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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lighting opposition; some rational, some . . .

Another example of “it’s not always what it seems.”

Criticism of the proposed parking lot lighting for Fairview Park at the last Council meeting included rational argument. The Daily Pilot carried a summary of the arguments (Lighting article ).

One could reasonably argue that the money could add more safety to the Park if it were spent on other projects since the main argument for the lights was based on safety. Or temporary lighting as needed, while wasteful, could be compared. Those responsible for allocating resources, the City Council, agreed to fund the lights 3:2. 

One article-commenter noted that the lights are being addressed now because of a failure to adequately plan before the main parking lot was built without lights. (That might be one of the reasons the Fairview Park Advisory Committee was formed: improving planning and coordination.)

But . . . not all of the opposition was what it seemed

A speaker quoted in the Pilot article said that parking lot lights would “ruin the nature of the Park experience.” Another speculated that the Park would become a sports complex, while simultaneously demanding documentation about safety concerns.

The park experience would presumably be ruined only in the parking lots and only during the dark hours just before the park closed. That’s where and when the lights will show. The Park will remain closed at night, and the lights will be focused on the parking surfaces.

Further argument: Risk that the Park would become a sports complex was accepted as a danger without any further evidence. Kids running through an unlighted parking lot would not be accepted as a danger without documentation of injuries in the past. 

That is, unsupported conspiracy theory trumped anticipating consequences.

Thinking is optional before commenting

It’s not what it seems; not all opposition is rational.

One of the more outspoken article-commenters presumed that someone's ". . . campaign coffers will enjoy some hefty contributions as a result of this vote." She didn't mention any theories about secret communications with space aliens or mind control exerted through Meet the Mayor visits, though.

A good idea or not

Are parking lot lights a good idea? Maybe, maybe not but the proposal passed and it’s time to move on.

Criticism of the lights: some was rational and reflected different opinions. Some was not so rational.

It’s not always what it seems.

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