Like other major cities, Tampa needs to make improvements and enhancements to its basic infrastructure. Some of those needs, like stormwater protection or new sidewalks, are exceedingly expensive.
Some, like adding street lights, aren't as expensive.
On Tuesday, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced that he will commit $2.2 million over the next five years to install 8,4000 streetlights throughout the city, including lower-income areas that suffer most egregiously from the lack of such lighting.
"It is a crime issue and it is a public-safety issue," Buckhorn told a crowd that gathered for a press conference in front of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in East Tampa. "As you know, we've had a number of pedestrian fatalities that have occurred at intersections and streets in our community. Perhaps the lights could have been stronger. The lights could have been brighter. There could have been more lights."
It was nearly a year ago that a pregnant woman was killed in East Tampa in part because of a lack of sidewalks and adequate lightning, something that nearly every City Council member acknowledged needed addressing.
Nobody looked happier about this development than City Councilman Frank Reddick, who represents East Tampa, Sulpher Springs and the Ybor area — three parts of the city in need of more street lighting.