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May 01, 2008

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chris

Maybe those people should ask those of us who use the lake regularly (many times at night) if we want lights and you'd hear a resounding yes. It's hard running at the lake at night (or early morning) but often it's the only temperate time of the day to run there. Also consider that the prime running months (fall through spring) have very little light after 5 or 6 pm. You have no objection for me on lights. Do it.

Christina Hughes-Babb

Chris brings up a good point — especially once summer hits, I run early in the morning when it's still dark. I never go to the lake on those runs because I usually run alone and well ... it's dark out there! With more lighting, I could feel better about taking my more scenic/more enjoyable lake route.

Brian

NIMBY's at it again. It's a city park. It's classified as a PREMIER park. Lights are the next logical step. It will extend the usable hours of the park, which is the intended purpose of a park.

Brian

Norman Alston

It is,indeed, a park. It is not a road (even though it increasingly looks like one) and it isn't a 24 hour fitness center. I would certainly agree with those that think that introducing significant amounts of artificial lighting into a park facility whose primary attraction is nature is an inappropriate step. Counterproductive, actually. This is parasitic development without the profit motive. Extending access at the park diminishes the very things that make the park attractive in the first place. And for those who care about sustainable design, such indiscriminate lighting is completely contrary to those principals. It's actually illegal in some places. I'll save discussion of laughably calling sodium vapor lighting "golden white" for another post.

I exercise before dawn year round and have never had a problem with security on the trails around White Rock. That's because I don't go there. I use a very small portion of the hundreds (thousands?) of miles of well lighted streets and sidewalks we already have and have paid for. They are all tree lined or have tree canopies above them. That's all you can see in the dark, anyway, no matter how much artificial light you introduce.

Not NIMBY but NIABY..."Not in Anyones Back Yard". Unnecessary costs to contribute to light pollution. What a bad idea.

Brian

If you'd like to discuss sustainable design as it relates to electricity consumption, cool!

In Texas, we get 50% of our generation capacity from coal. Coal plants generate electricity on a consistent basis. They can't be turned down at night and turned up in the morning. The electrical grid hits its peak demand during the early afternoon hours. Therefore, generation capacity has to be built and run to support peak demand. During non-peak time, that extra electricity is simply wasted.

These lights are going to be run during non-peak times, so we will actually become more efficient at using the electricity that is being generated because we're creating off-peak demand.

So please, don't use the green angle as an excuse. It is false.

Norman Alston

I didn't and it's not. I was specific about light pollution, not electrical usage.

Since you brought it up, however, remember that the City will only get charged for that electricity if it is used by the lights. No lights, no expense. While I wouldn't want to have to pay it, I recognize that it is a very small expense when considered against the overall costs to power City facilities. But it's still redundant and therefore, arguably, wasted. The generation capacity, as you noted, is also essentially wasted.

Come to think of it, you've pointed out something else. JSiegel might find this of interest. Folks are being encouraged to invest in CFL bulbs for their homes as an energy conservation step, despite their increased cost, poor color rendition index (when compared to halogen) and mercury content. Yet lighting accounts for only 8.8% of electrical usage in the average American home. The trade off is to reduce demand and ultimately require less capacity. But burning lights at night, when they are needed, means they are only using excess capacity and have no real effect on peak demands. Very interesting.

Bill

The lights may not deter crime at all, but they may help with keeping the coyotes away from the trail.

Chip Northrup

When these 150+ lights around the lake were brought up - the plan was rejected by the City based on the utility cost !

They did not have the budget to pay for lighting 9.5 miles of trail all night

It was also rejected based on the light pollution - reflecting across the lake.

Some years ago, White Rock Lake Foundation (WRLF) proposed putting street lights around the lakefront.

Obviously the park requires some lighting - at the entrance to parking lots, etc.

The City did not want to pay for the project - neither the light poles nor the cost of the utilities - so it was rejected.

So WRLF took it upon themselves to raise the money themselves - as quoted in the Advocate, February 2005 =

http://www.advocatemag.com/uploads/pdf/ED_02_05.pdf?PHPSESSID=4ca1bc9ba447bbbdea7ee86fb05761b6

WRLF was unable to raise private funds for its project. Much say how they would pay the utility bill.

The WRLF website shows a rendering of street lights along the lake - during the day.

http://www.whiterocklakefoundation.org/lighting.html

So WRLF got Parks to find money in the spillway repair project and got an earmark in a bond issue.

As reported in the Dallas Observer on May 1st

http://news.dallasobserver.com/2008-05-01/news/white-rock-lake-neighbors-want-to-know-whose-bright-idea-it-was-to-install-lights/

Hossley Lighting Associates, a lighting vendor, was brought in as a "consultant" by WRLF and Parks http://www.hlalighting.com/

The lake shore lighting plan was done by Hossley, WRLF, Parks (Willis Winters), and a DPD patrol officer.

Only Hossley knew anything about lighting - the WRLF are laymen, Willis Winters is an architect, and the DPD officer was a beat cop.

Parks rubber stamped the final plan - with no input from the neighbors or neighborhoods.

And the contractor started putting in the street lights in parking lots on W Lawther - until the neighbors started to complain.

Councilman Kadane called a halt to the project, and a called a meeting for May 22 at 7:30 at Winfrey Point

The City's cover story on this project is the need for "more security".

But from a security standpoint, the need for this much lakeside lighting has never been demonstrated.

Most crime in the park is burglary of motor vehicles (BMV) - during the day - approximately 8 BMVs per year on W Lawther

Lighting lake front lots won't prevent that. They will just enable burglars to see into parked cars - and burglarize them at night.

Lakeside lighting will attract more people to the park after the midnight curfew.

So on balance, over-lighting the lake shore could make crime go up in the park - not down.

Security cameras would be a better deterrent - they work day and night.

The real crime here is the number of lights proposed around the lake = a $500,000 contract to spoil the lakeside views every night for everyone.

If you cannot attend the meeting on the 22nd, tell Councilman Kadane what you think about lighting up the lake shore at night:

sheffield.kadane@dallascityhall.com

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