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Safer With Lights at Night


First, I'd like to thank several residents on Valcour Drive for recently posting on Nextdoor about their months-long frustration in dealing with Entergy to get street light outage resolved on their street. I wasn't aware of how dark it had become on Valcour due to non-functioning street lights until those posts. I took this as an opportunity to roam Melrose Place and locate all non-working lights. If you've noticed orange marker tape around poles and a minivan pulling up to the curb at night, that's why!


Ultimately, a total of 26 street light outages were discovered throughout Melrose. Through the course of 3 weeks, I worked with a customer representative at Entergy to ensure these lights got back up and working(*). Problems included structural damage, burned out bulbs, ground faults, and faulty timers.


The result: better lighting in Melrose at night (especially on Valcour!) Going forward, the civic association will conduct a periodic audit of street lights to avoid this level of outage in the future.


LET'S TAKE THIS 2 STEPS FURTHER.


As residents, here are 2 easy actions YOU can do to increase the security of your home and neighborhood:


(1) Exterior home lights

During the time I was checking street lights, I noticed that there are several homes in Melrose with non-existent or insufficient exterior night lighting. This contributes to the kind of darkness that encourages criminal activity.


We should all have at least one bright exterior light on at night: porch, garage, flood light, landscape lighting - preferably a combination. Check your bulbs to make sure they're working, and stay in the habit of turning them on. Ask your neighbors to do the same.


(2) Report street light outages when they occur

If a street light is malfunctioning near your house, you can easily report it to Entergy without having to log into an Entergy account. Just go here and follow the instructions:


Avoid using 311 for this service. You can use 311, and the request might get to Entergy, but using the Entergy site is more direct and will get better results.


Not all outages are a quick fix (as some of you have discovered), and Entergy is not known for their transparency. If you get stuck and need a hand, just let us know!


(*) A big thanks to our councilman Cleve Dunn Jr. for sponsoring a sitdown meeting last October with representatives of several neighborhoods and Entergy. It's how I was able to get to an Entergy representative that I could harass properly :)


David West



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