Local News

Dim Streetlights Get Upgrade In Parts Of Southeast Raleigh

Posted May 2, 2002

— How safe do you feel in your neighborhood? The city of Raleigh is working to make some of its residents feel safer. It all involves shining the light on crime.

Residents of Roberts Park in southeast Raleigh want the city to brighten up the area.

Paul Houcutt has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. He has one complaint about his piece of paradise -- his streetlights are too dim.

"Light it up so everybody can see it," he said. "Show the beautification of my home. I want everybody to know I live in a nice neighborhood, too. I don't live in a rundown place."

The city spent $25,000 to upgrade some streetlights in parts of southeast Raleigh. Councilman James West hopes the city will upgrade the rest of the area.

"We feel its time has come," West said. "This is a technique that will work in terms of public safety."

Do streetlights really cut down on crime?

WRAL checked out State Street, located just north of Martin Luther King Drive. Every pole there has a light, but last year, the street had more burglaries than most any other in the neighborhood.

"I'm not aware of any city that has put up lighting and done a study to see if its reduced crime," said Capt. Don Weingarten of the Raleigh Police Department.

Weingarten said brighter lights give a feeling of safety, and they can help out officers at night. He warns not to let the lights provide a false sense of security.

"The neighbors are looking for quality of life, they want safety in their neighborhoods. Increased lighting provides that perception of increased safety," he said.

West said the upgraded lights help give the area of the city a better image. It took more than 10 years for the city to act on the project.

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