Lighting projects, are they needed in an undeveloped area?

Published 9:15 am Friday, January 19, 2018

More often than not, streetlights are reserved for the most populated of areas.

Once you leave the city limits of Poplarville or Picayune, streetlights become a rarity.

But Tuesday, Picayune’s City Council approved a motion to apply for grant funding that would provide 80 percent of the necessary cash to install streetlights down Highland Parkway.

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That means the city is responsible for the remaining 20 percent, so some city residents may feel that money could be put to use in an area that is more densely populated.

And in the short term, they may be right. As Councilor Larry Breland stated during Tuesday’s meeting, there are areas in his precinct in need of streetlights.

Stargazers may resent them, but just about anyone will agree streetlights make an area seem safer. People are less likely to behave in a negative manner if the area is well lit.

So, with this in mind, you may be wondering why the city feels it’s so necessary to install streetlights along a stretch of road that has little on it, except a hospital.

The most obvious answer would be that our city’s leaders want to see the initial plan for Highland Parkway realized. You see, that road was not constructed solely as a shortcut from Highway 11 to Interstate 59 or vice versa. The initial plan was for a lot of development to take place along the new road, which would include residential, medical and commercial developments, all within walking distance from each other.

But a proposed anchor business deal did not go as planned, leaving the entire project scrapped.

Now, the city is left with a long road in a dark area of town, creating a location where negative behavior could take place.

It’s also our hope that with the installation of these lights, potential developers may give the area a harder look, leading to growth in that area of our city.