While city officials — and plenty of attorneys — are focused on the city’s financial restructuring as related to the bankruptcy case, efforts also are ongoing to restore some of the basic services for residents. Among them: public lighting. This week, WDET revisited two Detroit neighborhoods where the city is installing brand new street lights and spoke with the Detroit Public Lighting Authority CEO Odis Jones. Here are the stories with links to the audio:
Martina Guzman reports about the community-led initiative in southwest Detroit to brighten West Vernor Highway and replace 200 streetlights including new poles, LED lamps, underground wiring, sidewalks, curbs and landscape bed. “The Southwest Detroit Business Association and community businesses took matters into their own hands. They created an initiative to build a new lighting infrastructure along 2.3 miles of Vernor Highway.”
Travis Wright visited “Chaldeantown,” the area south of the old state fairgrounds just east of Woodward Avenue. He reports:
In a lot of ways, Chaldeantown could be considered a microcosm of Detroit. It has a deep history, bones to build on, and a sense of community. But it also continues to battle violent crime, mistrust of the police force, chronic de-population, and blight. Most of these problems might be resolved, says Dureid Kada, by turning on more lights in Chaldeantown.
“We’re prioritizing getting the neighborhoods lit first.”
Pat Batcheller spoke with Public Lighting Authority CEO Odis Jones, who says one of PLA’s goals is to reduce neighborhood crime.
The Public Lighting Authority’s next meeting is at 5 p.m., Thursday, June 5 on the 13th floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit.