Mayor Steve Bach and Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager. Photo: Liz Ruskin.

With the flip of a switch yesterday afternoon, the mayor of Colorado Springs illuminated an intersection and closed the book on a dark chapter of the city’s recent budget history. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin was there for the drumroll and has this report.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Mayor Steve Bach was up in a cherry-picker on the corner of Academy and Constitution Monday afternoon to turn on one streetlamp. It’s the symbolic last light of about 8,000 the city turned off nearly three years ago as part of a cost-cutting program that drew criticism nationwide. Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager says the city’s financial picture has improved since then, and turning the lights back on is vital for safety.

“We live in a city where are arterial streets have a lot of curves, a lot of hills, and unexpected things coming up. You need those lights on at night so you can see what you’re doing. It’s also a big safety feature for pedestrians and for business along the roadway.”

The city restored lighting in residential neighborhoods in 2010, and began switching 3,500 road lights on in October. Each light had to be turned on by sending a worker up in a cherry-picker, resulting in a one-time cost of $150,000 this year. Electricity for the road lights will cost another $100,000 a year.

The city says all working lights are back on, but residents may notice some are still dark. Officials say this is due to copper wire theft or other maintenance issues, and crews are working to repair these lights.

 

One Response to Last of the Darkened Streetlights in Colorado Springs Illuminated

  1. Jonas says:

    It’s too bad; the city was in the right direction towards cutting waste and beautifying the town at the same time. Now if, instead of spending money on all this light pollution, the city spent $100K a year on burying all the hideous and failure prone power lines, this city might start looking like it’s part of the first world.

News

AP
September 2, 2015 | NPR · Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner partially vetoed the Heroin Crisis Act, which would have cleared the way for Medicaid to fund addiction treatments.
 

Getty Images
September 2, 2015 | NPR · An assessment of police response to the demonstrations there calls into question strategies like the overwatch tactic, with officers using rifle sights to survey the crowd from atop tactical vehicles.
 

AP
September 2, 2015 | NPR · Actor Dean Jones, who starred in The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and other classic Walt Disney movies, also played the role of Bobby in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.
 

Arts & Life

AP
September 2, 2015 | NPR · Actor Dean Jones, who starred in The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and other classic Walt Disney movies, also played the role of Bobby in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.
 

Getty Images
September 2, 2015 | FA · Steve Silberman talks about how Nazi extermination plans and a discredited scientific paper about childhood vaccines shaped our current understanding of autism.
 

NPR
September 2, 2015 | FA · Jonathan Franzen weaves together a cavalcade of stories and characters in his latest novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan says that despite its breadth, Purity fails to “emotionally move the reader.”
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 2, 2015 | NPR · The blues singer continues to resist genre constraints while tackling big issues and sounds. The resulting album speaks to the times in bold, rabble-rousing ways.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 2, 2015 | NPR · A bright new star from South Africa, Yannick Ilunga doesn’t need to be sonically tethered to his African roots to gather notice in rock and electronic-music circles.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 2, 2015 | NPR · The ambitious singer and pianist splits his new album into halves: one recorded with the New York classical ensemble yMusic and one 21-minute “Concerto For Piano And Orchestra.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab