Street Lights on BI

Do we really need all the street lights burning away all night long? Most people are home in bed or at least undercover for the most part after midnight. Well, I know there are some night owls who are out roaming all night, but I really don't think we need all the lites going all night!

People back in the days when I was a yo'un managed to get from place to place in the dark without all kinds of lamps to light the way. Granted there were a few lights around, and we usually ran "hell bent for election" from one pool of light to the next! You know, those ghosties and vampires don't like the light so we thought we were safe. It was a long way between most of them though.

In this time of lost jobs and higher prices for virtually everything, it seems to me to be the ultimate folly to be spending $40,000 a year, burning that old fossil fuel, so that the nocturnal roamers, beasties, bugs, and bumbling homo-sapiens can see where they are going. Isn't that what flashlights and headlights are for?

So too the Town Council and Manager I say, "Turn off those lights on the streets and at the town hall, the school, and every other muni building in the town"! And we should also as individuals dump the outside lights on our houses as soon as all are on board for the night! To add insult to injury, they have just finished installing about a dozen huge lights up at the airport which I hope, will NOT be left burning throughout the night waiting to guide some lost wanderer into its luminous arms. It is an unconscionable waste!! And besides, when those street lights are out, I have a much better view of the night sky! Ursa Major is getting unruly! TIFN


Sam said...

hehe, it would only be about $20,000 a year if you had a fair electrical rate!

Deirdre said...

I see your point, but turning the street lights off begs the question (two fold):
- How will anyone see where they are going after one too many and/or on the ensuing (and somewhat more embarrasing Walk of Shame that follows)?
- If that person falls in a ditch, who would take over the liability case? Surely not James Suk-a-lot?

Seems like the $40,000 a year is potentially a lot less than what someone could win with the help of a professional ambulance chaser.

Just a though.

Everett said...

Hi D, And isn't that falling in a ditch or whatever, a chance you take if you go walking in the dark? There is that thing which is soooo foreign to the people of this country anymore called, personal responsibility. If you want to go walking after dark have the forethought to take along a flashlight for when you are near a ditch, hole, another inebreiated(sp) soul,herd of wild attack deer etc.! I'm also using the general, not the personal, 'YOU" here. The Town should not be responsible for every misstep taken by it's denizens. Oh well, I'm dreaming again!

Susan F. said...

Having a streetlight that shines into every bedroom at night, I can say I'd love to have that thing turned off. But knowing the corner I am on, (Old Town Road before the duck pond heading away from town) I think there are a few that are warranted.

The question I have is this: Can we put in a lower wattage bulb at least. It's near daylight in front of my house at midnight. And as experience has shown me, the light seems to be a perfect place for those late night stumblers to start talking as loudly as they can, or yell, or have a seat and do both, or have a fight.

I am not complaining. I got used to it after the first summer. But the wattage is a small fix that could yield savings. And I'd rather have that streetlight than the runway style glowing signs that have gone onto some of the dangerous curves on the island.

Sam said...

Yes, there are ways to reduce street lighting through different kinds of lamps and even shading to prevent light pollution. These are usually very large lamps mounted on telephone poles and such.

There are a hot of other municipal lights used as well, such as halide, fluorescent, and halogen lights. All can be changed out for softer lamps or reduced wattage.

Interestingly, lights used for security and emergency used are completely different than what are used for street and operational night lighting. The cops, EMS, fire, and rescue services really don't need them.

That was funny about busting your foot at night. I actually did that on BI after hopping the breakwater for an hour before dusk. The sidewalks weren't so good in those days and I whacked my foot bad, YEOUCH. The cops thought I was drunk because I was stumbling so bad. It was funny and they actually helped pretty good. -sammie

marusso58 said...

Hey what ever happened to the Block Island Blog???????

Everett said...

I keep waiting for her/him to come back on but------

Deirdre said...

I hear what you're saying- and I completely agree. I would love to see the Island lower its street lights, the same way I love it when major cities like Boston turn down the lights, too bad it has to be a special occasion and newsworthy when it happens. Wasn't there some policy in NYC a few years ago where they turned down the lights in the buildings between certain hours to save the lives of hundreds of pigeons that inadvertendly fly into the windows around dusk?
Sorry- didn't mean to momentarily hijack the comments. Street lights turned low is a great idea all around- sadly, as you well know, common sense ain't caught up to reality yet & it would only be a matter of time before some loser sued the Town because they tripped over a stone wall and landed square in the middle of a thornbush.

Sam said...

I've fallen in blackberry brambles before but poison ivy, that was the pure-D worst. I think Everett is cultivating poison ivy on purpose because he's mad at all the McMansions or something!

Story: our little town built a new Town Hall and they put up some ridiculous "antique" fake lights out front, although each was triple 500 watt lights. The citizens howled and a lawyer said "I can't wait for those to cause a traffic accident." A month later, the lights were turned way down. and completely off after midnight.

It does work when you ask sometimes. -sam

Anonymous said...

How come no christmas lights at town hall?

Everett said...

I took a little ride around the Island after dinner this evening, we finished about 1930. On the tour we passed three cars and not one damn soul walking! It is December 20th, just who in hell are these lights burning for? Is it really necessary to keep them all on all night on the off chance that someone may be out for a walk. It is ridiculous!
The newest piece of chain-link fence just connects to the one that has been there for 35 years! It has a bigger jog in it where it was moved toward the road from further in the old driveway. All it does is enclose the new parking lot. What for? to make it more secure? From What? The other one was a "step over" fence and we had very little to no vandalism in there. One more instance of the old fortress mentality. That one piece from the east side of the gate to the old stone wall does NOT NEED to be there!
The lights? turn them off along with all the street lights! Now Please!

Everett said...

In case you got lost there above, the chain-link fence rant was in response to the story in the paper yesterday!