Editorial: Street lamps benefit business

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Main Street is the thoroughfare that connects Albert Lea with the traffic on Interstate 35.

Lighting the way with old-fashioned street lamps is a smart move for business. Motorists at I-35 Exit 11 will be welcomed to continue their visit.

Even in the daytime, the presence of the lamps &8212; particularly their old-fashioned look &8212; give the impression that Albert Lea is a city that cares about aesthetics and appearance. We have taste.

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The city has picked its lamps but hasn&8217;t picked the poles.

The better of the two types of poles under consideration are the rustic-looking iron ones, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation agrees. The standard fiberglass poles won&8217;t last as long.

One aspect of the lamps we like is their shape. The shell of the lamp focuses the light downward, which prevents excess light pollution. In other words, if we are going to pay for lights, let&8217;s have the light shining where it is supposed to be.

The effect creates, as City Manager Victoria Simonsen pointed out to reporter Kari Lucin, a &8220;light tunnel.&8221; The lamps, if approved, would extend about from Trail&8217;s Travel Center to Morris Furniture.

The City Council will take up the matter later this month. We think it should be an easy decision.