The Watchdog

On again, off again: We’re talking street lights, not romance

Updated: 2014-01-20T04:46:18Z

The problem

What Patty Scott experienced while driving at night on 119th Street wasn’t the stuff of “Alice in Wonderland,” but it was curious nonetheless.

Between Quivira Road and U.S. 69, the Overland Park resident said, all the streetlights would go out. Then after about three minutes, they’d start to come back on again.

The answer

To save money on energy, Overland Park has been having the streetlights come on later at night and turn off earlier in the morning.

“However, we have experienced an equipment malfunction that makes them more sensitive to vehicle headlight glare,” said Assistant City Traffic Engineer Bruce Wacker. “As a result, some of the lights cycle off for a brief time period.”

The city worked with the manufacturer to correct the problem, and a photocell was replaced earlier this month.

“Safety is a top priority for us, and having streetlights that function properly is important,” Wacker said.

The Watchdog says safety’s a top priority for him, too. That’s why he keeps his paws to himself.

Do you have a problem or a question about a public issue? Write to the Watchdog, The Kansas City Star, Newsroom, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send email to watchdog@kcstar.com. Include your name, phone number and city of residence.

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