Following last year’s project using federal stimulus funds to install 600 LED streetlights along El Camino and Alma, the Utilities Department has embarked on a multi-year project to replace all the old streetlights throughout the City. The first few thousand new LED street lights have been installed and people may be noticing!
What’s going on?
CPAU is now in the process of installing LED streetlights throughout Palo Alto. No neighborhood was “singled out” to get the new streetlights---rather, installations are being completed in stages.
It will take several years before we can get streetlights replaced in all neighborhoods. To read more and see a map of which neighborhoods are scheduled when, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/utilityprojects
Did the City ever ask the public if they wanted LED streetlights?
Yes, we sure did! Originally, a pilot program was run where LED streetlights were installed in various areas around town and the public was invited to comment on them. (The notice of this pilot and the opportunity for public comment was issued through several articles in the local media, the city website, the Utilities bill messages and on signs posted in the areas where the pilot streetlights were installed).
The feedback from the public who responded was generally positive, and, so, with the aid of a federal grant under the stimulus program, the first phase involved installing LED streetlights along Alma and the El Camino Real. The next phase was to start installing the lights in neighborhoods around town.
What are the benefits of LED streetlights?
- 40% lower electric use than less efficient older high-pressure sodium [HPS] lamps.
- Saves ratepayer dollars
- Is better for the environment
- 30% lower maintenance costs because LED lights don’t need to be replaced as often.
- Bright direct light increases visibility and discourages illicit activity.
What can be done for people who find the LED streetlights too bright?
Most people are very happy with the better illumination from these new streetlights. However, if a person has checked with neighbors on the block and there is agreement that the light level is a problem, they can send an email to Utilities Engineering at LEDStreetlights@cityofpaloalto.org providing name, location and contact info.
People will be placed on a waiting list of locations we will evaluate to determine which options available make the most sense in each case. Responding to customer needs is a high priority, but residents should understand that depending on the volume of requests, we may not be able to get out to evaluate their area for several weeks.
-- Information provided by Debra Katz, Utilities Communications Manager for the city of Palo Alto