Detroit has 88,000 streetlights, 40 percent of which are broken, and the city can't afford to fix them, according to Bloomberg.
Mayor Dave Bing has a plan that would borrow $160 million to upgrade and reduce the number of streetlights to 46,000. The maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city about $10 million a year, according to the article. The city's plan would also leave sparsely populated areas unlit in a community of 713,000.
"You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population," Chris Brown, Detroit's chief operating officer, told Bloomberg. "We're not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas."
Detroit's budget has struggled due to shrinking income and property-tax revenue, leaving residents with unreliable buses and strained police services throughout various parts of the city, according to the city.
Detroit isn't the only city to go dark in an attempt to save money, Santa Rosa, Calif., Rockford, Ill., and Colorado Springs, Colo., have all done it. Colorado Springs reduced its number of streetlights from 25,600 to 16,600 in 2010 to save $1.3 million, David Krauth, a city traffic engineer, told Bloomberg.
EMAIL: [email protected]