2018-07-19 / Letters to the Editor

New lights are not what island needs

To the editor:

In the late 1990s, the planning commission kept our old streetlight fixtures and limited the type and number of light sources allowed on Jamestown.

The term “rural character” is a mostly obsolete term in the comprehensive plan. In the past, it was used to control light pollution on the island. There already is too much light pollution from Quonset, the Naval War College, the Pell Bridge and all the unenforced light spillover of commercial and residential properties in Jamestown.

Driving over the bridges at night, you notice Jamestown is darker than the communities giving us this pollution. Now, the town leaders want to join in a “street-lighting venture.”

This venture is to buy our streetlights from National Grid and change these fixtures to LED, in the interest of saving money despite the fact the town says, “it’s too early to determine possible savings” on the $67,500 bill. If we buy the system, questions of maintenance, additional tasks, contractors and or equipment for the Department of Public Works come to mind.

Turn 50 percent of the streetlights off and save $30,000; 75 percent and save $50,000.

The road of government is paved with good intentions and unintended consequences. I’m all for conserving electricity and reducing our town’s carbon footprint, but let’s do something with known savings. Replacing what we have with brighter fixtures is a bad idea and goes against the “Dark Sky Initiatives” referenced in the comprehensive plan.

William “Bucky” Brennan
Narragansett Avenue

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