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
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Following two high-scoring games in Kansas City, Game 3 of the World Series turned into a bit more of a pitcher’s duel as the Royals prevailed in San Francisco.
 

AP
October 24, 2014 | NPR · The massive auto recall announced this week is different from most. It affects more than one-third of air bags on the road and there are no simple fixes, short of a full air bag replacement.
 

AP
October 24, 2014 | NPR · The announcement follows the positive Ebola test that came back Thursday night for Dr. Craig Spencer, who recently had returned to New York City after a stint with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea.
 

Arts & Life

October 24, 2014 | NPR · The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Writer Michael Schaub recommends a book that explores what it’s like to run for office and live through all the dramatic ups and downs.
 

Getty Images
October 24, 2014 | NPR · In her memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, Diane von Furstenberg says she owes her success to her mother, a strong, strict Holocaust survivor who called Diane her “torch of freedom.”
 

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
October 24, 2014 | NPR · NPR film critic Bob Mondello reviews Listen Up Philip and Force Majeure — two movies, he says, with compelling lead men who are impossible to empathize with.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Join host Fiona Ritchie as she showcases new music from established artists and emerging talent.
 

Redferns
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Brown was one of the pioneers of R&B. In a 1993 session, she sang to host Marian McPartland’s accompaniment in “Skylark” and “Fine And Mellow.”
 

Tinnitus Photography
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Our recurring puzzler for careful listeners, this week featuring a selection of handpicked fills from Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Hear the drum fill (or intro) and match it to the song.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab