BDC gets response on street light issue

Last week we wrote that the Ballard District Council was concerned about the number of street lights that are out or malfunctioning around Ballard. The President of the council, Jennifer Macuiba, received this response from Jorge Carrasco of Seattle City Light.

Good Afternoon, Ms Macuiba:

Thank you for your email informing us of malfunctioning street lights in the Ballard area. We share your concern for public safety in regards to proper lighting and as you know, we have multiple initiatives underway to become more proactive and less complaint-driven on this issue.

I would like to address a misconception: The fact that the Ballard area is not scheduled for our re-lamping efforts until 2011 does not change the priority we give to customer reports of street light outages in the area. I want to assure you that trouble tickets have been generated for each of the lights you have reported to us and our repair crews will address these lights within ten working days. We will contact you at the end of that time period to give you the status of the repair efforts. While many lights can be repaired quickly on the first visit, there are others that require additional efforts that may take more than ten days to coordinate, schedule and complete, but we will be able to give you the status at the end of the ten day period.

If you have any questions regarding our reporting and repair process, please feel free to contact our team lead for the street light improvement initiatives, Brad Coms at 206-684-3091.


Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

21 thoughts to “BDC gets response on street light issue”

  1. Thank you BDC for a wonderfully thorough job. It would also be nice to see a Seattle City Council person in Ballard sometime also.

  2. Real swell. WTF about all of our friggin ancient signals at most intersections? Are we 2nd class boobs in Ballard? Is it that much to bring an intersection into this century? C'mon people. Just where are our tax $$ going anyway? I'm talkin a simple fix here. No rail. No tracks. No referendum. To elections. Just something as simple as allowing everybody to move along businesslike. Perhaps this would also ease people cruising fast through side-streets too? Just a long-term complaint of mine that one day might just catch on right here. Anybody else incredulous? Hope I spelled that correct.

  3. Absolutely. I can tell you where that tax dollar goes, right into union centric jobs programs, a pathetically fat and lethargic city council, an even more fat and useless King County Council. And now…

    …more evidence of their 'good and noble work' on behalf of us taxpayers.

    Yeah, I'm sick of the B.S. and can't wait to change my avatar!!!!

  4. What a surprise, another intelligent discussion is born, Bjorn.
    So, you've bought the whole 'attack the messenger' bit, good for you.
    Do you have a thought about the waste of your tax dollars Bjorne???
    Or do you just leave that up to us idiots?

  5. You're right, I haven't listened to you in years because you've become a little NW Rush Limbaugh. The republicans have run this country into the ground.

  6. First of all, I'm not Dori.
    Second of all, my comment was about local government, and there isn't any republican influence here, which explains why we are doing worse than the national stats, right? Clue less!
    Another point. Dori isn't a Republican, nor an apologist for them, they've screwed up plenty as well, but those kind of real facts aren't the issue, are they?
    If they got a 'D' in front of their name, no reason to question right? What a joke…

  7. not really clear on what you are proposing… is there a specific intersection that is a problem or every intersection? is it just the lights that need to be fixed or are there design/constructions problems that need to be addressed? and when you say 'everyone', do you mean peds, bikes, cars, buses and freight? or something in particular?

  8. To be honest, this makes me sad. I know I'm in an incredibly small minority, but I'd really like to see every other light turned off. It would save millions of tax dollars every year, without sacrificing safety.

  9. Me too. I hope they don't figure out that the light in front of my house is out. There is plenty of light without it and it wouldn't make me feel any safer. I don't want my neighborhood lit up like a Christmas tree, and the added cost is a waste of money. Others will no doubt disagree…

  10. Actually, just yesterday they replaced ALL of the bulbs at my intersection with the new LED bulbs, which are WELL DOCUMENTED TO BE HARMFUL TO SLEEP, plus are four times brighter, and shoot most of their light sideways rather than down. It was like high noon in my apartment, all night, with the blinds closed tight.

    I couldn't get to sleep until 4:00 and I am very tempted to take the nearest one out with a rock.

    This is horrible, and everyone at City Light should be fired for coming up with it.

  11. The LED light also don't warm up light the old school light so when there is a freeze they will be harder to see and ice over. Not that we get big freezes here

  12. I know in other cities you can request that the city install a shade on the light to prevent light being directed toward your dwelling. Basically, it's just a strip of metal/plastic that hangs down about a foot, attached to the rim of the light along the side facing the dwelling.

  13. Apparently there are three pluses for the LED lights:
    1. Much, much less electricity to run (saves $$, carbon, salmon)
    2. Much less likely to need repair/maintenance, saves more money
    3. The brighter, whiter light promotes safety and feelings of safety that encourage more pedestrians, which makes us actually safer. (Studies have shown, and no, I can't find the link, that the yellow streetlights make people feel less safe walking around.)

    Sorry your sleep is troubled, but I'm surprised this is a problem with the blinds shut. And I haven't seen any “WELL DOCUMENTED” proof that LED light disrupts sleep more than other ambient outside light.

    Here are some comments from the folks on Capitol Hill, who seem mostly happy with the change:

  14. Fuzzbeans, calling the difference “night and day” would be so literal as to barely constitute a metaphor. Despite living right on busy Ballard Ave, with the old streetlights and the blinds closed the apartment would be so dark I needed to use the light on my cellphone to find my bed. With the new lights, it's high noon inside 24 hours a day!

    I'm not convinced that light emitted in a psychologically disconcerting spectrum contributes to a feeling of ease. The problem with prior Seattle streetlighting had less to do with the incandescence and more to do with their failure to aim at sidewalks in many parts of town. That could be fixed with fewer side effect than these are creating.

    Please read this article from The Stranger on the health hazards of the LED lights:
    Even before reading that article, I had been advised against being around LED lights the last hour before going to bed and had already reverted my bed-side lamp back to incandescent light.

  15. Interesting story. Here's some other info on places where specifically blue light may have improved people's experience outdoors at night:

    BTW, I use an LED reading light at bedtime and I still can fall asleep while reading even a really good book. Perhaps different people have different sensitivities?

    We've put dark velvet curtains in our son's room to make sure the early sunlight and late sunlight in the summer don't interrupt his sleep. Perhaps they might help you too? (We got ours at Ikea for a reasonable price and they will hem too.)

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