Private Streetlights?

Every day I have more than one smart-aleck remark on the news, and occasionally a deep thought.  Sometimes I can even tell the difference.  Rather than continue to pepper my friend’s Facebook news and email boxes with them, I’m going to start posting a link page, with comments.  Here’s the first.

Mayor’s last-ditch effort to save Detroit would privatize 88,000 streetlights

I think this really mean out-source – tax money to a for-profit contractor.  It reminded me of a report I’d seen last week on an energy-saving streetlight system being installed in Spain

New System of Intelligent Management of Street Lighting Enables 80% Savings in Energy

This works by having sensors to determine whether there are people or cars on the street, and dimming the lights if there are not.  It is also networked.

Seems to me Detroit could truly privatize its streetlights by using EZPass – turning lights on for only those walkers and drivers who have paid for the privilege.  After all, why should those of us who seldom go out at night pay for lights for those who do?

On the other hand, maybe making things nicer for each other helps us all – cleaning up vacant lots has reduced gun violence, vandalism, and stress in Philadelphia neighborhoods, and people are getting more exercise. And people in Manchester and Sheffield, England, say they would pay more in taxes for public landscaping with natural areas and trees.

Especially for those who think Solyndra was just another example of US government corruption and waste – Scientific American reports that perhaps Solyndra failed because Chinese subsidies for its solar industry were bigger than ours.

And especially for my Texas friends:

Mr. Perry said Monday night that “I’m the first to admit I’m not the most polished candidate out there.”

Well, what is that on his hair, then?

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2 thoughts on “Private Streetlights?

  1. We have a street light outside – it was installed by the previous occupants and runs off our electricity. We have a switch inside and we choose when it’s on (not often). It’s a track rather than a road that runs past our house however.

  2. Trust me, you want your street lights on. Light is your cheapest form of security. No lights? Crime sky rockets!

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