Half of Detroit's Streetlights May Go Dark

Mayor wants to nudge people to move to better areas
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2012 6:31 PM CDT
Half of Detroit's Streetlights May Go Dark
Detroit's mayor wants to turn off streetlights to condense the population.   (Shutterstock)

Detroit's population has shrunk 60% since 1950, and officials say it's time to condense the city. They're taking a simple approach: Light the areas where they want folks to live. Mayor Dave Bing wants to cut the number of streetlights nearly in half, from 88,000 to 46,000, reports Bloomberg. He's got a head start of sorts given that 40% of Detroit's streetlights are broken and the city can't afford to fix them. Bing plans to create a lighting authority that would borrow $160 million to upgrade those that remain.

"You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population," says the city's chief operating officer. "We’re not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas." Michigan Governor Rick Snyder backs the idea, which would require state legislation. The move probably won't do much to rid Detroit of its most-dangerous-city label. (More Detroit stories.)

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