Broken or non-existent street lights raise ire in Auckland

Tanja Clauberg says her teenaged twins, including Kai, are worried for their safety.
JODI YEATS/FAIRFAX NZ

Tanja Clauberg says her teenaged twins, including Kai, are worried for their safety.

In winter, Tanja Clauberg's teenagers are too scared to walk to the bus stop near their house in Totara Vale due to a lack of street lights.

This is just one of a number of examples of safety concerns being raised in suburbs across Auckland's North Shore in relation to broken or non-existent street lighting.

With no street lights on the corner of Cheval Drive and Jenanne Pl, Clauberg's children refuse to walk up to the bus stop on Target Rd.

Clauberg said a lack of lighting is a concern for pedestrians and drivers.

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"Cheval Drive is a danger as people park on the side of the road, on both sides, and this narrows the road considerably, making the curve in the road very dangerous and even more dangerous because there are no street lights," Clauberg said.

"It is a crash waiting to happen."

However, Auckland Transport (AT) said it added additional lights where a need has been identified or an issue has been raised.

"Lighting positions are determined based upon lighting levels in each specific street," media manager Mark Hannan said.

In 2015, AT started an Auckland-wide roll out of LED lights to upgrade old sodium lights.

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"Most suburbs of the North Shore have now had LED street lights installed on low-volume roads. The main roads will be done in the next year or so," Hannan said.

The most noticeable difference is that light has changed from golden yellow light to white light.

Jan Wilson highlighted on Neighbourly.co.nz the walkway in Woodlands Cres in Browns Bay as being a problem spot. Trees prevent light getting to the walkway, Wilson wrote.

"Most people have to walk on the poorly lit road at night, because of safety concerns about the poorly maintained walkway. [I] have witnessed many close calls with motorists finding they are sharing the narrow road with pedestrians," Wilson wrote.

Torbay's June Baptista had battled for years to get more street lighting outside her Glenvar Rd property.

"I had written to council many a time to request they address the issue, as the street is enshrouded in darkness, especially with the short days of winter," Baptista said.

"It is really dangerous to cross the road after 6pm, as you are invisible to cars."

This month Baptista's persistence paid off.

"I contacted the council again and, lo and behold, we have light. After all these years, they have finally responded to my request."

Several Beach Haven residents have not been so lucky. O'Donn Ave, Packham Pl and Oruamo Pl  have been mentioned as areas of concern in residents' complaints to AT.

AT regularly receives requests from across Auckland for additional street lights.

"Where the requests are simple, they get actioned fairly quickly," Hannan said.

"However other requests are more complex and take longer to action because they need lighting designs and we are reliant upon Vector to provide a new power supply for the lights."

To report a problem with a street light, fill out an online form at.govt.nz/report-a-problem/ or, if the problem is urgent, call 09 355 3553.

 - Stuff

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