Friday, August 07, 2015

Open Season!

  • It’s our most visible alteration of the planet, easily seen from space: the millions of lights added to our cities due to our fear of the dark. We need them to keep our cities safe. Or do we? A series of studies on crime have revealed that we probably don’t need as many city lights as we think — and we might be better off without them.

    An excellent piece in Astronomy Magazine by Eric Betz explores what happened when about 100 British cities decided to dim or turn off their streetlights, either to save money on power or to avoid maintenance costs. About a third of the lights are now out in the UK. Surely the streets are running rampant with vice. As it turns out, darker streets didn’t mean more dangerous streets.

    Betz looks at a study by the University College London that crunched 14 years of data in 63 British cities, some of which had gone dark. The researchers examined both vehicular crashes and crimes in places where lights had been switched off
Free target practice for the Supe! This also means Rahm can lay off the light repair guys and stop buying bulbs for the ones that aren't working. Plus, the bill from ComEd will go down and the scrappers can start cutting down unused poles like lumberjacks cutting through an old-growth forest. Everyone wins!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course crime in formerly Great Britain is going down. They just learned not to leae their houses when the streets are dark. And if they do, their police are told not to report it. Burglarly is lost property, armed robbery isn't; sound familiar???

8/07/2015 12:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then there are the perfectly good streetlights being replaced by the modern arched 'poles' and fixtures. More waste. Not to mention that they're butt-ugly and so damned bright you need sunglasses at night.

8/07/2015 12:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After we get rid of the lights, we will start eliminating air conditioning and central heating. Then we can work on getting rid of indoor plumbing. That is Progress!!!

8/07/2015 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can just see it now,

"This is unit 12, we are pursuing a gunman at 122nd and South State Street. Can you pop a few star-shells for us?

8/07/2015 01:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Rahm will provide you with night vision goggles and FLIR systems. They will work as well as the data terminals and the heating in the cars.

8/07/2015 01:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am happy to see SCC agrees with the British study and the fact that less street lights is a win win situation. Not only that it saves electricity thereby helping to fight climate change. It is the green thing to do. I look forward to darkened streets in Chicago.

8/07/2015 02:31:00 AM  
Blogger SpankDaddy said...

It's a win-win.

8/07/2015 06:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The light in my alley is so bright you'd swear it was the sun shining all night. I can read a book sitting in my yard at night. I even had to buy room-darkening shades for my bedroom. Thought my working midnights and sleeping days time was over long ago.

8/07/2015 06:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep hearing that we are going back to the dark ages but I didn't think they meant turning out the lights .

8/07/2015 07:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, it is mostly in America that we have a lot of street lights anyway. Much of the rest of the world does not have quite the level of night time lighting we do, and there has not been any correlation to crime levels. This is not news, but something that floats around periodically.

There are a bunch of municipalities in the US that have reduced the number of street lights with no corresponding increase in crime.

8/07/2015 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASTRONOMY MAGAZINE wants to turn off the lights so they can see stars.

Will the city issue us night vision goggles that fit on the round crown caps from Daley/Vanecko Police Equipment Company.

Lighting up this city was the one great thing Old Man Daley did for us. Maybe Rahm should ask us if we want to go dark before they pull the switch.

8/07/2015 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the Last coal fired power plant is shut down the city won't be able to afford the power cost anyway .

8/07/2015 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dark is good. your eyes adjust to the darkness and see better. Night vision devices work and are getting less expensive. Save millions on electric bills.

8/07/2015 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lights are off again in North Lawndale at Kedzie and Roosevelt. It gets pitch black at night. Have they started the program already?

8/07/2015 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, the light in front of my place has been out for five weeks plus. Thanks asshole 23rd Ward!

8/07/2015 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a couple of wealthy Chicago suburbs that don't allow public streetlights. They feel they detract from the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Although it's dark when out and about, you don't have the headache inducing glare, light intrusion, and because it's so dark, you can't see what's worth stealing or who's worth robbing. I remember when Chicago switched from white streetlights to amber, and they got a lot of complaints about the high intensity bulbs. If you're on the outskirts of the city, you can see an ugly, eerie, yellow halo over the city. At least go back to the hunter green light poles instead of the ugly aluminum.

8/07/2015 05:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If my father were still living he'd be 102. He grew up in the Back of the Yards, and he recalled how every night at dusk, the "lamplighter" would walk up the street with a ladder and torch, and manually light each gas powered streetlight. I thought he was kidding until I read about it. Back then they did that every evening, and now when you call 311, it takes a month for them to just confirm that it's broken.

8/07/2015 06:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CDOT has been installing new lights at an amazing rate. The job has been mostly turned over to contractors since the city has cut the electrical construction crews from around 21 to 5.
The electrical department is mostly a maintenance/repair department now, and Rahm is trying to farm that out to his connected friends.
If there is a service request it sometimes takes weeks to repair an outage, but if a connected business or church requests a brighter light or flood light it will take precedence over an outage.

8/08/2015 09:04:00 AM  

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