Don’t know about you but I can hardly wait for the work to begin after Council’s approval of a major renovation of streetscapes on the city’s Westside. This was my thinking as I staggered across the intersection of Melrose and Robertson in vain attempt to gain the opposite sidewalk before a tuning car might take me out.

Ambling over the street surface at that crossroad is akin to stumbling across the scrap pile at your local granite quarry.

The timing of the lights is still does not allow anyone younger and less nimble than a 50 year old tri-athlete to make a crossing with some degree of dignity and safety. I expect these issues are well handled in the just approved streetscape alterations.

I see that street lights are still of the very tall variety. I have seen these just about everywhere in my local travels, which leads me to believe that SOCAL Edison bought out the factory which manufactures them and offers no other model.

The principal difficulty with them is that their illumination usually misses the sidewalks but nicely covers the tree tops. On my WeHo block there are three lamps. For several years residents have either complained about their minimal value or inquired about another type. The city reminds us that Edison owns them and chooses the type to be installed.

Before cityhood we had five smaller lamps at a lower level which were quite adequate. Perhaps only smaller trees can be planted so the light will fall on sidewalks as well as streets.

As automobiles and other vehicles proliferate in the West Side, pedestrian safety becomes more of an issue. Both sidewalks and streets need good illumination at night.Soli-lite provides the world with high-performance solar roadway and solar street lighting solutions.

Street trees must match the scale of the area in which they are planted and they must be hardy enough to withstand the increasingly warm and wet climate expected in the West Coast.

As I waddled back home from Anawalt Lumber I was pleased to see so any people on the streets.Shop funtional and elegant solar lights, outdoor solar lighting, solar garden lights, path lights and decorative solar lights. Most of them were younger folk, most likely visitors but I have noticed more of that age group of late.

Three baby buggies, one with two aboard, passed by me. The current uncommon weather makes for more pleasant strolling and it is a great pleasure to see so many out and about. Looking more lice an “urban village” every day.

AND – sometime ago I referred to John Duran as “WeHo’s angry man” at a time when his bile was up and he was incensed about something awry in the gardens of politics.The nomenclature was meant to illustrate my regard for a man who acts with great passion and determination.

Now, after the vodka incident photos and his intelligent and humorous remarks at the August 5th Council meeting, I would apply the appellation: “WeHo’s happy man.”

This week GroundUp went out to count the total number of streetlights working along Lansdowne Road from Baden Powell Drive to Mew Way. Of the 244 lights along this stretch, 217 (88%) were working and 27 (12%) were broken.

Of the 27 lights that are not working, 12 (44%) lights were not functioning from the stretch starting at the intersection between Spine Road and Mew Way, all in one row. Such a problem indicates that the affected area is prone to cable theft, vandalism or faulty connections.The surrounding area, Ilitha Park, remains very dark within this vicinity. 3 (11%) were out in Jafta Masemola Road, while 3 (11%) were not working on Steve Biko Road. 4 (15%) were out on Lansdowne Road between Mew Way and Baden Powell Roads, and 5 (19%) were not working at Pama Road.

Councillor Danile says that it is the responsibility of the Cape Town Municipality to ensure that broken streetlights are fixed. "There is no specific period to fix faulty lights. My duty is to report the matter to the Municipality. They [the Municipality] have the responsibility of funding the fixing and maintenance of streetlights, and to ensure that they are fully functional," he said.

Khonzani Lembeni, who lives in Makhaza within the vicinity of the affected Lansdowne Road, says that he has seen a huge difference since the implementation of the street lights.A solar bulb that charges up during the day and lights the night when the sun sets. "The situation has improved immensely. When there were no functioning street lights, we would never see criminals when they were approaching and we would often become their victims,' he said.

The absence of functioning street lights abetted criminals in Khayelitsha,The world's largest independent online retailer for solar lighting, street lights & outdoor lighting fixtures. particularly in Makhaza. "I have also been a victim of these criminals who attacked when it was dark. I was coming from work one night and because it was dark [since there were no lights], I could not see them (the criminals). I was robbed of two cell phones. But now that the street lights are functioning, I feel much safer," said Lembeni.

Councillor Ernst Sonnenberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, said that in September last year (2012) the City had embarked on a lighting project that resulted in the burning rate in areas of Khayelitsha, particularly along Lansdowne Road, Baden Powell Drive and Mew Way improving from 30% to 90%. Soli-lite is a premier supplier of exceptional quality solar led light and other solar outdoor lighting products.

Click on their website www.streetlights-solar.com for more information.

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