Feb 25, 2014 8:58 PM by Greg Dingrando

City unveils new street light system downtown

COLORADO SPRINGS - One of the busiest parks in Colorado Springs just got brighter.

Tuesday the city unveiled a new lighting system that will work like a giant dimmer switch. It's hooked up to street lights in Acacia Park and along Tejon in the downtown area.

When there's not a lot of people out they can keep the level low, but when it's busier they'll be able to crank them up, making it brighter and ultimately safer.

When the sun goes down in and around Acacia Park it gets dark in a hurry. It's a complaint businesses near by hear all too often.

"A little dark at times and it makes them feel unsafe," said Cammie Collins with Terra Verde.

And many say its even worse inside the park and perhaps no one knows that more than Douglas Meno.

"Last year I basically got mugged. I got beat up in this same park because of how dark it was," said Meno.

The idea of the new system is to prevent things like that from happening by cranking up the lights. The engineers who put it all together said its going to make a big difference.

It's approximately twice the light coming out the fixture so on the ground its obviously brighter," said traffic engineer Robert Helt.

Prevention is the main goal, but if there actually is a crime, police can turn it into a valuable too by requesting the lights be turned up so they can see better.

If it works like the city hopes it will bring in some more foot traffic to the area and that's good for both businesses like Terra Verde and people like Meno who like to walk in the park.



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