahoma that maintains state and federal highway lights, why??

Cosmetics.  Braggadocio.  That and low energy cost in a city flush with oil money (at the time).

Here was the breakdown in 2003:

Ownership and responsibility for roadway lighting in the city


           Responsibility
Owner   Maint.    Utility Cost        Use                          System Type    

PSO       PSO       City             City-owned streets        Continuous
                                              and Parkways                  & Intersections

City,      City       City             State, U.S. &                   Continuous,         
ODOT                                   Interstate Highways        High-mast & Overhead Sign

The city owns and maintains approximately 7,000 fixtures for continuous lighting of entire expressways (when actually only interchanges need be illuminated to meet federal and state standards).  About twice that amount (approximately 15,000 lights) are installed on the remainder of Tulsa’s streets, but are leased from (and maintained by) Public Service of Oklahoma.

In the preparation of this analysis, a request for information was submitted to the Mayors Performance Team seeking statistics from city departments on the following:

Total streetlights in operation,
Total non-roadway outdoor lights in operation,
Total lighted traffic control devices (including signs and signals) in operation. 

Additionally, it was requested that these numbers be broken down into fixture descriptions, locations and intended use, with annual cost (or estimates) for each.

Aside from aggregated totals (22,886 streetlights and 424 intersections with signals), the Department of Public Works reported that it would be necessary to hire a consultant to gather and compile an inventory such as needed for this analysis.

While this predicament is not unique to Tulsa (the city of Tucson, Arizona resorted to the use of Digital Orthographic Coverage to inventory it’s streetlighting system, borrowing the data from a survey originally intended to renovate floodplain contour maps),   
Dramatically contrasting directions in energy costs Vs. municipal funding have forced the hand of fate and necessitate an urgent look at a part of city living so ubiquitous that we might have never previously questioned it’s necessity.


City of Tulsa Municipal Outdoor Lighting Energy Strategy
A Report Before
The Mayor’s Performance Team
March 2003



Disclosure:  I wrote the report.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: cannon_fodder on December 19, 2017, 08:04:28 am
If Tulsa is the only City in the State that maintains freeway lights - why do so many people feel it is an absolute necessity.  They speak as if it is as important as clean water or a fire department.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: swake on December 19, 2017, 09:23:36 am
If Tulsa is the only City in the State that maintains freeway lights - why do so many people feel it is an absolute necessity.  They speak as if it is as important as clean water or a fire department.

The local electric utility  (PSO/OG&E) maintains them in other cities and for street lights in Tulsa. I guess Tulsa attempted to save money by maintaining highway lights themselves and they don't do it well with the funding the city has available.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Red Arrow on December 19, 2017, 09:45:32 am
I guess Tulsa attempted to save money by maintaining highway lights themselves and they don't do it well with the funding the city has available.

Copper thieves aren't helping the funding situation.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: swake on December 19, 2017, 10:24:38 am
Copper thieves aren't helping the funding situation.

I Understand, but are copper thieves only stealing copper from City of Tulsa maintained lights on highways other than the Creek Turnpike? That doesn't make sense. Street lights on Tulsa streets that are maintained by PSO aren't off, not are the highway lights on the Creek Turnpike in Tulsa, and those lights are maintained by OTA.

I'm not saying that thieves are not an issue, just that The City of Tulsa's response to them is lacking when other entities that maintain lights are able to overcome the thieves. The consistent issue is COT.

 






Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on December 19, 2017, 10:43:43 am
If Tulsa is the only City in the State that maintains freeway lights - why do so many people feel it is an absolute necessity.  They speak as if it is as important as clean water or a fire department.

Electric utilities do more to "educate" the public than the departments who maintain reflective lines and signs.

The Continuous (end-to-end) lighting wouldnt be so counterproductive if they had at least used shielded lighting to remove the glare, but theres not even any discussion of that despite spending $10 million to prop up obsolete technology.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Conan71 on December 19, 2017, 12:32:40 pm


I see the other vehicles better without the glare from the overhead lights.


That's a sign of old age, Townie.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Hoss on December 19, 2017, 12:38:20 pm
That's a sign of old age, Townie.

This.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on December 19, 2017, 12:49:03 pm
That's a sign of old age, Townie.

Even young eyes can have astigmatism.  Glare exacerbates the problem.
If there was a silver lining to loosing continuous expressway lighting it would have been the opportunity to see firsthand that we really didnt need them.

Paint the damn lines.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Conan71 on December 19, 2017, 03:21:55 pm
Even young eyes can have astigmatism.  Glare exacerbates the problem.
If there was a silver lining to loosing continuous expressway lighting it would have been the opportunity to see firsthand that we really didnt need them.

Paint the damn lines.

