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Atlien
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have thought about starting a thread discussion on this for sometime now, mostly I think about it when driving I-85 from Gwinnett to Atlanta (or vice versa), and I run through Dekalb County where there is a stretch of no freeway lights. Am I the only one who is a bit annoyed by this? It seems like Dekalb County was to cheap/lazy to properly light up the busy freeway at night. This gives the effect of one feeling as if they have left the city only to reenter again a few miles down the road. It really does look dirty south cheap, IMO. Does anybody know anything about this, or why the DOT/Dekalb constructed such lack of consistency? Why have lights anywhere on the busy freeway if not all of it will be lit up? Maybe we could all write a letter to Dekalb's corrupt CEO Jones (hopefully he won't hire a hit on us) and get him to do something about it. I'm also a bit annoyed by the I-285 and I-20 lacking lights, but at least they lack them consistently! A good city needs lights, even on the freeway. Discuss.... :bash:
 

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The lack of lighting at 85/285 junction is definitely annoying. Maybe it has something to do with neighbors not wanting the light pollution that would result from that big heap of concrete getting road lamps?
 

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Atlien
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
nakedyak said:
i honestly can't think of what you are talking about. it can't be for very far
The stretch of I-85 running through Dekalb county, between Gwinnett and Atlanta, has no lights running down the freeway, so that part is dark when driving it at night. Basically, you go through Gwinnett and it is very well lit, and then you hit Dekalb and it is dark until you enter back into Atlanta. It is kind of inconsistent and needs to be fixed, especially with the traffic on that portion of the freeway in the evenings.

Here is an example from Georgia Navigator's live webcams, this is I-85 in Gwinnett, just north of the other pic, its kinda blurry but you can see the light poles along the median divide.


And this is I-85 in Dekalb near N Druid Hills, notice no freeway lights, its getting darker as you head into the city!


And here is a picture of I-85 in Atlanta with the lights, and this is just south of the Dekalb picture. Lights on... lights off... lights on!


These cams are live, so if you view them at night you'll really see the difference of what I am talking about.
 

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Poor lighting in the South, generally

I have always been troubled by the absence of lights on extremely busy streatches of Atlanta area freeways... Consider the northern arc of 285. My guess is there is a direct correlation between the number of major traffic related incidents and poor lighting on busy roads. I live in Chicago currently, and one of the things I like most about it when driving is how well lighted the freeways are... even in areas outside the city, including the Tri-State Tollway, the Edens deep into the subrubs, etc.

Apart from Atlanta, poor lighting on freeways seems particularly acute in Georgia and other southern states.... I moved from Chicago to Kansas City briefly, and was struck by how much darker it was there. Even allys in Chicago were better lighted than major streets there. Kansas City eventually adopted a measure to triple the lights on its freeways and city streets... expensive for the taxpayers, sure... but definately necessary. Lighting impacts one sense of well being. I could't quite figure out why I wouldn't walk the block and a half to the local Piggly Wiggly in KC, but it eventually occurred to me that it was because the street was so dark, I would walk in the middle of the street and not on the sidewalk. It might be a minor variable, but I think this is one of the reasons why crime rates are proportionally higher in southern cities than in other areas of the country.
 

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SkyHigh529 said:
when driving I-85 from Gwinnett to Atlanta (or vice versa), and I run through Dekalb County where there is a stretch of no freeway lights. Am I the only one who is a bit annoyed by this? ]

Around Metro, the inconsistency is a function of the fractious nature of Georgia's geographic, political units...You actually notice the same thing when you cross a state line from one state to another... one state spends more money on maintaining its roads, the other less. Notice the immediate difference in the quality of the pavement when you cross into Kentucky from Tenn... Tenn's roads are smoother, Kentucky's very rough. You notice it when driving within a state as you move from one political unit to another. Once when driving on I 24 in Tenn just after a big snow storm, I could immediately tell when I entered a different county - even without seeing the signs - because one country would treat its streatch of highway with salt or plow it and the next would not. It was bizarre. And where the counties are geographically small and have irregular shapes, as in Gerogia, you're crossing boundaries very quickly.. sometimes two different counties within a mile.

Unfortunately, the Governor Sunnie, the State Legislature, and Sandy Spring areas residents won't think about these kinds of issues as they seek to become a "gated community".
 

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Atlien
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Amazinblue, thanks for the great points, I enjoyed both of your posts and I think you are probably right in some way about city lighting in regards to crime rates/traffic accidents. Metro Atlanta needs to get its act together and light up its roads. I-85 in Gwinnett, and all the freeways inside Atlanta are very well lit, but for some reason Dekalb is to busy voting in corrupt mob boss like CEO's to run the county, and Cobb is off fighting over stickers in school text books.....
 

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I'm glad some people are noticing this problem. Good work SkyHigh. I moved from Milwaukee to Raleigh many years back and was totally taken back by how dark metro Raleigh was. Even on the major interstates and thoroughfares, you'd have tons of traffic... but NO LIGHTS. It was very dangerous and, you are right, made it seem like the South was not as developed as the North and would perpetuate any negatives stereotypes people may have of the South being rural, backwater, and undeveloped. I noticed Atlanta, for a city of its size, also had a lack of lighting. The perimeter I-285 should be lit, for instance, by using other developed cities as a standard. But I think things like this will happen in time--Southern metros are relatively young in their developement. Heck, during my 3 years living in Raleigh I noticed that Charlotte, just in that span of time, got street lights on some of its major freeways. BTW another thing that the South has to work on in regards to development is to put its traffic lights on real poles and not hang them up on cables. I can see this slowly happening, too.

But if you think the South is dark, you should check out California! For all the bragging that Californians do regarding their cities, you'd think they would be developed, urban monsters, but even the urban mega freeways in LA do not have street lights on them! At least Atlanta HAS freeway lights! ;)
 

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[

But if you think the South is dark, you should check out California! For all the bragging that Californians do regarding their cities, you'd think they would be developed, urban monsters, but even the urban mega freeways in LA do not have street lights on them! At least Atlanta HAS freeway lights! ;)[/QUOTE]

I noticed this about LA many years ago.. however, the difference between Atlanta and LA is that Atlanta has a lot of tree cover (which I love), yet that tree cover obscuers the city's light. LA, with relatively little vegatation, is luminious... light reflects off the hills, etc., so you really don't notice the absence of lights as much. To some degree, there are areas in Metro Atlanta where you get similar luminiosity. There is a stretch of I 75 just north of I 285 in Cobb. The sound barriers along the freeway are painted in a color that reflects light. It actually is a rather interesting effect as it offers a good deal of light that is low...right at the road level... It is kind of pleasant.
 

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Atlien
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yoyoniner said:
BTW another thing that the South has to work on in regards to development is to put its traffic lights on real poles and not hang them up on cables. I can see this slowly happening, too.
lol. I agree with you 100%. I love the South, and I love Atlanta, but the traffic lights that could substitute for clothes lines need to go! Hopefully, Atlanta will start on the major roads like Peachtree, and then work its way to the lesser travelled streets. But that is definitely an asthetics issue I'd like to also see addressed.

And in regards to the light problem, did you see the live webcam photo's I posted above? It is dark now (11:30PM at time of this post), and you can see the inconsistency on I-85. Light-Dark-Light. Keep in mind that those pictures are all taken in the northeast Atlanta area, so we're not talking miles apart here. I just don't understand why Dekalb won't spend a little money to light that portion of the freeway, it just makes them look poor or cheap or both not too.
 

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Atlien
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
amazinblue66 said:
I noticed this about LA many years ago.. however, the difference between Atlanta and LA is that Atlanta has a lot of tree cover (which I love), yet that tree cover obscuers the city's light. LA, with relatively little vegatation, is luminious... light reflects off the hills, etc., so you really don't notice the absence of lights as much. To some degree, there are areas in Metro Atlanta where you get similar luminiosity. There is a stretch of I 75 just north of I 285 in Cobb. The sound barriers along the freeway are painted in a color that reflects light. It actually is a rather interesting effect as it offers a good deal of light that is low...right at the road level... It is kind of pleasant
Yes, I too love Atlanta's tree cover, it's one of my favorite things about this city. The only drawback is that it looks so dark at night from above, so you don't get as much of the city lights feel that you do out west or in the northeast.
 

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No city is Darker at night than Raleigh, NC.
It is horrible here, not even the Freeways has lights at night. It look, like I am still living in the country.

But most of the south is Dark.
On the opposite if you want to see lights, Go to Phoenix, AZ, the freeways are lit everywhere.

Phoenix's Freeways









 
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