Arlington residents wonder: Who turned on the lights?

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on September 19, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 20 at 4:38 PM

ARLINGTON — The street lamps along Green Oaks Boulevard light up the night. That's great for drivers, but not so great for Don Tynes, who said the light pollutes his backyard.

"Put a shroud on it to black the light to go down where it needs to go," Tynes said. "It doesn't need to go into people's backyards and back windows. That's just intrusive of the city."

His high-powered telescope now sits inside. Tynes said there's so much light coming from the nearby utility pole he can no longer photograph the starry nights from his backyard.

"Anybody that looks at that would just not believe it," Tynes griped. "It's just way, way too much light."

The City of Arlington said it had dimmed alternate street lights on major thoroughfares about 12 months ago to save money and energy. This year, the City Council deemed street lights a budget priority, citing safety concerns.

"There's been a lot of feedback from citizens, and when the dust settled during the budget preparations, the mayor and council directed us to turn the lights back on — which we've done," said Bob Byrd, Arlington deputy city manager.

The city said shrouding or redirecting lights is just too expensive to consider at this time. The city is doing some experiments with LED lights elsewhere, but it said those fixtures are also too expensive for wider implementation.

So Tynes and the other night owls may just have to live with the light.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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