20 August 2012

Katy moves on street light faults

| johnboy
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In general Canberra is a dark place at night thanks to the selfish bastards on Mount Stromlo who don’t even do real astronomy from that site any more.

But apparently Chief Minister Gallagher is so concerned about faults in the street light system that she’s been moved to institute a weekly report from Territory and Municipal Services to let people know what they’re doing:

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher, today announced there is now a new way for members of the public to find out about the status of the more complicated faults to the streetlight network.

“A weekly report will be issued on the Territory and Municipal Services’ (TAMS) website which details the status of underground cable faults in the streetlight network. These are the sort of faults that can take weeks to repair as they require excavations on public/private land or the use of a machine to bore under trees or a road or driveway,” the Chief Minister said.

“We recognise that the community places a high level of importance on street lighting and want to be kept informed about how long they may have to wait until repairs can be made. This new weekly report will list those locations with cable fault reports that have been scheduled for repair.

Was this a burning issue for you?

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Gungahlin Al10:59 pm 22 Aug 12

There may be an issue with ineffective street lights in the older suburbs, but let me assure you that it is precisely the opposite in any newer areas. We have lights on steroids. I can do the gardening at night time by the street lights. And forget looking at the stars except in the back yard where the house partially shields some of the worst ones.

The worst of though is that we can go up to any high point around Canberra and see virtually every street light. What’s that about? Any street light so poorly designed so as to project light UPWARDS should never be installed – it is just wasting energy and taxpayer money for no benefit at all.

And yet, the LDA and TAMS continue to install exactly these poorly designed streetlights throughout every new suburb. “They conform with the Australia Design Standards” is the response – so what? They don’t conform to the “see them from the top of a mountain” standard, which I think makes eminently more sense.

It is perfectly feasible to use streetlights that are designed so that all light is thrown only downwards over a sharply defined area – and not just streetlights. When I was a councillor we designed lighting for a new multisports complex surrounded by homes and under the final approach to the Sunshine Coast Airport. These lights were on 24 metre high towers and the lighting was to just one step below TV standard. Yet none of them were even visible when on from the surrounding houses, let alone from above. Wouldn’t mind betting that won’t be the case for the new Manuka lights!

Oh and John – there is still astronomy done from Mount Stromlo. Local company EOS have a large telescope and laser beam that is used to track spacejunk and avoid collisions. There are several other research telescopes up there too. But yes it is a great shame that the state of our light pollution has meant the biggest scopes were not rebuilt following the bushfires.

It took them 3 months and 6 phone calls and emails to fix carpark lights in Mawson.

How the hell are they going to manage to actually get the work done AND tell us how they are going about doing it?

I thought that the main problem with Canberra street lighting was that a lot of powerlines aren’t located on streets but on the rear fence line of houses. This means that there are less places to hang street lights.

But yes, Canberra street lighting is piss poor.

neanderthalsis11:38 am 20 Aug 12

I thought the point of street lighting in Canberra was to make it darker?

The lights on my street are really just feeble puddles of light in the otherwise Stygian darkness of suburbia. The lights that actually work seem to be enveloped in trees, dissipating their light to the point of total ineffectiveness. Those not shielded by trees don’t work.

After the bushfires they seemed to stop using the orange street lights in areas closest to Stromlo (that would supposedly affect instruments), so I think that excuse is now out of date….

In general Canberra is a dark place at night thanks to the selfish bastards on Mount Stromlo who don’t even do real astronomy from that site any more.

Is that actually the reason? I’ve always thought the street lights in the ACT were pretty crappy and didn’t do a good job of illuminating anything.

it is, at least, an excuse for not doing it properly.

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