Once again, we are being steamrolled and slow-walked by the City of Philadelphia Streets Department.
Once again, we are being steamrolled and slow-walked by the City of Philadelphia Streets Department and starting to see false narratives being rolled out by Deputy Commissioner Richard Montanez.
Despite overwhelming responses from Chestnut Hill residents, our three Registered Community Organizations (that’s the Chestnut Hill Community Association, Chestnut Hill Conservancy, and Chestnut Hill Business District), experts on our Chestnut Hill Development Review Committee (DRC) and voices raised from environmental, greenspace and healthcare professionals, and support from Councilperson Cindy Bass’ office, our man-on-a-mission deputy commissioner is plugging full steam ahead with HIS plans for changing our residential nighttime lighting and destroying our historic neighborhood.
In the August 11, 2022, edition of the Chestnut Hill Local, Mr. Montanez takes advantage of most people’s lack of understanding about technical lighting specifications and obfuscates the matter with false information about studies backed by LED light companies pushing their product.
He expects us to take his word as gospel, despite lighting and police input that lower Kelvin (warmer lighting) of 2700 to 3000 is preferred. He expects us to believe that lower Kelvin light bulbs cannot be used in our streetlights (another false narrative). And he expects us to believe that the lights will be less bright once they are all changed (when the lights were taken down to 9000 Lumens already) and are still too bright at 9000 Lumens. DO. NOT. BE. FOOLED.
When Mr. Montanez met with me as a private citizen to see the lights on the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of East Highland on the evening of July 28, we observed the 9000 lumens lights and the harshness they brought to our residential streets. Mr. Montanez talked about dimmers to bring these 9000 lumens to a lower level. He noted lights can be taken out versus a more prudent path forward of getting lighting right with warmer lights (lower Kelvins) and less output (Lumens).
His responses in the August 11, 2022, Chestnut Hill Local show this was all talk and that he is back to listening to only himself. I can only hope that the meeting with Cindy Bass and his superior Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams is more productive.
We have been saddled with this lighting since June 28 and raised our voices on June 29. It is now months later and the City of Philadelphia bureaucratic slow walk continues.
The Streets Department is hoping we tire of this and go away. Yes, we are tired of this run around and no, we are not going to be silenced. This matter is too important to Chestnut Hill.