Detroit plans to darken street lights to tighten up city

Detroit, whose 360 square kilometres contain 60 per cent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating nearly half of its street lights. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s plan would create an authority to borrow $160 million (U.S.) to upgrade and reduce the number of street lights to 46,000. Maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city $10 million a year. Other U.S. cities have gone partially dark to save money, among them Colorado Springs; Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Rockford, Ill. Detroit’s plan goes further: It would leave sparsely populated swaths unlit in a community of 713,000 that covers more area than Boston, Buffalo and San Francisco combined. Vacant property and parks account for 96 square kilometres, according to city planners.

Toronto Star

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