All I have to do is leave home and drive in any direction out of our village to see why we don't need highway lighting.  There are some full moon nights you could almost drive with no lights at all.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Red Arrow on December 19, 2017, 05:15:53 pm
All I have to do is leave home and drive in any direction out of our village to see why we don't need highway lighting.  There are some full moon nights you could almost drive with no lights at all.

My guess is that it gets really dark with a new moon.  Can you see the Milky Way?  (Not the candy bar.)


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Conan71 on December 19, 2017, 08:57:45 pm
My guess is that it gets really dark with a new moon.  Can you see the Milky Way?  (Not the candy bar.)

Absolutely, very, very clear here.  We don't know what light pollution is.  Last night was one of those nights.  We get the biggest kick out of telling the story about telling my wife's dad it was a Milky Way night when we came home from dinner one night.  He looked up and said: "I can't see it, there's a band of clouds in the way..."  "Uh Dad..."

It would be a photographer's dream out here.  One of these days I might spring for some good photo equipment or just wait until I can find a talented photographer who wants to do some trade out in exchange for a few nights lodging.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Townsend on December 20, 2017, 12:23:43 pm
That's a sign of old age, Townie.


Shhhheeeeeeeeeiiiiiiit - don't need that sign to remind me


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on December 20, 2017, 08:37:49 pm
All I have to do is leave home and drive in any direction out of our village to see why we don't need highway lighting.  There are some full moon nights you could almost drive with no lights at all.

When its overcast you could almost do the same thing in Tulsa... from the light reflected off the clouds  ;D

Its been drizzling for a couple days now; bonus points to those who noticed the reflection from the lights on the wet pavement obscures some lane markings.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Weatherdemon on January 02, 2018, 01:46:42 pm
When its overcast you could almost do the same thing in Tulsa... from the light reflected off the clouds  ;D

Its been drizzling for a couple days now; bonus points to those who noticed the reflection from the lights on the wet pavement obscures some lane markings.

Lane markings on the IDL and other local highways are done with non-reflective, thin, spray paint that aren't visible except in the prefect lighting conditions. Well, where they haven't been worn off like in the NW corner of the IDL.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on January 02, 2018, 03:27:53 pm
Lane markings on the IDL and other local highways are done with non-reflective, thin, spray paint that aren't visible except in the prefect lighting conditions. Well, where they haven't been worn off like in the NW corner of the IDL.

Retro-reflective (reflects light from the direction it came) paint is federally mandated, so there might be a problem with that.
Its not designed to reflect light from streetlights but rather from automobiles, so it can be used where there are no streetlights (90% of highways).

Tulsa is way behind in lane markings (expressways especially in need), so I concur with your statement.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on January 02, 2018, 04:39:29 pm
Lane markings on the IDL and other local highways are done with non-reflective, thin, spray paint that aren't visible except in the prefect lighting conditions. Well, where they haven't been worn off like in the NW corner of the IDL.


Should not be non-reflective.   

Worn down is another problem that this state chooses willfully to ignore.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: Weatherdemon on January 05, 2018, 10:35:51 am
Retro-reflective (reflects light from the direction it came) paint is federally mandated, so there might be a problem with that.
Its not designed to reflect light from streetlights but rather from automobiles, so it can be used where there are no streetlights (90% of highways).

Tulsa is way behind in lane markings (expressways especially in need), so I concur with your statement.

The standard used to be a thick layer that had some level of reflectivity but several streets in and around Tulsa have had a very thin layer put down recently with white/black alternating to provide contrast but it only lasts about a year and is nearly impossible to see in the rain.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on January 05, 2018, 04:53:47 pm
The standard used to be a thick layer that had some level of reflectivity but several streets in and around Tulsa have had a very thin layer put down recently with white/black alternating to provide contrast but it only lasts about a year and is nearly impossible to see in the rain.

Alternating black-white striping is on state/interstate but ive never seen it on city streets.  The purpose is to compensate for reverse-contrast where a white line might appear in silhouette.  Rain can obscure painted markings (even retro-reflective paint) and street lighting can actually make the problem worse when the lights reflect off the wet streets.

The answer has been RPMs (Raised Pavement Markers) that rise above the rainwater coating but they dont play well with snow plows.


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: patric on January 15, 2018, 05:54:25 pm
Now that the lights are coming back on, pedestrians are treating expressways like city streets again it would seem.
Im aware of at least three auto-peds in as many weeks... people betting their lives that the streetlights will protect them as they stroll across 60-70mph traffic.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/state-troopers-seeking-public-help-to-locate-vehicle-involved-in/article_3552410e-c314-5440-959c-4c34c895861b.html


Title: Re: Highway Lighting Costs
Post by: heironymouspasparagus on January 16, 2018, 09:10:12 am


The answer has been RPMs (Raised Pavement Markers) that rise above the rainwater coating but they dont play well with snow plows.



Saw some 1954 versions of those on the Mother Road a couple weeks ago.  Took a ride and saw some of the old road with those markers.