Half of Detroit’s Streetlights May Go Out as City Shrinks

Chris Christoff, Bloomberg, May 24, 2012

Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.

As it is, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are broken and the city, whose finances are to be overseen by an appointed board, can’t afford to fix them. Mayor Dave Bing’s plan would create an authority to borrow $160 million to upgrade and reduce the number of streetlights to 46,000. Maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city $10 million a year.

Other U.S. cities have gone partially dark to save money, among them Colorado Springs; Santa RosaCalifornia; and Rockford, Illinois. Detroit’s plan goes further: It would leave sparsely populated swaths unlit in a community of 713,000 that covers more area than Boston, Buffalo and San Francisco combined. Vacant property and parks account for 37 square miles (96 square kilometers), according to city planners.


Detroit’s dwindling income and property-tax revenue have required residents to endure unreliable buses and strained police services throughout the city. Because streetlights are basic to urban life, deciding what areas to illuminate will reshape the city, said Kirk Cheyfitz, co-founder of a project called Detroit143—named for the 139 square miles of land, plus water—that publicizes neighborhood issues.


There’s already experience snuffing out streetlights within Detroit’s borders. Highland Park, a 3-square-mile city encircled by its larger neighbor, removed 1,100 of 1,600 streetlights last year, after piling up a $4 million debt to DTE Energy. The move saves $45,000 a month, said Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, a spokesman for the company.

Only major streets and intersections remain lit in the city of 12,000, once home to Chrysler Group LLC’s namesake car manufacturer and Henry Ford‘s first moving assembly line. {snip}


Jamahl Makled, 40, said he’s owned businesses in southwest Detroit for about two decades, most recently cell-phone stores. He said they’ve have been burglarized more than a dozen times.

“In the dark, criminals are comfortable,” Makled said. “It’s not good for the economy and the safety of the residents.”


North of there, on a stretch of West Grand Boulevard, the bases of light poles show where thieves tore out the wiring.

As many as 15,000 Detroit streetlights use 1920s technology, according to a 2010 study by McKinsey & Co. Upgrading the system would cost $140 million to $200 million, and $5 million more to operate than the $23 million now spent annually, the report said.


That’s just one reason Detroit is digging out of a $265 million deficit and saddled with more than $12 billion in long- term debt. To avoid a state takeover, Detroit agreed in April to have its finances overseen by a nine-member board appointed by the city and the state.



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  • A SLPD Sgt. once told me that the way to tell which ghetto neighborhoods were the worst of the worst was the streets where there were no street lights.  That is because the drug dealers shoot the bulbs in order to gain the advantage of darkness.

  • Francis Galton

    It looks like Detroit is on its way to becoming America’s first majority-felon municipality (it might be there already).

    Speaking of which, the following is a little off topic, but it relates to what I just said: does anyone know if there are statistics on percentage of felons by geographical territory or something to that effect (i.e., percentage of Detroit residents who are convicted felons, percentage of Maine residents who are felons, percentage of Bed-Stuy residents who are felons, etc.)?  Can this data be gleaned from Census or American Community Survey data?  I’m very curious about this sort of thing, but I’ve had no luck finding anything.  Anyone…?

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Yet somehow Detroit found the money for this:

    Michigan politicians met in downtown Detroit on May 14 to break ground on a new Whole Foods Market with hopes of boosting the area’s economy and bringing new jobs to the city.

    The new store is said to be part of an incentive package that includes $4.2 million in state and local funds. The store will receive tax credits and promise to remain open for seven years after receiving the first installment, Spero News reported.

    Great.  Detroit is broke yet the politicians manage to find over $4.5 million so welfare dependents can swipe their EBT cards in the dark for $10/pound free range, organic chicken!!

    I give this store three months before they shut her down — theft, “shrinkage” and looting will be rampant.  The pale, feeble vegan-types that run Whole Foods don’t have a chance against hardened black criminals and gang members.

    •  Are you serious?  A Whole Foods in Detroit???!!! Excuse me while I recover from laughing my butt off.  Yeah there is definitely a HUGE African market for Organic Royal Rainbow Quinoa and Lancashire organic cheese. 

