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misselaine
Mueller Community

Posts: 470
Joined on May 26th, 2009
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by misselaine on May 29th, 2009

I think sloneycho has a great idea there, and some impressive photoshop skills :) With the shade, there will be MORE lighting in on the street, less in your bedroom, less into the sky, thus creating less light pollution. It is nice to see stars!
 
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langhugh
Mueller Community

Posts: 1149
Joined on August 18th, 2007
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by langhugh on May 29th, 2009

The best way to communicate with Catellus and ROMA on this would be to attend the City's Mueller Commission Meeting (also called RMMA-PIAC or PIAC) and participate in the the citizen's communications either before or after the meeting. This is the citizen's oversight commission on the project, and you would be reaching not only the commission, but City of Austin employees, Catellus and ROMA representatives all at once. These meetings also provide the opportunities to have informal discussions before and after the meeting.

The RMMA-PIAC meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month. Most meetings are in a first floor conference room at Waller Creek Center.
 
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sloneycho
Mueller Community

Posts: 435
Joined on October 3rd, 2008
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by sloneycho on May 29th, 2009

I found this while looking for any City of Austin exterior lighting ordinances.



How on earth did Catellus ever get these streetlamps approved? I'll be attending the next RMMA-PIAC meeting to see if anything can be done.
 
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wilson
Mueller Community

Posts: 61
Joined on December 4th, 2007
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by wilson on May 29th, 2009

sloneycho,

The excerpt from the Land Development Code you cited comes from Subchapter E of the Zoning Code. In Section 1.2.3 of that same Subchapter, under 1. General Exemptions, it reads, "Development Built Pursuant to the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Redevelopment Plan."

Instead, design standards for Mueller were accepted by the City under the Mueller Development Agreement, part of which contains design guidelines for streetlamps. The chapter addressing them can be reached at the link below. See pages 112-113.

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/mueller/downloads/Chapter_6.pdf
 
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sloneycho
Mueller Community

Posts: 435
Joined on October 3rd, 2008
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by sloneycho on May 29th, 2009

Thanks for the reference, wilson! The Mueller guidelines state

Quote:
Fixtures will be adapted to comply with light trespass considerations as required.


I think it is time to require.

I just realized that I haven't really pleaded our personal case. We have solved the indoor light trespass issue with plantation shutters, as I mentioned before. However, we have no options to eliminate the light trespass on our front porch. One of BR's MS symptoms is photo sensitivity. In order to use the porch, he must wear sunglasses both day and night, or hide behind one of the porch columns. I'm sure that's not what the Mueller design standards had in mind.
 
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LeComte
Mueller Community

Posts: 58
Joined on February 15th, 2008
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by LeComte on May 29th, 2009

It might be better to wait until the neighborhood fills in and take a survey then to determine if there is a neighborhood wide 'trespass' issue. Especially as Mueller fills in eastward, the future residents there may (or may not) want the lighting to be modified.

Perhaps the developers would consider changing the light fixtures on an individual exception basis. So if I had a problem with the light fixture in front of my master bedroom window (which I don't) then I could request that particular light fixture be modified. No sense making everyone else change what they like when my own personal situation can be modified.

I think this is a good suggestion since proponents of the 'modify light fixture' idea claim it doesn't decrease the light levels, rather redirects it away from the bedroom windows and porches.

 
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MeganM
Mueller Community

Posts: 1
Joined on April 2nd, 2009
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by MeganM on May 29th, 2009

I am pro-lighting for safety and all, and I don't have a particular issue with the streetlamps glaring into my house, but since Mueller is supposed to be a green development, here is one strong case to consider for shielded lighting (by National Geographic):

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/light-pollution/klinkenborg-text
 
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SleeperService
Mueller Community

Posts: 186
Joined on July 17th, 2008
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by SleeperService on May 30th, 2009

As I said before and as has been said by others I think we need to agree to disagree.

To answer some questions posed to me..

Yes I have a streetlight relatively close -- at a direct angle to the
living room and obtuse to the master. There is a very small amount of light entry with the blinds closed - visible when everything else is turned off -- however the LED's from various electronic devices is brighter.

Dark during pool entry -- I didn't actually say that -- I said the bollard lights blind me so I'm not unaware of murmer's point about glare or too much light ruining nightvision. The darkness I was referring too is actually further into the park ( see below ).

What do other cities do -- Well I've lived in a big city for years and believe me when I tell you -- they don't do anything -- people generally speaking get used to the glow of streetlights -- its just that simple -- its like car noise -- a background thing.

Light pollution/national geographic/flagstaff -- I have not been to flagstaff so can't comment on their lighting scheme.
However I think the science on light pollution and biology is still very new and far from clear cut. The people who are posting about their circadian rhythms would do well to remember that they are probably just as effectively disrupting their bodies by typing that post reply on their brightly lit LCD monitor then they are being exposed to the sulpherous glow of our streetlights. There is indeed evidence that televisions/monitors and other close to daylight balanced light is quite disruptive to sleep. Hence the advice to not watch tv before going to bed. We may be diurnal but we do many things today that we were not evolved for, this is a 24 hour a day society.

