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
August 17, 2017 | NPR · Top ranking uniformed leaders of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and National Guard all posted on social media condemning racism, hatred and extremism.
 

Ravi Romel Sharma for NPR
August 17, 2017 | NPR · Two years ago, Carolyn Beans — plant biologist, flower farm worker and daughter of a veggie-grower — thought she had what it took to coax a bounty out of her tiny urban garden. She was wrong.
 

AFP/Getty Images
August 17, 2017 | NPR · Ten immigrants were found dead among the nearly 40 people who sat in a sweltering truck’s trailer in San Antonio. Agents say James Matthew Bradley, Jr., 60, was sitting in the cab of the truck.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
August 17, 2017 | NPR · Sex is such an inextricable part of pop music, it’s easy to overlook, but NPR Music critic Ann Powers rectifies that in her new book, a portrait of America’s obsession with sex as it manifests in pop.
 

August 16, 2017 | NPR · TV and movie producers are looking to the shelves for inspiration: a number of popular shows and films this year started as books.
 

August 16, 2017 | NPR · Elvis Presley died 40 years ago today in Memphis, Tenn. Tens of thousands of fans have gone to his Graceland home to commemorate the singer.
 

Music

NPR
August 17, 2017 | NPR · Sex is such an inextricable part of pop music, it’s easy to overlook, but NPR Music critic Ann Powers rectifies that in her new book, a portrait of America’s obsession with sex as it manifests in pop.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 17, 2017 | NPR · In this Nashville songwriter’s hands, an examination of the wounds wrought by relationships is an occasion for exacting honesty.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 17, 2017 | NPR · For this Nashville-based power trio, it’s all about hitting the sweet spot between leanness and brawn, swagger and craft.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab