Hot Fudge Broken Streetlights

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Re: Hot Fudge Broken Streetlights

Postby Ansel Rakestraw » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:46 pm

Andy wrote:
It's not your imagination: There are quite a few lights out on Metro area freeways.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, about 20 percent of the approximately 5,500 lights along freeways in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties are dark.

The culprits behind the blackouts are an aging infrastructure, copper thieves and a lack of funds for replacements.

"We are responsible for about 5,500 light poles and also about 5,000 individual lights that are installed beneath overpasses," MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi said. "Right now we're estimating 1,100 outages to those poles for a number of reasons. First, we have removed at least 200 poles due to structural deficiencies that could cause safety issues."

According to Morosi, the poles were weakened by rust from decades of road salt, high winds, damaged barrier walls or crashes.

"We removed the poles to keep the driving public safe," Morosi said. "We intend to replace those poles, but there's no timetable because we just don't have the funds right now."

A major reason that so many lights are out is because of thieves.

"It's not like the copper thieves are running out onto the freeway and stealing copper from the poles to sell at scrap yards," Morosi said. "Instead they are attacking the transformer cabinets, many of which are actually located on the service drives.

"We are taking measures to try to keep the cabinets safe and secure, but for every move we make, the thieves come up with a countermove."

MDOT has even written about the problem of copper thieves on its website (michigan.gov/mdot), identifying the area around Interstate 94, east of I-75, as one of the worst hit by thieves.

"This is a crime that not only costs money, it's also costing lives," said Megan Sears, MDOT metro region communications assistant. "In October, a man was electrocuted at Putnam and Lawton streets, near I-96, while attempting to steal copper wire from a transformer. This is just one case out of many that happen every week in the city."


Morosi said MDOT electricians are working constantly on the lighting problem, trying to determine if the darkened lights are due to thefts or a worn-out infrastructure.

Morosi said the main problem with lights beneath overpasses (such as the extensive pedestrian overpasses on Interstate 696 in Oak Park) is the perception of the public.

"Some drivers question why all the lights in the underpasses are on during the daytime, but are mostly off at night," Morosi said.

"They think it should be just the opposite. But we are trying to closely match the lighting conditions outside on the freeway.

"If it's a bright sunny day, we don't want drivers to enter a long, dark underpass and then suddenly come back out into blinding sunlight."

The situation is reversed at night: Motorists driving at night will enter a somewhat darkened underpass rather than hit a long stretch of blinding lights.

"It minimizes the time drivers need to readjust their eyesight," Morosi said.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2013 ... z2Kxsi5VfI


Can anyone figure out a way to house copper in street lights (and surrounding transformer boxes) in a secure way? Or is it as difficult as splitting an atom? Fucking figure it out and quit pissing and moaning about thieves, it's not a new phenomenon.

I guess the blanket excuse is "We're broke, sorry."


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Re: Hot Fudge Broken Streetlights

Postby Random Douchebag » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:15 pm

Ansel Rakestraw wrote:
Andy wrote:
It's not your imagination: There are quite a few lights out on Metro area freeways.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, about 20 percent of the approximately 5,500 lights along freeways in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties are dark.

The culprits behind the blackouts are an aging infrastructure, copper thieves and a lack of funds for replacements.

"We are responsible for about 5,500 light poles and also about 5,000 individual lights that are installed beneath overpasses," MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi said. "Right now we're estimating 1,100 outages to those poles for a number of reasons. First, we have removed at least 200 poles due to structural deficiencies that could cause safety issues."

According to Morosi, the poles were weakened by rust from decades of road salt, high winds, damaged barrier walls or crashes.

"We removed the poles to keep the driving public safe," Morosi said. "We intend to replace those poles, but there's no timetable because we just don't have the funds right now."

A major reason that so many lights are out is because of thieves.

"It's not like the copper thieves are running out onto the freeway and stealing copper from the poles to sell at scrap yards," Morosi said. "Instead they are attacking the transformer cabinets, many of which are actually located on the service drives.

"We are taking measures to try to keep the cabinets safe and secure, but for every move we make, the thieves come up with a countermove."

MDOT has even written about the problem of copper thieves on its website (michigan.gov/mdot), identifying the area around Interstate 94, east of I-75, as one of the worst hit by thieves.

"This is a crime that not only costs money, it's also costing lives," said Megan Sears, MDOT metro region communications assistant. "In October, a man was electrocuted at Putnam and Lawton streets, near I-96, while attempting to steal copper wire from a transformer. This is just one case out of many that happen every week in the city."


Morosi said MDOT electricians are working constantly on the lighting problem, trying to determine if the darkened lights are due to thefts or a worn-out infrastructure.

Morosi said the main problem with lights beneath overpasses (such as the extensive pedestrian overpasses on Interstate 696 in Oak Park) is the perception of the public.

"Some drivers question why all the lights in the underpasses are on during the daytime, but are mostly off at night," Morosi said.

"They think it should be just the opposite. But we are trying to closely match the lighting conditions outside on the freeway.

"If it's a bright sunny day, we don't want drivers to enter a long, dark underpass and then suddenly come back out into blinding sunlight."

The situation is reversed at night: Motorists driving at night will enter a somewhat darkened underpass rather than hit a long stretch of blinding lights.

"It minimizes the time drivers need to readjust their eyesight," Morosi said.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2013 ... z2Kxsi5VfI


Can anyone figure out a way to house copper in street lights (and surrounding transformer boxes) in a secure way? Or is it as difficult as splitting an atom? Fucking figure it out and quit pissing and moaning about thieves, it's not a new phenomenon.

I guess the blanket excuse is "We're broke, sorry."


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Those won't solve too much. In rural areas, the panels will charge batteries and the thieves will steal those. Out west, ranchers and others with enough land for ground supported solar arrays have had the panels stolen. The thieves will scrap whatever they can. When the transformers are in the bases, any thief can get it. I've seen the transformers mounted in the air instead after repeated thefts. What did the thieves do? I saw one using a ladder to steal the damn thing. There is no solution short of electrified poles to fry the bastards that will deter them from getting what they want.
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Re: Hot Fudge Broken Streetlights

Postby helen lovejoy » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:44 am

The Beav wrote:
middle aged female wrote:
Andy wrote:Someone will have to pay for those street lights and it's gonna be our children.

And grandchildren; don't forget the grandchildren.


Cue Mrs. Lovejoy.


Won't someone think of the grandchildren?!
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Re: Hot Fudge Broken Streetlights

Postby Andy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:09 pm

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Re: Hot Fudge Broken Streetlights

Postby The Suburban Avenger » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:56 pm

Got off 94 (which was dark) onto Chalmers last night. It was kind of eerie.

I really hope something is done before it gets warmer or our Monday night bike rides might have to go somewhere a little brighter.
Not so much scared of the boogeyman jumping out at us, but more the idea of stopping to repair a flat tire or something in the middle of nowhere.
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