Lighting needed to improve visibility
Have any of the local dark-sky supporters quoted in the Jan. 27 Daily Progress story “Some push for updates to dark-sky ordinances” (print edition) talked to those who no longer feel confident driving at night around Charlottesville and Albemarle County’s urban ring because the streets and roads already are inadequately illuminated?
Lest anyone hurls anti-environmental epithets my way, let me assure you I’m quite the opposite: Science has proven the threat of climate change. Easing clean air and water regulations can and will harm our health. You get the idea.
In an ideal world, I would support the dark-sky proposals. However, in my 20 years in Charlottesville, my eyes have gotten older, so I rarely drive around here at dusk or at night because of the dearth of street lights. If it’s raining, forget about it. The road markings become invisible.
Funny how I’m always surprised that I can see quite well to drive at night in better-lit towns and cities. This is the darkest metropolitan area I’ve lived in.
To paraphrase the University of Virginia astronomer quoted in the story, it’s also a “human health” issue if our streets are not adequately lit for the safety of drivers, pedestrians and, yes, wildlife. And it can be a slow-drip mental health issue if one no longer can meet friends at night, take an evening class or do anything else after dark because of poorly lit roads.
There are, indeed, other sides to this matter.
Ann M. Overton