Lakewood is considering using some of TABOR funds that voters passed last year to improve the city’s street and path lighting for safety. On June 3, Lakewood City Council discussed the possibility …
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Lakewood is considering using some of TABOR funds that voters passed last year to improve the city’s street and path lighting for safety.
On June 3, Lakewood City Council discussed the possibility of changing its street light policy. The city’s street light policy was created before the widespread use of LED lighting — which produce more light with more energy efficiency.
Currently, Xcel Energy owns more than 95% of street lights in the city. Xcel Energy has a program cities can use to fund LED light upgrades. Cities can also finance and implement LED lights themselves, and Lakewood, acknowledging a public interest in makind the change, is examining all of its options.
One potential area where more street lighting may be added is next to the Sheridan Station. Councilmember Sharon Vincent discussed the importance of getting better street lighting around public transportation spots.
“We advocate that (we want) people to be able to walk to public transportation, yet they don’t feel comfortable, so they don’t do it,” said Vincent.
Other areas where additional street lighting has been requested is in northeast Lakewood, mainly due to safety.
Staff recommended modifying the city’s street lighting policy to make it more focused on residents who want more lighting in their neighborhood. Street lighting would be installed based upon requests by petitioners.
“I think that puts the people themselves in control of the way they want the lighting in their own neighborhood, “said Lakewood City Councilmember Ramey Johnson.
City staff is set to draft a new policy and bring it before City Council to vote later this year.
Having proper street lighting in a city can go a long way toward crime prevention, according to the city staff’s report. Among the statistics included in the report was this — when Los Angeles upped its street lighting, crime dropped by 10.77 percent from 2009 to 2011, according to a case study.
“I think it goes without saying, safety should be one of the paramount considerations (with street lighting),” said Lakewood City Councilmember Mike Bieda.
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