History of the NNA Street Light Improvements
The first phase of NNA efforts to improve street lighting was completed in 1996/1997. Phase I worked with the Mayor’s Neighborhoods to Standard program to increase the number of lights on Norhill’s streets. $57,090 was raised to upgrade 173 new lights to the decorative standards you see around the neighborhood today. This covered the areas with deficient street lighting but not those areas that had existing cobra head lights.
Plans for Phase II
Phase II will make the lighting throughout the entire neighborhood consistent by replacing existing cobra head lights with more Traditionaire lights. A total of 50 existing lights will be removed and replaced with 62 new lights. The blocks targeted for light replacement are listed in the following table.
Street Light Plans By Location
|Block||Street||Cobra Lights to be Removed||Traditionaire Lights to be Installed|
|900||E. 14 th||3||7|
What do these lights look like?
Cobra Head Light
This is an example of an existing Cobra Head Light. Sometimes these lights are attached to poles by themselves and sometimes the poles they are attached to also carry other utility lines. This example has power, phone, and cable lines along with the light itself.
We would like to say that we are removing the ugly poles with the lights but in most cases we simply cannot. If an existing pole has other utility lines then the pole will have to stay and only the light on it will be removed. There are a few cases, however, where the light is by itself and in those cases we will be removing the pole along with the light.
Traditionaire lights have a more classical look to them and do not carry additional utility lines. They are all powered by underground cables which eliminates unsightly lines strung above ground. Traditionaire lights are not as powerful as the cobra lights so they do not illuminate as large as area. This is why we are required to replace cobra lights with a greater number of Traditionaire lights. The ratio is about 1.25:1. Of course, it’s impossible to install a quarter of a light so we have to meet this average over all the covered streets combined.
Some streets will receive more Traditionaire lights than others because we need to balance other requirements pertaining to traffic safety and installation issues. Some streets have existing overhead lines that are too low to allow installation of a Traditionaire light underneath. In general, however, each block identified for this project will see an improvement in the amount and evenness of lighting distribution as well as much more attractive lights without visible power lines.
How much will this cost?
There are three basic cost components to this project.
- Pay Centerpoint Energy for the Traditionaire Lights
- Pay Centerpoint Energy for removal of old and installation of new lights
- Pay the City of Houston for the first year’s electricity bill to operate the new lights.
The bad news is that ALL these fees must be paid in advance of any of the work being performed. The good news is that there is no future cost obligation to NNA for maintenance and operation of the lights.
Each new Traditionaire light will cost us $339.
Centerpoint Energy is quoting us a flat fee of $8,000. to remove the old lights and install the new ones.
The city will charge us $195. for the first year’s operation of each new light. This fee only applies to 12 lights because we are taking out 50 but putting 62 back in.
The bottom line is a charge of $31,358. to NNA to perform this work.
Note, final numbers are pending from both Centerpoint and the City. These costs are based on discussions held last year and unit rate increases may have occurred in the meantime.
When will this be done?
This will all depend on how long it takes us to raise the necessary funds. As of spring 2008 we have almost $15,000 dedicated to this project. Our goal is to raise all the money during 2008 and then schedule the work sometime in early 2009.
You can help make this happen faster by contributing to the cause!