      • Detroit_WASP

        Where they are building is know as mid-town, high end black and white hipsters live there.  But I still predict the store will fail.  Too many crack babies will ship lift and rob them at gunpoint. 

    •  A Whole Paycheck in Detroit will go over about as well as, well, insert your favorite analogy here.  I’m waiting for it to fail just to see what kind of excuses the SWPLs trot out.

    • blight14

       Perhaps a Nieman Marcus is next? With the narrow margins grocery stores have, albeit Whole Foods may be in a slightly better position, how long can this store last, 90 days? A brilliant idea!


    The Blacks will blow police whistles as they hack up their screaming white victims with machetes as was done in Kenya by the Mau Mau and in Haiti during their 1700s revolution.  The police will guard shopping centers, AMTs, Banks and government buildings as the blood flows.  When white begin shooting and defending the COPs will go after the whites.  

    Saving electricity is a good idea.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      The Earth People will be happy now, less electricity. 

      Blacks don’t even know it but they are saving the planet, polar bears, whales, ice caps, and unicorns.

      Last one out of Detroit please turn off the lights!!!


  • WmarkW

    They’re not even waiting for the last one to leave, to turn out the lights.

  • In North Korea there are no lights at night.  But then North Korea does not have any blacks.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Not to worry. When the lights go out in Detroit everyone will light candles and check on their neighbors. There won’t be any looting or robbing.

      Then they’ll all hold hands in a circle and sing like the Whos at the end of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

    • Advantage, North Korea.

  • For over 50 years maybe going back to the Civil War, $trillions of government and state money have been spent on and given to blacks   More blacks today are college educated, have good paying  jobs and are elected to public office.  None of this matters at all because the attitude and violence of American blacks has not changed.  America blacks are beginning to behave just like blacks in Africa who kill everyone including their own people.  I think that only the burning  nuclear fire of hell can stop what is going on.

    I am glad that there is a plan to save tax money on lighting Detroit neighborhoods.  

    •  Beginning to behave just like the blacks in Africa?  My dear Aunti, they have been acting the same way since the dawn of their existence!

    • Once our international friends cut off Uncle Sam’s credit, there will be no more handouts. Once we’re broke, how long do think before blacks descend into chaos? I’d say a year or two tops.

      I don’t think it takes a ‘nuclear fire of hell’ to fix things. Just stop the charade and fence off the degenerates. Left to their own devices, they’ll quickly return to their naturally stable population densities.

    • mikejones91

      Like a young black man said on Karl Bodeckers “Lets have a conversation about race”, “black people just commit crimes, we just do it”. No sense of cause and effect.

  • Church_of_Jed

    Half of White Americans May Disappear During Obama-Holder’s Second Term.

    “If you think Hell is bad, just wait till you see 2013.”

    -Rev. Jed DeValleyism, “Today is your last good day,” 2012

  • Hirschibold

    This is a real head-scratcher. I saw an article here a couple days ago saying that once America was majority-minority we could all look forward to a vibrant future Utopia. Detroit is about as diverse as it gets, yet it seems like it’s returning to the dark ages.

    If Obama wins in 2012, can he celebrate by driving his motorcade through Detroit? I figure it will look something like this:


  • Detroit IS a self-ravaged hellhole of FILTH.  It is a pestilential  nest of criminals – AND A PORTENT of what awaits ALL American big cities


  • If blacks were equal, then Detroit wouldn’t be dying.  It started to die when whites were leaving and now it is a lost cause.  Why should Detroit be different from Africa?  All of those natural resources and Africa is the most poverty stricken place on earth.  It isn’t because of white ‘racism’.

  • Johnny Reb

    Blacks will have to rape, loot and murder in the dark.  Big deal.  Isn’t that what they do in the jungle, anyway? 

    40% of the 88K lights (35,200) are already broken (that probably means the “citizens” have ripped the wiring out).  So all they’re  doing is shutting down another 10,000 and just not bothering to fix the rest.

    Once they start torching buildings and lighting the cooking pots, they’ll make up for the missing 10,000.

  • TomIron361

    Well, it is interesting in a way to watch them louse up at such a high level.

