About half of Detroit’s streetlights may go out as the once-thriving auto city continues to shrink. Detroit has today, more than 60 percent fewer residents than it did in 1950. As of now, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights in the city are broken. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing sees the outages as the best course of action for the ailing city. Keeping streetlights off in certain portions of the city could save the city, along with other measures, $10 million a year.
Bloomberg reported that this is not Detroit’s first time trying such a move, “There’s already experience snuffing out streetlights within Detroit’s borders. Highland Park, a 3-square-mile city encircled by its larger neighbor, removed 1,100 of 1,600 streetlights last year, after piling up a $4 million debt to DTE Energy. The move saves $45,000 a month, said Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, a spokesman for the company.”
Many residents are not happy about the proposal, arguing that the lack of light could put people in danger. Children, students, the elderly and more could be in danger without light to guide them down the street, residents say.
Areas of the city, if deprived of light, could experience less business. Officials noted that the outages would be taken with great consideration.
The proposal is not the first of its kind in the nation. Other American cities have gone dark, including Santa Rosa, Colorado Springs, and Rockford, Illinois