The District of Columbia department of transportation plans to remove 1,200 street lights from the city's neighborhoods over the next few months in an effort designed to cut costs. City officials say the removal will not affect public safety in those areas.
"We are convinced that we will be providing the amount of light everyone will find to be sufficient," said city director of transportation Douglas Schneider. The city, which beefed up its streets lighting shortly after the riots of 1968, did so in haste, adding far more lighting than needed, he said.
"What we are doing on some of these streets is taking out every other light," he said. "You don't need four street lights on one corner, but there are corners where we have it," said Schneider.
Schneider said the proposed removals been reviewed with the police department. Where police officials objected on the removal of lights, the transportation department concurred, he said. He also said that the police had recommended other areas where dimming the lights would not adversely affect public safety.
By removing the lights the city expects to save about $100,000 in the remaining months of this fiscal year on the total street lighting bill of more than $8 million.
Besides haste, the fact that the city was less cost-conscious then than now and the fact the energy crisis was not anticipated led to overlighting, Schneider said. "We have to consider the fact that we genuinely need to bring energy costs under control or we will end up with too much of the budget devoted to lighting streets," he said.
One area of the city where few of the sodium vapor lights, which cast a peach-colored halo over the city, were installed was in upper Northwest Washington west of Rock Creek Park. "They never would let us go in with the lights," said Schneider.
Lighting on the following streets will be reduced, in most cases by the removal of every other light. CAPITOL HILL
East Capitol Street between 2d and 22d Streets (RFK Stadium).
Pennsylvania Avenue SE - 2d Street to Barney Circle.
Massachusetts Avenue NW - SE from Union Station to 19th Street.
Streets surrounding RFK Stadium including Independence Avenue.
C Street between 19th and the East Capitol Street Bridge.
22d Street between East Capitol and C Street NE.
A Street between 19th and 22d Street NE. CENTRAL AREA
Massachusetts Avenue NW between 7th Street and Union Station.
New York Avenue between 7th Street and North Capitol Street.
7th Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Pennsylvania Avenue between Rock Creek Parkway and 3d Street NW.
K Street between 25th and 13th Streets.
Connecticut Avenue between Lafayette Square and Dupont Circle.
17th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and K Street.
E Street between 6th and 14th Streets.
Indiana Avenue between 5th and 7th Streets.
3d Street between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Avenues.
New Jersey Avenue between Rhode Island Avenue and E Street.
23d Street between Constitution Avenue and P Streets.
Constitution Avenue between 15th and 4th Streets.
Independence Avenue between 14th and 3rd Strees.
14th Street between Independence and 14th Street bridges.
G Street between 11th and 15th Streets.
11th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and H Street. NORTHWEST
Georgia Avenue between Florida and D.C. line.
14th Street between Park Road and Crittenden Street.
16th Street between U Street and Crittenden Street. FAR NORTHWEST
Connecticut Avenue between Dupont Circle and Taft Bridge.
Massachusetts Avenue. EAST OF THE ANACOSTIA RIVER
East Capitol Street between RFK Stadium and Southern Avenue.
Benning Road NE. between the River and East Capitol Street. UPPER NORTHEAST
Rhode Island Avenue between North Capitol Street and Eastern Avenue.
New York Avenue between North Capitol Street and D.C. line.
Bladensburg Road between Mt. Olivet Road and Queens Chapel Road.
West Virginia Avenue between Mt. Olivet Road and New York Avenue.
South Dakota Avenue between Bladensburg Road and New York Avenue.
Benning Road between Bladensburg Road and the river.
North Capitol Street between Louisiana and Michigan Avenues.
Harewood Road between Michigan Avenue and Taylor Street.
Brookland Avenue between Michigan Avenue and Taylor Street.