  • APaige

    The problem with “Black Power” is that it cannot even keep the lights on. (Forgot where I read that line-but it is a classic)

  • IstvanIN

    So we treat Detroit like we do Africa, never ending foreign aid so they can breed uncontrollably?

  • Shawn_thefemale

    I was of the impression it was already about as dark in Detroit as it could get.

  • MekongDelta69

    I posted a bunch of comments on Bloomberg (which showed up). Later I saw my posts were “Flagged as inappropriate” by the usual ‘anti-racist’ troll. After that, my comments suddenly had to be “reviewed by the moderator”. As of the latest viewing, Bloomberg isn’t allowing ANY more posts at all.

    His site is as scared as the wonderful mayor of NYC, who delights in importing every non-white person he can. Of course, with $18 Billion, what does he have to worry about – mayor or not?

  • Up to my neck in CA

    Africa today is still a stone age society with out European influence. White’s leave and it reverts back to savage ways, Detroit is no different. Stalingrad is now Volgograd as in Volga City.

  • Cyb

    why don’t they just raise taxes to pay for the lights? 

  • eunometic

    The problem is that George Bush Jnr and Allan Greenspan were both such imbeciles that Barrack Hussein Obama gets to blame them for his first term.

  • Liberals cannot admit that were wrong. Blacks cannot be integrated into white society. The civil rights movement was an experiment that didn’t work, yet they have been singing its praises for 60 years. Liberals would rather drive this nation off a cliff than admit that the founding fathers were right.

  • “maybe Whites were less racist against the Japanese” Lol, I’d love to hear that argument. During WW2 US soldiers sent ears, teeth and “Jap skulls” as souvenirs to their families back home. Unheard of on the European front, but commonplace in the Pacific.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    BALTIMORE 200 black “youth” (being reported as 40) in flashmob loot inner harbor 7-11 beat owner

  • The ‘oppression’ crap is a lie.  What about white criminals?  Were they oppressed? What about the Jews and Asians who were also on the back of the bus at one time and now have the highest per capita salaries in America.  The negro crime and illegitimate births are much higher now than during Jim Crow.  It is an established fact that 40 years of welfare has destroyed the black family so use these facts back at white Marxists/liberals and blacks.

  • razorrare

    In reply to Bon…

    Its posible that an arrangemeent has been made whereas  Whole foods and the Federal govt has entered into a contract that would insure any losses from theft or looting would be paid by You and I and other such Taxpayers…

    This is being done in other parts of the country where blacks complain that there are no shopping outlets in their geographical area–to entice such companys to open and operate such entitys/stores in their predominantly black areas,the govt ensures all losses will be paid to such entitys that agree to run & operate stores in these high crime areas…

    •  I can easily see the very steep insurance costs for this particular Whole Paycheck location being mostly subsidized by the state and/or Federal governments.

    • Strider73

       IOW, a grocery store bailout.

  • razorrare


  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    warning graphic video. mobs of blacks loot 7-11 baltimore

  • City of Detroit=  Black Pride, Achievement and Innovation

    • Detroit_WASP

      “City of Detroit= Black Pride, Achievement and Innovation” = LOL 
      Good one!

