On Monday night, County staff briefed the Transportation Commission on a streetlight upgrade project stretching along Columbia Pike from South Scott Street in the East to South Frederick Street in the West. The project would upgrade the existing streetlights to new energy efficient LED technology.

The upgrades are expected to:
  • Save nearly 80% annually in energy costs
  • Greatly improve visibility in the corridor increasing safety for pedestrians, automobiles and cyclists
  • Meet or exceed International Dark Sky standards (thus reducing light pollution)
  • Contain no mercury and no PCBs.
  • Have wireless capabilities that allow them to be remotely controlled by the County's Traffic Management Center, allowing the lights to be brightened or dimmed based on time, location, weather conditions, etc.

The upgraded lights will continue to use the Carlyle-style lamps that are called for in the Columbia Pike Form Based Code, but will use primarily double globes, rather than the single globe style that has been used in some places along the Pike.

The project is funded through the Federal Highway Administration's Highway Safety Improvement program. Construction is slated to begin in early 2012 and take approximately five months.