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In the Calgary community of Southwood, residents recently faced safety concerns due to a string of streetlights going dark. This put children at risk, especially in school zones where visibility was crucial. The issue affected a one-kilometer stretch of community park and playgrounds, making it difficult for residents to navigate safely, particularly during winter when ice accumulation was a concern. Despite numerous complaints from residents, it took weeks for the necessary repairs to be addressed.

An audit conducted by the City of Calgary in November 2022 revealed that high priority calls for streetlight repairs, like those in Southwood, were supposed to be resolved within 14 days. However, the reality was that residents were waiting an average of 77 days for repairs. Various factors, such as a change in contractors and harsh winter weather, contributed to the growing waiting lists for repairs. The city experienced challenges with its streetlight system, including supply chain issues and underground wire failures.

Despite the delays, the streetlight team eventually took action by hiring extra help and addressing the backlog of repairs. The response time for streetlight repairs has decreased to 10 days, with less than 500 outages compared to the previous 5,000. The director of mobility with the City of Calgary, Troy McLeod, emphasized the magnitude of the streetlight repair operation, with over 105,000 streetlight luminaires valued at $1.9 billion. The city receives up to 800 calls a month for streetlight repairs, highlighting the importance of maintaining a high success rate for addressing issues promptly.

With the improved response time and success rate, the City of Calgary has effectively resolved the streetlight outage problem. However, McLeod emphasizes that streetlight safety remains a priority and encourages residents to report any non-working streetlights by calling 311 or using the city app to request service. The city’s streetlight team has successfully addressed the backlog of repairs and is committed to ensuring the safety and visibility of residents in Calgary communities.

The recent streetlight outage in Southwood serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining functional infrastructure to ensure the safety of residents, especially in public areas such as parks and school zones. The City of Calgary has acknowledged the challenges faced with streetlight repairs and has taken steps to improve response times and address the backlog of repairs. The success rate of streetlight repairs has increased to 99.8%, indicating that the city’s efforts to resolve the issue have been effective in ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents.

Moving forward, the City of Calgary remains committed to addressing any issues related to streetlight outages promptly and efficiently. Residents are encouraged to report any non-working streetlights to the appropriate channels to ensure that repairs are made in a timely manner. By prioritizing the safety and visibility of residents through improved streetlight maintenance, the City of Calgary continues to uphold its commitment to providing a safe and functional environment for all community members.

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