The city of Detroit has 88,000 street lights, of which around 40% are broken. The decision to trim down it’s street lights to 46k units isn’t final yet, but Mayor Bing says it could save the city up to $10 Million a year in maintenance costs alone. The savings would come by using contractors to maintain the lights instead of salaried employees of the city. However, this plan is contingent upon borrowing $160 Million to upgrade the current street lights as well. How bad are the lights? Check out this picture I took on Michigan Ave back in 2009:
The city has made it clear that it does not want to light up distressed areas. Some neighborhoods are only 10-15% occupied, and therefore are not economically viable to provide the same level of services that more populated areas receive.