Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced in October an initiative to add 8,400 new streetlights in the city over the next five years. Tampa plans to spend $2.2 million increasing the total number nearly 30% above the current 30,000 streetlights. Buckhorn’s “Bright Lights, Safe Nights” program takes on a problem that contributed to the death of a pedestrian hit by a car on a dark 43rd St in November 2011.
As part of the new program, announced jointly with TECO, the city’s transportation division will conduct an annual citywide inventory of streetlights. Dim lights will be replaced. Tree branches blocking lights will be trimmed. New lights will be installed starting in January and will be targeted in areas that have higher rates of crime and car crashes, as well as in the city’s designated community redevelopment areas of East Tampa, Ybor City, Tampa Heights, Drew Park, Central Park, the Channel District and downtown.
“We’ve had a number of pedestrian fatalities that have occurred at intersections and on streets in our community where perhaps the lights could have been stronger, the lights could have been brighter, or there could have been more lights,” Mayor Buckhorn said. “Those young moms who are walking on our sidewalks and crossing our streets will now have streets that are well-lit and are safer.” East Tampa community leaders welcomed the program, saying it would make the area safer. “It’s going to create neighborhoods where our elderly people can feel free to walk, even at night,” said Reverand T.W. Jenkins, Pastor of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.
Details courtesy of tampabay.com.
Image courtesy of synergylightingusa.com.