Turning Tulsa's street lights back on

Saturday, September 27th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The lights are still out along many Tulsa expressways. As the News on 6 told you last week, the city cut the cord this summer on lighting some major highways and others may soon follow.

News on 6 reporter Heather Johnson explains that Tulsa City Hall says there's no room in the budget. Citizens sick of driving in the dark are joining forces, urging leaders to flip the switch back on.

“Okay, and your phone number." Pledges are pouring in to a Tulsa radio station putting its power behind a fundraising campaign, urging city officials to see the light. KFAQ’s Michael DelGiorno, “surely in a city budget of a half a billion dollars a year, a relatively measly $160,000 could be found to keep our interstates lit."

The goal, to raise the $12,500 the city says it saves on its electric bill every month by doing this. I-244, the Sand Springs and Osage Expressways, and Highway 75 are currently in the dark. If necessary, the next round of cuts would target lamps on the Broken Arrow Expressway and I-44.

City official’s say it's part of making up a $24-million budget shortfall and is one of hundreds of measures they've taken. Shocked citizens say it's an issue of safety; they say they supported the Vision for 2025, but when they hit today's highways, they can't see anything.

No one from city hall was available for an interview Friday evening, but a statement was issued saying the Mayor looks forward to working with citizens to restore expressway lighting.

The radio station plans to present a check to the mayor and city council Thursday and demand they turn the lights back on.