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
December 9, 2016 | NPR · The president-elect’s team has sent 74 questions to the federal agency, including many about climate-change-focused personnel and programs. The department’s lawyers are examining the request.
 

Getty Images
December 9, 2016 | NPR · Everywhere we looked in the news this week — in prisons, politics, online — we found strains of racism. It even shows up from beyond the grave.
 

AP
December 9, 2016 | NPR · The bill, passed less than an hour before the deadline, will keep the federal government running until late April. Coal-state Democrats had been protesting provisions that affected miners.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
December 9, 2016 | NPR · Denmark’s Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film is Land of Mine, a movie about German boys disarming landmines left behind after World War II.
 

December 9, 2016 | NPR · President-elect Donald Trump will retain a credit as executive producer of the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice. The new season, with new “boss” Arnold Schwarzenegger, premieres January 2. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says no one but Trump knows how involved he will be, but the news seems to contradict NBC’s past assertion that it has severed business ties with Trump.
 

December 9, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro talk with Deadspin columnist Drew Magary about his hater’s guide to the Williams-Sonoma catalog.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
December 9, 2016 | NPR · The Grammy-winning saxophonist plays Duke Ellington standards with host Marian McPartland in a 1994 session.
 

Youth Radio
December 9, 2016 | YouthRadio · One week ago, a fire ripped through an Oakland warehouse that was being used as a music venue and artist community. Hear the music of four up-and-coming electronic artists who died in that fire.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 9, 2016 | NPR · While he was working on Atlanta, Donald Glover was also gathering musicians for soul jam sessions. “Awaken, My Love!” is an album of ’70s throwback sounds that feels thrillingly alive.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab