“Some of the darkness may be by design” / 40% of Detroit’s Street Lights Don’t Work : The New Yorker

Some of the darkness may be by design. In discussing the street-light problem with Bloomberg.com last year, the Wayne State University law professor John Mogk said Detroit has a thinly spread population, with up to twenty city neighborhoods that were less than fifteen-per-cent occupied. Repairing the lights and delivering service to those areas is expensive and inefficient; prioritizing others is one way to congregate the citizens of a new, smaller Detroit.

That, of course, is small solace to those for whom the lights have gone out. For more than three hundred years, city governments have pushed back the fears of night with artificial street lighting. Prior to the bankruptcy, Detroit was struggling along, nearly half in the dark, with a new state-created Public Lighting Authority that would be able to borrow funds the weakened city could not. That authority’s ability to continue functioning will help shape the prospects of a now-dimmed Detroit.

via 40% of Detroit's Street Lights Don't Work : The New Yorker.