Dim, non-working street lights causing Springfield residents to question safety (WWLP)
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Some Springfield residents are feeling left in the dark due to dim streetlights, and lights that just don't turn on anymore.
“We have a lot of elderly people and children in our area,” said Audrey Jenkins of Springfield. “For us to come out at night time when it's dark and see what's going on around our house in the streets is a big problem without good lighting.”
Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman wants to audit the city's streetlights to assess the age, effectiveness, and technology of each light.
The DPW is currently in talks with Eversource to make the necessary repairs, but Eversource has said it will take six years to complete.
According to Lederman, about 600 street lights were repaired over the summer but there is still more work to be done.
“What we really need is a longer-term solution, technology we're using in Springfield is outdated,” said Lederman. “Out of all the big cities in Massachusetts, we're one of the only ones who have not undergone a full conversion to LED lighting.”
The city currently pays more than $3 million a year for operation of streetlights through an agreement with Eversource.
“We know there is a correlation between lighting and public safety, lighting and economic development and lighting and a better quality of life,” Lederman told 22News.
Lederman added that there are still hundreds of dark streetlights in Springfield. The city has nearly 14,000 street lights.