Are ‘unsafe conditions’ really a priority for Cleveland Public Power? 19 Investigates

Five days after alerting CPP to dangers in downtown Cleveland, we found several broken light poles had still not been removed or repaired.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 1:45 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - After 19 Investigates exposed a dangerous situation with broken light poles in downtown Cleveland, the question still remains: when will the city get everything fixed?

We found several safety hazards up and down Chester Avenue, including the jagged, rusty metal remains of light poles sticking up from city sidewalks and broken streetlamp posts being held up with rope.

19 Investigates first alerted Cleveland Public Power to the hazards on August 2 and we were told the broken poles were “a priority for repair.”

But five days later, we discovered many of the hazards had still not been repaired or removed.

In areas where we found unsafe conditions we have marked them to keep the public safe,” a CPP spokesperson wrote in a statement emailed to 19 Investigates on August 3.

The following day, we noticed only one of the dangerous poles had been marked; city workers had tied two pieces of caution tape around a rusty pole that was completely broken off of its base and is currently being held in place by a rope that is tied to a tree.

We called CPP back on August 4 to ask why they had not lived up to what they promised in their statement. A few hours later, we went back to check again and found orange cones and more caution tape had been put up to mark the hazards on Chester between East 17th and East 21st Streets.

As of Monday morning, the cones and caution tape were still there but no repairs had been made.

We did see CPP crews taking some action on Friday further up Chester Ave., between East 30th and East 33rd. They finally removed a light pole that had been laying on the sidewalk for at least two weeks. Workers were also spotted cleaning up some of the wires we found dangling out of open panels at the bases of several metal poles between East 30th and East 55th.

So when does the bigger fix come? The one that will really eliminate all of the dangers we discovered?

19 Investigates will continue to follow up and make sure everything gets replaced or repaired.

CPP said Cleveland residents can report broken streetlights to their 24-hour automated Street Light Outage hotline at 216-621-LITE (5483). The automated system provides a tracking number that allows you to track the progress of repairs.

Have you been dealing with broken streetlights or fallen poles in your neighborhood? Give us a call at 216-250-1618 or send an email with photos to