New LED streetlights in Cleveland sparking debate

The city will be installing 61,000 of the new lights over the next 18 months as part of a $35 million project.

New LED streetlights in Cleveland sparking debate

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - New LED streetlights are going up in neighborhoods across Cleveland.

The mayor and other leaders said it’s part of a plan to improve neighborhood safety and also cut down on energy costs.

Over the next 18 months, 61,000 of the LED streetlights will be installed.

About 1,000 will be equipped with surveillance cameras to feed video directly into the Cleveland Division of Police’s real-time crime center.

Residents are stating to notice the upgrades and, so far, the reviews have been mixed.

John Paul, who lives on Flowerdale Avenue where lights were recently installed, is concerned there’s too much light shining into his home

“We didn’t realize it was going to be as bright as it was until last night,” Paul said.

"When it came on it was like being on a baseball field. It’s like being downtown at Progressive Field. The lights are shining on you.”

He’s also not happy that the lights are illuminating one side of the street and not the other.

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Paul isn’t the only one sounding off on the new setup.

People are giving their two-cents on the website reddit.

When the city announced the lighting upgrades earlier this month, they made it clear there would be more light.

“These lights will have greater illumination,” Mayor Frank Jackson said.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley said, “When you go about the business of neighborhood revitalization and strengthening neighborhood, you start by making the neighborhoods clean, make it safe and make it bright."

The city said the lights are designed to cut down on energy costs and better attack a top complaint made to city Hall—crime.

“As we know, light and visibility... are the enemy of crime and disorder,” Police Chief Calvin Williams said at an earlier news conference.

The lights are equipped with features that include remote control to brighten or dim lights.

19 News reached out to the city and Cleveland Public Power to learn more about the streetlight technology and how decisions are made. Neither parties provided a response.

Pierre Stolkowski also lives on Flowerdale Avenue, but he called the new lighting a blessing.

“I’ve been in this house for over 30 years and it’s never been lit up like that,” Stolkowski said.

“Before you couldn’t tell who was walking up and down the street and now its real lit up, real bright and it’s a blessing."

Paul said he gets why the improvements are being made, but he hopes modifications will be made.

“If there’s a way they can dim it, cone it (or) kind of angle it more so away from our windows, I think that would be the best thing to do,” Paul said.

Residents with concerns are encouraged to call city hall, contact their council representative or visit the city’s website.

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