Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cities need lights

It has been several years since we were put under the dark sky ordinance. In that time numerous accidents and crimes have occurred that can be directly attributed to the lack of lighting. Years ago I was involved with the city of Hailey's lighting project. Studies were done and some very nice lights were purchased at immense cost to illuminate Main Street. The nice-looking lights made Main Street attractive and helped with increased safety as there were "black holes" out in the roadway for pedestrians to disappear in.

Then along comes Doctor Dark. He convinces the town councils of Sun Valley and Ketchum that the earth will end if we don't turn down the lights, Ketchum freaks out and adopts the ordinance. Not wishing to be outdone, Hailey says, "Hey, wait a minute—don't leave me out," and with little research goes along with K-Town. The great lights we have on Main Street are gone in literally days and the empty dark zones return.

Now, Dr. Pauley, I can't see how the lights on Main Street affect your life way up the Gulch in Elkhorn, and you probably do not ever have any reason to walk across the street in Hailey, although I may be dodging you on your way to the airport.

Hailey is a city, albeit a small city, and cities have lights, at least downtown. Please, Hailey City Council, use some of that intelligence that I know you have and revisit the safety of Main Street.

It's nice to not be over lighted in the housing areas, but really.

Robb Thomas


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