ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — The streets are about to get much brighter around Atlanta. Officials unveiled plans on Tuesday to install thousands of streetlights and upgrade existing fixtures. The changes are expected to help reduce crime.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Councilwoman Andrea Boone (District 10) hosted a ceremony on Tuesday marking the start of the project.READ MORE: Volunteers Needed For Atlanta's Point-In-Time Homeless Count
“We really gave a lot of thought and consideration as to what are those proactive things we can do to prevent crime from happening in our neighborhoods,” said Bottoms.
The city partnered with Georgia Power to make the neighborhoods brighter and safer.
“Ten thousand street lights will soon be installed in the City of Atlanta,” Boone said.
The project includes upgrading the lighting on more than 3,100 roads covering more than 100 neighborhoods across the city. Bottoms said the project will reduce crime by 20%. Georgia Power officials say the energy-efficient lights will do much more.
“[It will] reduce the energy usage and provide some savings to the City of Atlanta, at the same time, reducing the carbon footprint by some 2,000 tons of carbon reduction,” said Georgia Power CEO Chris Womack.READ MORE: Local Puppies Making Their Debut At The Puppy Bowl XVIII
“We know that 75% of fatalities happen in dark conditions. So we expect to see not only the benefit in the reduction of crime, but also the reduction in pedestrian fatalities,” said ATLDOT Commissioner Josh Rowan.
Neighbors are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
“We are so excited to have lights in our community, so we can get back to the way we used to be,” said Cynthia Dunn-Duhart, who lives in the nearby R.H. Wright community.
“This is a wonderful day. The quality of life has gone up, and things like crime are going to go down,” said Eunice Glover, who chairs Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) I.
The city issued the following statement in a press release:
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The installation agreement follows a six-month streetlight inventory and assessment conducted by the Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) and a team of industrial engineering students at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). The audit:
Prioritized lighting needs based on crime data, crash severity, and current lighting coverage.
Identified the south and west sides of Atlanta as areas of highest need.
Identified the need for 7,500+ new lights and another 2,500 which require repairs.
Officials said they expect to complete the project by the end of 2022.