Tallinn street lights on off- mode

Back in the downturn of last decade, the city of Tallinn started turning off streetlights to save money. Five years later, 25 percent of the city remains dark at night.

Seven thousand of the city’s 55,000 streetlights remain off at all times. And another 7,000 lights in parks, parking garages and less frequented areas are off by midnight, ERR radio reported.

The Kadriorg district, which encompasses largely more gentrified neighborhoods, is cited as a particular problem.

“Kadriorg is completely dark,” said a resident, who identified himself by his first name, Sten.

Another resident, Svea, said she didn’t find lighting lacking city-wide, but added: “But when I think about it as a Kadriorg resident, when you take a walk at night, the lights could be on longer.”

An official with the city’s utilities department, Tarmo Sulg, said he couldn’t promise when the lights would be switched back on, but said the will existed.

“The 2015 budget is being drafted and it’s early to say what will be switched back on and what will not.”

The City of Tallinn said it saves about 1 million euros a year in electricty by using the current mode. The city of Pärnu switched back to normal mode only one year ago, while Tartu never cut back on lights.

Internationally, research has been divided on whether less light translates automatically into more crime.

Source: ERR News

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