  • mikejones91

    The main reason its hard for whites to accept racial differences is from the occasional well to do black man. I was at a hospital yesterday and my friends doctor was a young black man. He was very nice and helpful. But—I left the room to go outside and smoke and took the elevator. It opens up and a little black girls runs out and slams into me making me spill my coke. Not only did the mother NOT apologize to me, she gave me a look that almost said “watch your cracka ass”. Then I get outside and this older black man approaches me and tries to sell me broken headphones for 20$. Not the nice ones either. Just crappy old walkman headphones. That’s one thing you have to do when a black confronts. Assert a dominant physical position. Example—I was in a neighboring town (the black town) to pick up my paycheck. I parked my car on a side street and there was blacks all over the place. Just from the looks I got, they knew I wasn’t from their neighborhood. I get out of my car and light a ciggerate. I also had a 10 dollar bill that I had pulled out as I was going to get a slice. This black dude was approaching (he was definitely a crackhead). I start getting closer and he stops. He ask’s me “yo you go the time”. This may sound dumb to some of you but it works in situation like this–I said “whats that”. And stepped in closer to him toi assert my dominant physical position. (I guess this would only work with people that are smaller than you though haha) I’m 6’1 190lbs. He was a crackhead. Needless to say, I was bigger.—When I asked him to repeat what he said in a firm voice, he just said never mind and walked off. He saw that I was NOT afraid of him because he was black. I made I contact and didn’t act nervous when he was approaching. When he asked me a question, I moved in towards him showing that I was NOT afraid of him. —I think he though (lol) he was gonna try and sneak me and take my money but realized I was not your typical “pussy ass white boy”. Although, this wont work with all encounters—Word of advice—NEVER PUSH A BLACK PERSON ( you shouldn’t really push anyone) meaning–In a fight/hostile situation some people push the other guy. IF someone (especially a black) gets in your face, NEVER just push them. You push them, they lunge at you with a jab and they get the first hit. Pushing someone never works, unless the person you push is a bitch. This doesn’t hold true for blacks. This black could be a complete pussy, but he will NOT be shown by a white boy. If a black gets in your face, you have two options. You take the first swing, or you run for your life haha. Blacks will NEVER back to down to a white. A black will NOT be shown up by a white person, they just won’t. If a black gets in someones face, it ALWAYS ends in  a fight. That should really hold true for us whites too. Don’t get in someone face unless you plan on fighting. 

  • Detroit_WASP

    I had an epiphany a few years ago. 

    Blacks are unable to even build their own shelter. Here in Detroit, they live in homes that whites built, until they tear them up and burn them down. THEN they move to a new house that whites built, it’s the same pattern over and over again.

     They follow whites for shelter. That’s why they always move toward the whites and not away. There are tribes in Africa that don’t build ANY sort of shelter. They live in the open like a pack of dogs or pride of lions. 

    When you look at blacks inability to build and maintain basic shelter, compared to whites building sky-scrapers, putting a man on the moon, splitting the atom and curing polio, it is an astounding difference that goes unnoticed because of PC propaganda. 

    • Alexandra1973

      Kind of like that movie Independence Day.  They move from planet to planet, consume everything then move on.  Or in this case, go from one city to another, destroy everything then move on.

      • Strider73

        Then the President said, “Nuke ’em — let’s nuke the bastards.” Unfortunately those negroid-like aliens had impenetrable shields, like the Martians in The War of the Worlds. While our terrestrial negroids have no shields, nuking Detroit would cause radioactive fallout in Windsor, Ontario, which is the classic innocent bystander.

        Fortunately there is an alternative, if it ever becomes necessary. Under the right atmospheric conditions, a fuel-air explosion will cause death and destruction comparable to a tactical nuclear warhead, but without the radiation.

    • better_times

      Like the Africanized “Killer” bees.  Kick the European bees out of the hives they build & steal their honey. 

  • haroldcrews

    There are two reasons really.  The first is a religious reason and the second pragmatic.  First, Egalitarianism is a religion.  It possesses a number of dogmas that cannot be questioned.  One of the highest being that all races (if there is such a thing) are equal and white racism is the only reason that blacks are not on the same level as whites.  Two, white guilt keeps the opposition in line and allows the DWL to silence dissent through intimidation.  This keeps the gravy train of wealth redistribution jugging along.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

     blacks are so addicted to drugs and alcohol that they cannot think. especially after years of abuse they are like zombies. almost 90 percent of all blacks are hooked on drugs and alcohol to the point where they require intervention and almost 100 percent use casually but to where it causes legal problems.

  • sarah stein

    I blame all those evil racist white crackers that are running that city. 

  • ageofknowledge

    Detroit has lost 25% of its population over the past decade.

  • Robert11110

    This nation is paying the price for importing slaves from Africa.  I believe every people on the face of the Earth should have representational government to advance their own people.  I don’t see anything wrong with supporting a black secessionist movement to create their own nation state right here within the borders of the US.  Some place like Mississippi which is already projected to have a black majority over the next 30 years.  Let them deal with their own problems in their own way and free the rest of us up to pursue our own destiny.

  • Maybe in a few years, they’ll be producing episodes of The Running Man in the Detroit no-mans land.