Bright Lights, Safe Nights wins Planning & Design Award

night_street_lightingOn October 17, the Planning Commission celebrated the very best in planning in our community with its 31st Annual  Planning & Design Awards presented by Tampa Electric at Maestro’s at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. A wide variety of projects were recognized. An Award of Merit in the Investment Category was presented to the City of Tampa Transportation Division, Tampa Electric – TECO Energy, and KCA Engineering Consultant for their work on Bright Lights, Safe Nights.

Mayor Buckhorn’s 2011 The Buckhorn Plan included a visionary program to determine where City street lights need to be updated, repaired or replaced.  The City partnered with Tampa Electric Company in 2012 to provide infill lighting to improve overall quality-of-life, increasing safety for bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles on streets and sidewalks.

Installations are along streets in high crime grids, with high crash rates and priority sites within Community Redevelopment Areas. Quality is assured by an inventory identifying dark spots, monitoring dimming lights, and removal of tree branch obstructions.

This $450,000 annual program adds approximately 1683 new street lights expanding the current network by 30%, through 2017.  The return on this cost-efficient investment is 11 to 1. The public participates in this program by calling a dedicated phone line or an online Customer Service Center to request new street lights or through their neighborhood groups.

The judges applauded this comprehensive investment to neighborhood safety and livability, as well as the recurring theme of public-private partnership to achieve these types of projects certain to give us a ‘brighter’ future.  Congratulations on this investment in our community certain to improve bicycle, pedestrian, as well as vehicle safety!