Monday, 19 July 2010

OPINION: Realign the street lamps too

OPINION

Realign the street lamps too

by John Kaiser

I attended the meeting last month on the SH1 realignment. Thanks to
New Zealand Transport Agency for their informative evening on July7th.

One of the reasons stated in the resource consent application for the
upgrade to the curve at Waitati is that SH1 is a rural highway and
users therefore expect a higher open road speed.
The plan also notes correctly that any changes in the area need to
preserve the natural character of the coastal environment.

The realignment project therefore needs to treat the whole environment
as rural and not flood the surrounding area with excess light. This
should also extend to making sure that the overhead and any other
street or intersection lights are not visible from the surrounding
coastal area.

It is important that the lighting design of the proposed curve
realignment meets the following criteria:

1. All installed lights should not spill any light above horizontal.

This is to ensure that a 'Dark Sky' approach is followed that protects
the wonderful view of the stars that we get on a clear night in
Waitati. Further information on this can be obtained from
www.darksky.org. There are road lighting fittings that meet these
requirements. This should mean that there is no direct light from the
project visible from any location on the surrounding hills.

2. All light sources should not be visible from the coastal area and
the local village. In particular the lights should not be visible from
sea level across the bay.

The main reason for this requirement is that residents of Blueskin
Bay, Doctors Point and Warrington out enjoying the evening should not
have to look directly at the bright light sources as a result of this
upgrade. There is no physical reason why the lights should not be
shielded so that the required illumination levels are achieved for the
project, and the
surrounding area left with no additional illumination.

The lighting levels away from the upgrade will drop off very quickly
to a low level. However even a low level of light is intrusive in a
home when you have the lights out and the curtains open at night.
Anyone living near street lighting will attest to this.

Most of the street lighting around Dunedin does not meet the criteria
for a dark sky. It is about time we started to protect the "natural
character of the coastal environment" from light pollution.

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
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