Atlanta begins to add 10,000 streetlights to reduce crime

December 18, 2021 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — Work has started to install 10,000 new streetlights across Atlanta in a move officials hope will help reduce crime.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was joined earlier this week by Georgia Power’s Chris Womack, city transportation commissioner Josh Rowan, and City Council member Andrea Boone to celebrate the launch of the citywide “One Atlanta — Light Up the Night” project, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Rowan said Atlanta is already replacing some of the 2,500 broken lights in the city, and there are plans to install 7,500 new lights, especially in the south and west sides of the city.

At Tuesday’s ceremony near the Hamilton E. Holmes MARTA station, Westside resident Cynthia Dunn-Duhart told the newspaper she was happy to see the work begin.

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“When we moved here we didn’t need lights, but as things changed and the elements in our society changed, we were met with darkness,” said Dunn-Duhart, who is 70 years old.

“We’re very excited because lights will dispel darkness, which is a criminal element in the city, and our communities are comprised of older people,” she said.

Bottoms said the new lights will also reduce traffic accidents, “furthering our Administration’s mission to build safe, welcoming and thriving communities in Atlanta.”

The work is expected to improve right-of-way lighting on more than 3,100 roads in more than 100 neighborhoods. Additionally, the LED lights could provide a 40% drop in the city’s energy use and lower its annual carbon footprint by approximately 2,000 tons.

“The City of Atlanta is replicating successful lighting initiatives implemented in New York, Detroit, and other U.S. cities that have seen significant reduction in crime and crash rates,” Rowan said.

The mayor’s office said it hopes to have the project completed by the end of 2022.