Southern Arizona Chapter of IDA (SA-IDA)
"Light Pollution" - The Only Pollution that Costs More to Perpetuate than to Eliminate!
Agua Dulce Neighborhood News
Streetlights at Agua Dulce
At the annual meeting on February 4th the issue of putting streetlights
in Agua Dulce was discussed. Some residents would welcome the
increased sense of security. At the end of the discussion a showing
of hands suggested the overwhelming (we estimate 90+%) majority
favored the present dark streets.
Before we bought our home on Banner Mine, we drove in at night
and sat in front of the house for a long time. The dark street, the stars,
the view, and the peace and quiet were very appealing. We feel that
streetlights would threaten that.
An organization to oppose the proliferation of night lighting, the
International Dark Sky Association, is based in Tucson. It was
founded to protect observatories like Kitt Peak from city lights.
See www.darksky.org. They point to research that suggests
that crime rates do not change with increased night lighting; it
gives only a perception of increased safety.
The neighborhood vandalism has for the most part occurred
in already-lit areas such as the swimming pool or people's
driveways. We feel that the increased community awareness
has already helped prevent recurrences.
It was also mentioned at the meeting that the Tucson Mountains
Association, our neighbors surrounding Agua Dulce, would have
a negative reaction to any effort to add street lights.
Tucson Electric Power offered to put in the lighting "for free", but a
phone call to them said that was contingent on the electrical trenches
already being in place. Our research suggests that the annual
electricity expense per streetlight is around $200.
To conclude, we understand our neighbors' security concerns or
worries about encountering wild animals such as snakes or javelina.
We often walk in the neighborhood at night, and low lighting, especially
on the perimeter dirt paths, causes us to carry a flashlight and/or stay
in the street. Small accent lights, rather than high street lights, might
improve path visibility, but not change the essential character, the dark
skies, the stars, the city views, of Agua Dulce.
Robet Blackett and Debbie Harrison
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