City Officials Discuss Parking Garage Light Requirements

Related Story

COLUMBIA - Members of the Outdoor Lighting Committee met Thursday evening to begin drafting new requirements for parking garage lights.  Members of the Committee told KOMU 8 News the idea to set light requirements came after the city spent nearly ten thousand dollars to fix lighting problems in the garage on the corner of Fifth and Walnut Streets.

In 2008 the city created an ordinance that set requirements for lights in parking lots.  The requirements detail how bright the lights can be and where they can be located.  But, since the construction of parking garages downtown in recent years, the city has yet to set requirements for lights inside garages.

Karl Skali, head of the committee, said after the city council received the complaints about lights in the fifth street garage causing a "glare," the city brought in engineers to fix the problem. Skali said engineers reduced the wattage of the lights and so far, residents nearby have noticed improvements.

Skali said the goal is to create an ordinance that would set requirements for parking garage lights by the time construction begins for the garage on Short Street. The ordinance would list light brightness, location, and shielding requirements.

He said the ordinance will prevent the city from spending money to fix lights that end up causing problems after installation.

"You're also minimizing the amount of fixtures that can produce glare that might be a safety hazard to automobiles and so on, so on balance I think we're probably trying to save the city money," he said. 

Skali added that one reason some residents may still find the lights too bright is because they are L.E.D lights, rather than conventional.  This means they produce a light with more white color than yellow.

The committee plans to present the new ordinance to the city council in the coming weeks.