NH is Getting Dimmer

Yesterday in the Concord Monitor was a story about how the DOT is getting ready to shut off half of the streetlights it operates on state highways.  
This is a consequence of budget cuts:

That process began after lawmakers reduced DOT’s budget last year, Boynton said. Its budget for utility costs was cut from $1.9 million during the 2010-2011 fiscal year to $953,000 for 2011-2012, he said. The utility budget was further cut to $815,000 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

This is what they’re considering:

DOT proposes eliminating all lights on bridges, interstate on-ramps and interstate underpasses, according to guidelines used for the streetlight inventory. Three lights would remain at interstate off-ramps, and one light would be kept on at intersections with traffic signals. Intersections with raised islands or “slip lanes” for turns would each have one light. Lights would be turned off at intersections with no traffic signals.

Because who needs to see on bridges, on-ramps, and underpasses?

As I ‘ve pointed out before, NH’s #2 industry is tourism. It’s interesting that we’re so willing to illustrate our state’s complete lack of vision to visitors from out of state.

Of course, if they can’t see,  maybe they won’t notice the banks of porta potties at the rest areas. I am curious, though – what kind of businesses will want to come to a state that can’t be bothered to light up their bridges at night? (and how many of those bridges are red listed?)

Back in February, Hamster Caroline French’s car broke down one night on an unlit bridge. Caroline calls this a “false economy” and she’s right. One lawsuit by the family of someone who is injured or killed in an accident as a result of this austerity will wipe out all of the “savings.”

Despot Bill O’Brien wants to cut even more out of next year’s budget. Last year the Wall St. Journal described NH as the wealthiest state in the nation, yet we’re so poor that we’re turning the lights off on bridges?

NH is deliberately poor. The people who have taken over our state (they can’t properly be called leaders) have a poverty of thought and vision that will result in the loss of everything we hold dear if we allow them to continue.  

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  • rames14779

    Energy and money is wasted with unneceessary lighting.  In Jaffrey, a streetlight committee put together by the town Energy Committee identified over 100 unnecessary streetlights that have since been removed.  The Town has saved money, we are wasting less energy, and the lights have not been missed.  Our streetlight committee also identified several state DOT lights that were both not needed and much too bright, but those were outside of Jaffrey’s jurisdiction.  I welcome the DOT initiative.  

    • susanthe

      You’re speaking of lights in your town. This concerns lights on bridges and highway onramps and underpasses. Please read the letter I  linked to, written by someone who broke down on an unlit bridge.  

      • StraffordDem

        DOT Bridge Operator James Hayes lost his life a week ago after being struck by a car when leaving the bridge he had been working at.

        Police have said that poor lighting was a contributing factor.

        http://www.gloucestertimes.com

        Turning the lights out is an apt metaphor for the current backdrop of our state and national discussion on the role of government.

    • xteeth

      I can only guess that this means that there has not been a huge uproar of complaint. But then, NH people don’t seem to complain about much – even about the lack of other infrastructure, healthcare, political comity and on and on. I would hesitate to make such broad claims without a bit more to back it up. And still, boom boom boom, out go the lights.  

  • GreyMike

    about a bunch of dim bulbs in Concord being replaced with brighter ones that actually work.

    For their constituents, that is.

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