Detroit Suburb Literally Rips-Out 1,000 Streetlights, Darkens Town

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If you can't pay your electric bill, turn the lights off, but why remove them?
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Wrong...
There are entire sections of the city of Detroit which are totally and completely abandoned... Ripping down whatever is left of the long vacant houses, digging up the streets and underground utilities and removing the old street lights which will no longer be needed...
Detroit is actually being made smaller... If they remove 10,000 street lights they won't be putting any of those back in within any reasonable time frame, certainly nothing on the order of 3 years... Detroit is actually starting to clean up the long empty and decaying sections and is shrinking through these efforts to actual be the size its population and tax base can support... ~~ Evan
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Sometimes the lights belong to the utility. If so, then the utility may be the one wanting them back.
--
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On 11/5/2011 6:38 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

Like many older urban areas, metro Detroit is made up of lots of tiny cheek-by-jowl towns/townships that can't afford to provide their own basic services any more. Entire area needs to be made into one government, or at least dissolve the towns, townships, and cities, and do it all at county level. But that would put a whole lot of Boss Hoggs and blue-haired old clerks out of work, so it will never happen. It is a very common problem- nobody wants to give up turf, so instead of two governments merging and surviving, they both end up basically failing.
Or to put it simply- if driving through, you can't SEE a border, there shouldn't BE a border.
-- aem sends...
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That's *way* too simplistic. Many cities have grown to have a common border but are very distinct entities, often with different priorities (bedroom community vs. industrial, high-tax vs. low-tax, etc.). People have consciously decided which is best for them and have voted with their feet. One size does not fit all and there is no reason for government to try to force uniformity. Do you think the federal government should force states together?
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You are obviously not familiar with what is going on in Detroit. The city has lost about 40% of it's population. There are whole neighborhoods of abandoned house, and blocks with maybe one occupied house. The city is bankrupt - you don't get any tax revenue from empty houses.
The only hope they have is to focus the little money they have on neighborhoods that actually have residents. They aren't guying new anything, much less LED lighting.
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On 11/5/2011 9:27 AM, Robert Neville wrote:

Are there any "taxpayers" actually living inside the city limits of Detroit? Perhaps the city should die? Then people with that good old American pioneering spirit will move in and rebuild the place but only after the vermin have found another habitat. ^_^
TDD
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On Sat, 05 Nov 2011 09:54:49 -0500, The Daring Dufas

That appears to be what's happening. The city is trying a "controlled collapse" or perhaps "providing cover-fire for the retreating residents" is a better metaphor.
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" snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz" wrote:

That does not appear to be the situation.
I suggest you have a look at this:
http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/08/26/highland-park-in-the-dark-dte-removes-street-lights /
An 8-minute video shows a 2-man crew removing a light pole (the lamp itself was already removed by another crew a week prior).
It really makes no sense to remove the pole.
This appears to be a fully functioning and populated street. Well-kept lawns, no vacant homes, etc.
They way I read this story, DTE (the electicity utility) owns and operates the lights - not the municipality (Highland Park).
Highland Park owes $4 million to DTE, and the lights apparently cost $62k per month to operate. As part of some sort of agreement with DTE, they are changing some lights at intersections to more efficient (but fewer) type, and removing many residential lights (with those streets going completely dark).
You'd have to ask DTE why it's cost-effective for them to send out crews to completely remove these lights (poles and all) instead of just throwing a breaker to turn off the electricity to them.
I suspect the answer is - insurance (which is the answer for most of the baffling and seemingly illogical things that people and corporations do).
My guess is that if Highland park doesn't want to turn on it's residential street lights for the forseeable future, then DTE doesn't want to pay the insurance premiums for having those public infrastructure items standing there - even if they post just a remote liability risk.
======================= HIGHLAND PARK IN THE DARK: DTE REMOVES STREETLIGHTS
BY PAUL LEE
Two contractors for Corby Energy Services of Bellville, Mich., remove the DTE street light from in front of my home at 150 Massachusetts, Highland Park, on Aug. 19, 2011. It took all of seven minutes to complete.
The citywide removal of street lights was done under the euphemistic name Highland Park Lighting Improvement Project, which was careful to downplay the fact that the lights on the STREETS, as opposed to SOME of those at the intersections, would NOT be replaced.
When the bulbs were removed last week, the contractors were followed by a private investigator, wearing a police badge, apparently because DTE was concerned about the reaction of residents most of whom know little or nothing about this program.
DTE and the mayor have justified the removal on the basis of a debt-forgiveness and cost-saving arrangement. When I asked city native and former city Emergency Financial Manager Arthur Blackwell, whose mother lives a few doors from me, about the arrangement, he replied, Its a great deal, particularly in light of the citys population loss.
However, most residents are only learning about this program as the lights are being removed, and many are concerned about the possible ramifications on safety, particularly of our children and older residents. Below is a report on this by WWJ-TV (CBS), =========================== Detroit:
Street Light Upgrades Leaving Residents In The Dark
August 16, 2011 6:17 AM
HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) Highland Park residents say the lack of street lights in their city leaves them fearing for their safety.
Reporting live from Rhode Island Street, WWJs City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas found it pretty dark there in the early-morning hours. The street lights and many others throughout the block had already been turned off and they would not be coming back on.
The residential streets have no lights, but the intersections have lights now, resident Diane Parren told Vickie. They just recently did that so its still a major concern because the fear is still there.
Crews are in the process of installing new, more efficient lights at intersections, so one light will replace about six of the old street lights. Intersections and main roads, such as Woodward Avenue, will stay lit.
My concern is for my mom, said Parren. Shes older and with the street lights being out, its sort of confining her to the house. She doesnt come out after dark, and shes concerned as I am about the neighborhood and things that could happen in the night
Mark Hackshaw, president of the Highland Park Business Association, isnt happy about it either and is also concerned.
The membership is very concerned and the residents of the community are very concerned, for all of the obvious reasons, said Hackshaw.
Elene Robinson, a write-in candidate for mayor said the city should use solar lighting.
I dont understand how a city so small hasnt applied for government money to be focusing on bringing solar to the municipal building and to our street lights, said Robinson.
Mayor Hubert Yopp says the city owed DTE Energy $4 million and the new plan puts the city back in the black with the utility. The citys monthly bill will go from about $62,000 down to about $10,000. (VOD: DEFINITELY PUTS THE CITY IN THE DARK! INCREDIBLE!)
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can easily be reused. The poles, I am not sure since I can only find costs of having them put in on Google. At the list price of $400-750 for pole, installation, transformer, etc. I can't see how that could be terribly cost effective, either.

