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

Getty Images
June 26, 2017 | NPR · A new study finds that turtles are really good at carrying the bacteria that causes the potentially fatal disease.
 

AFP/Getty Images
June 26, 2017 | NPR · Can the family of a slain Mexican teenager sue the federal agent who shot him from across the U.S.-Mexico border? The case tests a long-held doctrine called a Bivens action.
 

AP
June 26, 2017 | NPR · The nation’s highest court says it will decide the fate of President Trump’s revised travel ban in its session that begins in October.
 

Arts & Life

Illustration by CJ Riculan
June 26, 2017 | NPR · In NPR’s Elise Tries series, correspondent Elise Hu tries out new experiences in East Asia. In this episode from Seoul, K-pop dance steps prove too complicated for completion.
 

Courtesy of VH1
June 25, 2017 | NPR · “I try to tune out all the drag that’s out there and tap into the drag I was doing when I was a little kid — when I didn’t even know the word ‘queer’ or that gay people were out there,” Velour said.
 

June 25, 2017 | NPR · It’s wedding season! For this week’s Call-In, Mandy Len Catron, author of the new book How to Fall in Love with Anyone, answers your questions about love and relationships.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
June 26, 2017 | NPR · Molly Hamilton channels an animal’s mindset in the dreamily yearning first single from Expect The Best, due out August 25.
 

Courtesy of the artist
June 26, 2017 | NPR · One year ago, Let’s Eat Grandma arrived from out of nowhere, young in years but artistically mature and assured — and now the pair is out to reshape and retake.
 

YouTube
June 26, 2017 | NPR · Trent Reznor and crew are the latest band to play the “roadhouse” on Twin Peaks. In the TV show’s most caustic performance, yet, the band howls through “She’s Gone Away.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab