Less Lights Ahead For Md. Highways

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — The lighting along Maryland’s roadways could soon get a bit dimmer.  The State Highway Administration says it’s all about saving money.

Kai Jackson explains the plan and why some drivers are worried this could be dangerous.

Overhead lights on a highway illuminate the path on which people are heading, but you can imagine that electricity being used, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, adds up.

“Well, I think all of these states will have to think outside the box in terms of ways to save money,” said Mark Glaze from Ellicott City.

Maryland may be one of the richest states in the country, but it’s not immune to the economic shakeup happening and opportunities to put dollars back in the bank are often seized. So on a six-mile stretch of Route 100 in Ellicott City, the State Highway Administration has cut back on overhead lighting.

“So by reducing the lights, we can reduce the cost of the energy, save money and also be greener,” said Valerie Burnette Edgar, SHA.

Some Marylanders are concerned that cutting back on lighting translates into a reduction in safety.

“You need as much light as possible to be able to drive in the evening,” said Glaze.

“Now headlights are much brighter and you don’t need as much overhead lighting,” Burnette Edgar said.

The State Highway Administration says if Route 100 were constructed today, there would be fewer lights than the number installed now.


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