Mishawaka Fails at Night

Sorry, Mishawaka, but you have again failed in your nighttime lighting scheme. I visited the newly opened Central Park late at night, after first having to drive on Mishawaka Ave. east of Main Street. Your harsh new streetlights with their excessive glare are an abomination, as are your streetlights on the newly opened Beacon Parkway.

From the moment one turns into the park, the brilliant streetlights and sidewalk lights overwhelm the park's ambiance. How do you justify this overkill, which flies in the face of accepted best lighting practices for safety, human health, and the environment? Frankly, I thought the new lighting was an embarrassment. (Note: the image below does show extra dots of light, which are artifacts from the camera.)

At one time I had high expectations of Mishawaka. Awhile back I had addressed the Common Council and met with the then-Mayor and made pitches to the City Planner about lessening light pollution. They stated they intended to be smart about the lights and would purchase appropriate fixtures. When Main Street was rebuilt, the city installed shielded streetlights which had prismatic lenses, shown below. I thought then that they could have done better because of the scattering effect of that type of lens, but it was generally a step in the right direction.

Mishawaka is becoming the new poster child for how not to spend tax dollars on municipal lighting. Lately, Mishawaka has ditched the lights which are easier on the eyes and have switched to bright, unshielded, blue-rich LED lights. I'm guessing they made their fixture selection from a catalog during the day. Just because a manufacturer's description says "LED" doesn't make it a best choice.

I have to end this blog post before it becomes a rant. I'm just too angry at Mishawaka's overlighting and have few constructive comments now. Someone please correct me if my understanding of their new lighting scheme is wrong.

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