someone other than DTE and DTE has to pay some kind of rent to use the right of way, it might be in their best interests to take em down. I'm not really all that familar with how that works.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

They probably removed the lamp fixtures (bulbs included) not so much with re-use in mind as it made removing the whole thing easier. They're going to end up with a whole lot of fixtures in storage - far more than they will ever need to use for replacement of busted fixtures that are still in use in their service area.

I highly doubt that.
Utility companies don't normally pay for right-of-way on city property. These poles are probably on city property, on a utility easement that is granted to utility companies.
When a utility puts up a pole on an easement, they can rent the use of the pole to another utility (cable, phone, etc) but I don't think there's normally a cost paid to the city to have access to the easement.
Some easements are on private property, and you don't see that home-owners get payments when they have a 10-foot-wide easement running along their back yard fence.
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Home Guy wrote:

Or, they will put them on (many) 18-wheelers and sell them to the power companies in Houston, Dallas, or Beaumont.
They could probably make out like a bandit by selling the light poles to Homeland Security to erect along the Canadian border. A light every fifty feet or so would, in the opinion of some fool in Washington, no doubt cut down on illegal border crossings by 37.8%.
There is probably actual math somewhere supporting this.
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HeyBub wrote:

Is there a shortage of residential street lights in Texas?

You couldn't pay me enough to live in the US, let alone think that the average Canadian would cross illegally if given the chance.

I bet there wasn't even 38 illegal crossings made into the US last year across the whole northern border.
But don't worry.
Honeywell or General Dynamics or some other mega gov't contractor will convince your congress otherwise.
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On 11/5/2011 6:34 PM, Home Guy wrote:

I'm not worried about my Canuck friends, it's the OTC who may try to slip in from the Northern border. All the Canadians I know are cool (no pun intended) folks. ^_^
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

What's "OTC"?
Over The Counter?
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Other than Canadians.
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On 11/6/2011 8:47 AM, Home Guy wrote:

Other Than Canadians.
By the way, are you harry's cousin, or something? Don't forget, if the US didn't exist, Canada (at least in current recognizable form) probably would not, either. The countries grew up together, albeit along different paths.
--
aem sends...

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Home Guy wrote:

Yes. Dimebox, Texas is almost all dark, while Cut-N-Shoot is not much better. Pflugerville is coming along nicely.
We have long lines at the border of folks trying to get in. Fortunately, we have street-lights all along the Louisiana border. New Mexico, not so much.

He would, and does, to buy stuff that he can't get in Canada.

Even if it's only 37, in the words of our Secretary of Homeland Security, "Thirty-seven is too many."
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HeyBub wrote:

I must be missing something, because I have no idea what you're talking about.
Is metal theft so bad in Texas that it's darkened the streets of so many towns, causing a street-light shortage?
Or did these towns not have street lighting in the first place, and they're thinking that now is a good time to get some?
Or did a bunch of tornados rip them up over the summer, causing a street light shortage?
Explanation required.

Who's he?

Oh the horror of Canadians doing some cross-border shopping in the US!
Oh the tragedy of the added commerce and sales to those destitute US border cities!
News Flash: I wouldn't call it an illegal crossing when a Canadian drives over to the US to do some shopping - and then returns back to Canada later that day. Wouldn't it be great if Mexicans were doing the same thing?
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Home Guy wrote:

Ah, sorry. Both Dimebox and Cut-N-Shoot are, in places, pretty dark at night. More street lights are needed. Urgently.

Uh, no. It's just that many Texas towns are growing faster than the stree-light manufacturers can turn out product.

Neither. The towns are growing. There are now THREE grocery stores in Dimebox (although one does sell cattle feed and guns).
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