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Northeast Ohio leaders call for a more coordinated lighting repair effort

Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 14:13:18-04

Some Northeast Ohio leaders and advocates are calling for a more coordinated lighting repair effort when it comes to dealing with broken or burned-out street and bridge lights.

Cleveland safety advocate Robert Carillio told News 5 he reported two more outages he believes are safety issues in key areas of the city, to both ODOT District 12 and Cleveland Public Power.

He pointed to dozens of brand new lights that weren't working on the ODOT Shoreway West bike path project, and the East 9 Street bridge lighting near Progressive Field, which is the responsibility of CPP.

Carillio believes it's critical CPP, ODOT and the City of Cleveland do a better job of working together, and take a more proactive approach in locating broken lighting.

"When it rains, it causes blackout spots," Carillio said. 

"It's very hard to see, if an animal darts out on the road, you can't see it."

"I've written, I've copied ODOT, CPP. I've copied the city, I've called the city. I've done everything that you could possibly be expected to do."

Cleveland Councilman Kerry McCormack agrees burned out light repair is a key safety issue.

McCormack said lights that have gone dark are an even bigger problem, now that more people are biking and walking to and from work to the downtown area.

He's hoping the city will launch its massive LED initiative no later than this coming Spring, replacing 61,000 lights citywide. 

"Look, we have more folks who are riding their bikes, that are walking to and from work, from the near west side to downtown and other places," McCormack said.

"The new LED lights will last 10 times longer.  They are self-reporting when they lose energy or when they're out, and that report is supposed to go over to CPP."

News 5 contacted ODOT and CPP about the recent outages, and both agencies moved quickly to make repairs.

Meanwhile, Carillio is hoping all the agencies involved will do a better job of communicating with each other.

"Nobody is on the same page when you report to one, one says it's the others job," Carillio said.  When you report to that one, they say it's their job."

"I mean motorists are affected by this, walkers, bikers, everybody.  They need to up the game in doing the follow-up maintenance on this."