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February 18, 2020, 09:21:34 am
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Author Topic: Better Streetlights for Tulsa  (Read 238088 times)
T-Town Elder
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These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

« Reply #480 on: December 23, 2019, 01:13:52 pm »

In 2009 Tulsa stopped adding new streetlights due to increased expense and lack of evidence of any crime reduction. Ten years later all that has changed is increased fear-mongering from those seeking corporate welfare at taxpayer expense.
Areas with existing streetlighting, like the Blue Dome and Cheery Street, got newer, more efficient low-glare lighting by looking outside of PSO's energy-wasting inventory. Now we are preparing to take a big step backward.

Keep in mind that there is also no law requiring a city to have streetlights, mainly because every installation of a street light incurs liability if the bulb burns out and someone claims an injury as a result.  https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1129807.html

City of Tulsa Preparing to Start Work in Neighborhood Street Light Initiative

' The City of Tulsa’s streets and stormwater department is getting ready to start in on a three-year-plan to add neighborhood street lights.

The city’s current budget included $25,000 for the work, which is intended to whittle down a backlog of requests that built up during a 10-year moratorium on new lights. The funds will go toward PSO’s installation work. The utility owns and maintains street lights in the city, which the city pays a fee for.

"For roundabout numbers, about $10 per month, so $120 a year per light, that gets us 150 foot of wire, a pole and a light fixture. If there’s not an available electric source close to that, then we have to pay whatever costs – if they have to set additional poles, if there’s a transformer needed," said Streets and Stormwater Director Terry Ball.

Ball's department and the Tulsa Planning Office are using a scoring system to prioritize the list of requests, with half the weight given to safety considerations.

"A lot of the requests in the past we got were people that had crime happening in their neighborhoods and felt like if they could get a street light added, that would help at least deter people," Ball said.

The concentration of car crashes involving bicycles and pedestrians are also considered in the safety portion of the score. '

There are a number of problems with this. First, the plan isnt to use newer energy-efficient lights but rather the same glare-prone junk lights from the 1970's (commonly called "farm lights").  The current state-of-the-art is warm white shielded LED that closely resembles incandescent light. This is not to be confused with earlier LEDs that have a distinct blue cast and have been recognized by the AMA as a risk to human health. https://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.5.1079/full/

Second, the program only budgets installation cost and not the cost of electricity in perpetuity. What schools will we close to pay the power bill further down the road?

Third, streetlights have not been shown to have a positive effect on crime, according to independent studies. Utility-funded studies, on the other hand, claim otherwise without offering evidence. https://kinder.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs1676/f/documents/Kinder%20Streetlights%20and%20Crime%20report.pdf

Fourth, concentrations of car crashes involving bicycles and pedestrians have been linked to the presence of disabling glare from commercial high-intensity lighting -- glare so intense it overwhelms your ability to see at night even when streetlights are present.  There are zoning laws against that, maybe we should be enforcing them?
http://tulsaplanning.org/plans/TulsaZoningCode.pdf (chapter 67)


“So we consider this a new program. It’s almost like our speed hump program … it will be citizen-generated.”
Last year the city installed speed humps in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood without consulting the residents that would actually be affected by drivers circumventing the humps, so thats not a good example to follow.

"(Streetlight requests) must then be approved by at least three of the four property owners adjacent to the property where the light would be installed, Ball said."
There needs to be consideration for affected properties more than just one house away, since the glare and "light trespass" is worse at low angles. Objections should be counted, not ignored, as they would likely lead to lawsuits and claims against the city.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 01:16:30 pm by patric » Logged

"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
T-Town Elder
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These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

« Reply #481 on: December 26, 2019, 11:06:32 am »

TULSA, Oklahoma - Carolyn Richards' family has owned a house near Pine and Lewis for more than 60 years, and they've never had a street light in front of it.

"It's so dark, you can't see," said Richards.

All that is about to change as the city has prioritized their street, Atlanta Avenue, as one of 137 to get a brand-new street light.
The installation is part of a new program by the City of Tulsa.

During the time period when they didn't have the money, Director of Streets and Stormwater Terry Ball and his team, put the requests into a spreadsheet and ranked them on a priority system based on crime, hazards and nearby uses.

Richards said she hopes the new light will deter thefts she's seen recently on the street.
If you want a city light on your street and don’t have one, the city said you can request by calling 311.


While you are at KOTV's website, click thru all the crime photos lit by streetlights.
We didnt install streetlights because the city ran out of money subsidizing peoples yard lights, and crime-control methods that havent worked


"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
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