CHICAGO (CBS) — Business owners on one street on the South Side say they’ve been complaining for weeks about a street light outage and recently the darkness nearly led to tragedy.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports the street lights on Halsted between 127th and 128th had been out for the last three weeks before coming back on Tuesday evening.
George Stanton of the Children’s Center Day-Care says there were 10 lights out on one side of the street and there were at least 10 more out on the other side.
It’s not an issue in the day time, but it is in the morning before the sun rises when the parents of the youngsters at the Children’s Day Care Center drop them off or in the late evenings when the pick them up.
“We service at least 150 parents…it becomes a danger zone for them.” Stanton said.
On Friday, a father had just buckled his son in the car and was about to get in on the driver’s side when he was struck by an elderly driver.
Ena Humphries is worried when she crosses the street with her son.
“My major concern is being attacked or someone running over me,” she said.
“We have tried to contact the alderman’s office…we also contact 311. We also contacted 911,” Stanton said.
They say they sent letters and emails begging for the lights to be fixed.
34th Ward Alderman Carrie Austin promised they would be on after CBS 2 called Tuesday.
She also Austin acknowledged a call from the day care center two weeks ago. Austin said she immediately requested city services and thought the lights were back on because she didn’t hear back from the center.
“We’re not usually that long on a block of lights because that’s very dangerous, especially in the winter time, it is not usually that length of time,” Austin said. “What the delay was I will try to find out.
A spokesman for the Department of Transportation says it takes time to verify the complaints and make the repairs and added that is just a coincidence the day CBS 2 inquired.
The city says there are more than 300,000 street lights in Chicago and they say two percent of them are out.