To the Editor:
I would like to congratulate Ambler Borough Council on its recent vote to embrace the 100 percent Clean Energy For All: Ready for 100 initiative and, as part of that, to transition the street lights in the borough to LED.
As an environmental professional and someone passionate about preserving the planet, I applaud both of these decisions and am proud to live in a town that is so forward thinking.
I am concerned, however, about possible negative effects the change to the streetlights will have on our quality of life if the project is not handled with patience and an understanding of how to properly direct light shine so as to avoid glare onto residents’ lots and into their living spaces.
As a resident, I would like to see something in writing committing the borough not only to this new resolution but also to upholding its own ordinance regarding light pollution — something stating that, along with the bulbs being replaced, that the infrastructure — perhaps new lamps themselves or maybe shields on the existing lamps — will be installed to ensure the light does not illuminate anything beyond the streets and sidewalks for which it is intended. I would like assurance as a resident of the borough that this cost savings and reduced impact on the environment — both valid and worthwhile reasons for swapping to LED that I can fully get behind — does not reduce our quality of life and that the bulbs will in fact only illuminate that which they are intended to for safety’s sake and not first-floor, or even second-floor, living spaces (which such a change is known to do if mishandled).
I’m asking Ambler Borough Council members to please consider and discuss these concerns before these new initiatives move so far forward that addressing any problems would be cost prohibitive.
Thank you again to Ambler Borough Council members for keeping our town in step with progress as it relates to lessening our impact on the planet. And thank you in advance for being thoughtful about any actions taken to be sure they do not detrimentally affect residents’ quality of life.
— Estelle Wynn Dolan, Ambler