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Lights on the Greenway: Yay or Nay? [POLL]

Would you walk on the Middlebury Greenway after dark if there were lights installed?

 

The Middlebury Lights on the Greenway Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at .

Selectman Ralph Barra said the committee is in its early stages. He urged anyone with interest in the topic to attend the meeting of the temporary, ad hoc committee.

Anyone with questions may call First Selectman Edward B. St. John's office at 203-758-2439.

Readers, how do you feel about the possible installation of lights on the Greenway?

Would you walk on the Greenway after dark if there were lights installed? Tell us more in the comments section.

Catherine Gay September 06, 2012 at 11:37 AM
there are plenty of hours to walk the greenway when there is daylight - added lights will just be added taxes
Heather Roy September 06, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Personal headlamp or a flashlight works just fine. Lights would be a complete waste of money.
Jaimie Cura (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM
"Too much light pollution all ready - don't add more," Jeanne Dexter writes on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/woodmiddpatch
Lulas master September 06, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Would like lights but prefer they spend the money on plowing/maintaining it in the winter so that it is usable for a greater portion of the year. Even without snow, some areas are very icy and dangerous.
JM September 06, 2012 at 02:55 PM
It's not that it's a bad idea, but at the same time, it doesn't make sense. The length of daylight hours when it's warm allow sufficient use of the trail. Once the time changes in early March, it's light out until past 7. And even then, it can be chilly to use it. We're only talking maybe 4 months of the year here, and those months are cold and the trail may be covered by snow. If it was me, I would spend money on extending the trail past Quassy and into Woodbury where the trolley line used to run.
John Deer September 06, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Extending it does seem like a better use of funds. Why not extend it past Maggie McFlys and to the plaza further down? It would certainly promote a health-conscious community if people could walk/bike to places instead of solely relying on a car. We could take a page from the Danish who save a lot of money on healthcare by promoting exercise http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/534388/how-danish-design-boosts-cycling-in-cities.html I'm sure some people would go running at night in the fall, but would these lights be running 24-hours a day? How much extra will this cost? Is there a reason to have the greenway lit up at 3a.m.? Moreover, do you even want it illuminated at 3a.m. which could attract more mischievous users?
Jennifer Bruce Montalto September 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I think lights would be great. There are a lot of working parents in town who commute 1 1/2 during rush hour getting them home between 6:30-7pm. Then it's dinner and family time. Their only opportunity to get out there is weekends and weekday evenings (considering it only stays light late mid-May to early September). I can see everyone's concerns above and they are valid points. I especially agree with the winter maintenance. The ice is treacherous and eventually, someone will fall and sue the town. They will win as the Greenway is a "park" that may be "closed, use at your own risk" in the winter, but is not physically closeable as Ledgewood and Meadowview are. Thus the town will be held responsible for any injuries sustained on public property. As for tax/cost issues... low voltage solar lighting. Won't stay on all night, casts enough light for what we need without disturbing anyone. The money it saves the town over time (electricity, lawsuits, etc.), they pay for themselves. I say, lets get more solar power and maybe turn off the lights at the closed parks (Ledgewood lights are on all night behind a locked gate! At least we can see Meadowview's lights on the empty park when driving by!). Now THAT is wasteful!
Jennifer Bruce Montalto September 07, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Are you serious Jeanne? This is suburbia, not rural farmland. There is very little light pollution that is actually generated by our town. Naugatuck, Watertown (car dealerships) and Waterbury contribute to the light pollution here. People here want to live in a community that feels safe (light equates to feelings of security psychologically) and inviting. We need people to want to visit our town and spend their money here at the few tax-paying small businesses we actually have. We want people to come to our town to look at the homes on the market (some empty!) and think... hey, I'd like to raise my family in this place. Right now, Middlebury at night is dark and uninviting and has no real activity to offer families after dark. How nice it would be to have dinner at Middlebury Pizza on a Friday night. Then take a stroll up to Pies & Pints for ice cream or over to the new place for a cappucino. The entire family is out walking and talking and enjoying a nice October evening (or an early spring warm night after baseball practice). Just what families should be doing together... until little johnny walks off the side of the unlit path and trips, dropping his ice cream and breaking his arm.

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