15% of people -- were on earth did that stat come from -- how on earth do you know that 15% of people are "impacted"???

Slonycho -- Thanks for your personal appeal -- I have at least a million times more time for a medical based problem appeal then because you need better shutters -- indeed if it came to a vote I would happily support some kind of exemption on medical grounds if it were possible that eliminating the light from one streetlight would enable bob roberts to sit on your patio at night without sunglasses.

The funny thing of course is I'm the complete reverse -- one could say I'm light insensitive... :-) I complain about our badly lit porch -- and something that murmer seems to miss -- if you can only see into those darkly lit areas with a streetlight -- then it simply doesn't matter if there's glare - because at least I have a chance to see rather then none.

As I said above -- I suspect in general we will have to agree to disagree -- although like I said sloneycho ( or possibly others with actual medical complaints ( not circadian rythme based of course ) ) -- should be given there day.

Ezra.
 
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Ed
Mueller Community

Posts: 84
Joined on August 11th, 2008
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by Ed on May 31st, 2009

Ezra, good post, but I am not sure what the disagreement is.

I think that there is a consensus emerging here. Overall we like a well lit neigborhood for saftey, and those lights should increase in needed areas, but lights should not trespass or be a nuisance inside houses (and maybe the enviornment based on the Nat Geo article).

The fully shielded light system proposed by sloneycho seems like the most sensible solution to satisfy both the saftey crowd and the "light trespas" minority. Sloneycho also posted a great photo of an aesthically pleasing fully shielded light sytem. Can anyone make an argument against the fully shielded light system? It can look nice, lights up the streets and sidewalks, and directs light away from houses (and the enviornment for people who care about that).
Arguments that "I just like the current system" don't count because clearly some people do not like the current system.

If this is the consensus, then we should be discussing how and if this system can be incorporated in currently built areas, or only in later phases. I would like it changed for my house, but I also want to create the best situation for future neighbors. I hope to bring these concerns to the developers at the RMMA-PIAC meeting.

Finally, the "15% of people impacted" comment was based on the very un-scientific method of looking up and down my street and guesstimating what percent of houses had street lamps directly in front of a house window. After further research, I would like to change that number to 21.3%

 
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SleeperService
Mueller Community

Posts: 186
Joined on July 17th, 2008
Streetlamps and Sidewalks
by SleeperService on May 31st, 2009

For me the disagreement is...

just like a torch beam -- ( which is fully shielded ) -- a fully shielded streetlamp -- would illuminate one thing and one thing only. I the like the streetlamps because the illuminate lots of things.

I don't know - but I think I'm right in saying -- that a fully shielded system would seriously limit the amount of illumination provided by the lamp -- it would in affect create a pools of brightness surrounded by seas of darkness -- this is really not a happy situation for me... I wouldn't want to walk the neighborhood with a torch - would you?

The only way I suspect you might be able to get around that would be to add more lights -- which would be seriously costly. Now obviously I might wrong about the pooling affect -- but I doubt it... I stand to be convinced-- but doubting.

As I have said several times I'm very sensitive to the amount of light around --- since murmer didn't take me up on my invitation to walk the neighborhood let me give you some examples.

The garden court ( number 1 ) -- this is totally impassable for me at night -- forget about feeling safe or not -- or seeing the bad guy or not -- I actually can't see the path in front of me. Why is this ?? because there are no streetlights in the garden court... that is not a large area and there are streetlights on both sides of it.

Another example would be the antone wedge -- around the deepest part -- a little way in opposite 2001 antone -- is too dark for me to pick up objects or a monitor a child.

The edges of the pool at night -- The pool itself is well lit -- but the ground around the pool is dark -- too far from streetlights and not lit in other ways.

These are not even the parks -- I think we have all agreed that they need some work...

Considering that retirement village/development is next on the things to be built -- I suspect there will be quite a few people with light insensitivity issues moving in -- don't you?

I don't personally believe ( or hope ) that there is any kind of consensus forming -- I thought that was a little optimistic ( at least I hope so )-- in a brief unscientific survey of the people who agree with me -- I found they agree with me :-) -- I think it was a touch condescending to say arguments like "I just like the current system" -- don't count -- how about I rephrase that argument -- I like the current system and I think the other proposed system will suck -- does that count?

If this other system is so good/cool/amazing/better why wasn't it used in the first place?? Then I could have looked at the neighborhood and known it was going to be terribly lit and decided to yay or nay it -- were-as I did the opposite because I was delighted that finally a neighborhood existed that was actually ezra friendly and looked like a real urban environment.

Ezra.

Ps : Dusty -- are the minutes of the august -- The RMMA-PIAC meetings accessible anywhere ?
 
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