It’s lights out for many Phila. alleys

The city of Philadelphia is having some problems maintaining street lights in alleys.

Philadelphia Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson said her department is doing a citywide survey of alley lights to find out which ones are on and which ones aren’t working. She told Council President Anna Verna and Councilman Bill Greenlee vandalism is a major problem.

Tolson: “We have a problem with people throwing rocks and also with bullets.”

Verna: “They what?”

Tolson: “They shoot them out.”

Greenlee: “And also aren’t they cutting wires?”

Tolson: “Yes there’s lots of various damage, when people intend to disable a light, it’s difficult to work around them.”

Councilman Greenlee told Commissioner Tolson the lights are important.

Greenlee: “Oftentimes it’s in those areas where they are disabled is where they are needed the most.”

Tolson: “It’s a catch 22.”

Tolson says some of the lights have been removed, and the Streets Department is trying to figure out ways to replace them while making them vandal resistant.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.