Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let there Be Light

Some time ago, a big ol' tow truck ran into a street light located along the west edge of Garfield Park. Neighbors noticed; the city did not. Well, that's probably not entirely true. Someone in the city must have noticed, because the ruined street light was a removed, and an orange and white thingamijig (I'm sure there's a more formal term) stood straddling the light's base.

In swoops NW. A neighbor brought the missing light to the attention of a Councilperson Paula Lantz, a regular attendee at the meetings. She did a little investigating. Come to find out, a number of sights in her district were awaiting replacement lights. Lantz worked with the appropriate city departments to order replacement lights and stayed abreast of the project's progress.

And now, I am very pleased to announce Garfield Park is home to one of these new lights. Thank you, dear neighbor, for thinking to bring this issue to the attention of our Councilperson. And thank you, Paula Lantz, for your work on our behalf.

Let there be light!


  1. Nearly the exact same thing happened to a heavy Lincoln Park light post here on the 200 block of Garfield, only ours was caused by a drunk hit-and-run driver. It sat unrepaired for many months, but was finally replaced just a couple weeks ago after some prodding in November/December by Ms. Lantz. The replacement looks great and our neighbors don't have to leave for work in darkness anymore.

    Joel Risbeg

  2. Here's a stupid question: Why does replacing lights take the involvement of a Council member? Did she provide funds from her personal account to initiate the process? I always cringe a little bit when the machine gets clogged and a politician is needed to clear the jam. Squeak...squeak....squeak...

    Any info on why lights weren't being replaced would be particularly valuable. Are neighborhoods sitting in darkness because they assume the city will proactively fix the light?


  3. I watched with bated breath last night in hopes the light would turn on. It did not. I'm guessing it might take a day or two to get everything wired.

    @Joel: Is your light "on"?

    @Ed: My understanding is the funds were already available and set aside. I remain unclear why broken street lights aren't repaired as part of usual operating procedures. I imagine they are suppose to be. What gives?

    The community organizers over at Pomona Hope have a fascinating story to tell about their efforts to get street lights in a very dark neighborhood. If anyone out there knows the details of that organizing effort (and ultimate success story), we'd love to hear about it.

  4. Think about it part of your car insurance is property damage. The city will wait until the drivers insurance comes accross with the money to replace the light pole. If it takes a year so be it.

  5. Yes, the new Garfield light is on and working as it should. If only we could say the same about all facets of city government.


  6. Well, it's been about a week. Our light is not yet working. The vertical piece was placed last week -- hence the excitement and photograph. I've been waiting for the light to go on. No dice. The horizontal piece is not yet in position. Argh.