City councils to consider University district lighting plans

By Eric Heisig

The University Streetlight District Program is getting attention from both Champaign and Urbana at their city councils’ meetings Tuesday night.

While the Urbana City Council has been discussing the issues for some time, this is the first time the Champaign body has considered the program.

The Champaign City Council is scheduled to consider the plan itself, and determine which areas need more lighting. Preliminary plans include placing more streetlights on Gregory Street, Goodwin Avenue, and Wright Street.

At Urbana’s meeting, the Committee of the Whole is scheduled to discuss several of the proposals made to the city for streetlight designs.

In addition, the committee will be discussing the “Lighting Policy Sense of the Council.” Ward 1 Council member Charlie Smyth wrote the third draft of this policy, which states that all streetlights should conform to LEED lighting standards in order to be more environmentally conscious and use full cutoff lighting wherever possible. Smyth has been a proponent of cutoff lighting, which he has said will reduce light pollution and energy use.

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The University Streetlight District Program is a collaboration effort between the cities of Champaign, Urbana and the University.