Aug
09

Read This, But Not While You’re Driving

August 09, 2011

These stories are not related as much to Chicago real estate as they are to the surrounding streets:

The city is going green. Well, white actually.

Lake Shore Drive at night

Chicago will soon look a lot whiter.

Chicago has been shroud in a yellowish-orange glow from streetlights over the past four decades, but now the Chicago Department of Transportation is installing energy-efficient lighting in certain parts of town that will brighten and whiten up our rooftops and streets.

The new, energy-efficient lighting will be placed in:

*2,300 streetlights along 16 miles of Lake Shore Drive from 71st Street to Hollywood.

*3,000 lights on 24 miles from Western Avenue to 119th Street.

*About 11,000 lights in 300 miles of alleys throughout the city of Chicago.

*Approximately 1,000 stop lights will get new LED traffic signals as well.

The city is utilizing $13.8 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy to replace the old lighting, which was first installed in the mid-’70s.

The new lights use less electricity and, at seven to eights years, last two to three years longer than the old bulbs. That means this initiative should save the city about $1.8 million each year and decrease carbon dioxide emissions by about 15,000 metric tons annually.

See how big a savings something as little as changing a light bulb can provide?

The white metal-halide lighting are of a lower wattage, yet they appear brighter and offer truer color of objects. They also reduce “sky glow,” which is light traveling up instead of down, and “light trespass,” which is light shining in unwanted areas, like nearby homes.

Chicago is the first larger city in the United States to use white metal-halide lighting.

“Not only are these significant cost savings, they represent the City’s ongoing commitment to reducing energy use,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein.

The lights should all be replaced by fall.

* * *

There’s a new street name in town.

The 700 block of South Wabash Street has been renamed ‘Buddy Guy Way’ after Chicago Blues legend Buddy Guy.

The street is located right outside Buddy Guy’s Legends blues club.

The Chicago blues great celebrated his 75th birthday on July 30, and was honored with a party on Sunday, where a proclamation by Mayor Rahm Emanuel renaming the street was read by Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti.

Guy was born in Louisiana in 1936 and moved to Chicago in 1957. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

* * *

If you live or drive in Hoffman Estates, you better stop on red at Higgins and Barrington Roads.

Officials in that western suburb are now ticketing drivers who enter that intersection after the stoplight turns red.

Offending motorists had been getting warnings up until this week. Now, if you are caught running the red, you will be mailed a $100 ticket.

The village is working on bringing another four red-light cameras to the town.

Drive safely!

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Tracey

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