Residents seek relief from Harbor Walk lighting in Steamboat Landing
Belfast — Residents who live near Steamboat Landing asked the city to tone down lighting along the Harbor Walk in the area.
The issue of what neighbors around Steamboat Landing have characterized as “excessive” lighting was brought to the attention of the council during a Sept. 3 meeting. During that meeting, City Planner Wayne Marshall informed councilors a report was being compiled by Lawrence Bartlett, of Bath-based Bartlett Design, to survey the lighting conditions along the Harbor Walk.
A handful of residents who live near Steamboat Landing expressed their concerns with the amount of lighting in the area, and asked for relief from councilors at their Tuesday, Sept. 17, meeting. Bill Kao told city officials he felt the lighting along Steamboat Landing was more appropriate for a shopping center parking lot.
Kao also questioned how many pedestrian accidents or crimes have occurred in Steamboat Landing to justify the extent of the lighting.
He asked councilors to look at dimming or turning off the lights when the walk is not being used.
Resident Roy Rodgers also sought relief from the lighting along the Harbor Walk in Steamboat Landing. Rodgers said he didn't feel the terrain in Steamboat Landing was dangerous enough to warrant the amount of lighting in the area, nor did he feel that crime was an issue in the area.
“I'd like to see some way of controlling [the lighting] in a better fashion,” Rodgers said.
In the report provided by Bartlett, it was noted that while not all of the lights have been turned on or installed, the lighting “is consistent with our design intent.”
Bartlett states in his report that the primary goal of the lighting is to “promote the nighttime safety of pedestrians along the walkway.” While he indicates in his report that he does not recommend the city significantly reduce the amount of illumination along the Harbor Walk, he does note that Steamboat Landing could be considered a special condition.
In his report, Bartlett acknowledges that lighting conditions in Steamboat landing have changed significantly due to the construction of the Harbor Walk.
“It is important not to stray too far from the designed lighting solution; however, the city might decide to consider retrofitting a number of lighting poles in [Steamboat Landing] with an alternate refractor assembly,” Bartlett writes.
City Planner Wayne Marshall explained the alternate lighting solution uses a smaller bulb, which would not be as bright as the existing fixtures. However, each retrofit would cost $1,500 per fixture.
Councilor Roger Lee voiced his frustration with the fact the fixtures don't prevent the night sky from being illuminated. Lee continued by saying he served on the committee that looked at the design for the Harbor Walk and he specifically asked if the lighting would be fully cut off, which he was told it would be.
“Now, that answer was false,” Lee said.
Councilor Mike Hurley also commented on the lighting issue by encouraging residents to attend the public hearings held regarding a project. He continued by saying city officials rely on input from the public to help inform the design process on projects such as the Harbor Walk.
Marshall suggested the council wait on making a decision regarding a possible retrofit of the light fixtures in Steamboat Landing until all of the light poles have been installed in the area and the trees and other landscaping have been installed.
The council did not take any action regarding retrofitting the lights during the meeting.
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Holbrook is a reporter for The Republican Journal covering general news.
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