I can still remember the dark, warm, rainy night and the anxious feeling I had when I realized the step I took could prove to be disastrous. It was not so much the fear for me but the two people who were clinging to my arms. I could sense their fear of not making it to their destinations unharmed.
No, this is not an excerpt from a paperback novel or anything to do with combat in an overseas war. It’s about an incident that followed watching a delightful play at the downtown Mainstage Theatre. As we left the side door of the theater, in the pitch dark alley adjacent to the building it was apparent that the two elderly seniors, holding on to me, were worried of tripping or falling on the pavement which could have resulted in broken bones. Why? Because there was not adequate lighting. I inquired if anyone talked with the city regarding the issue and was told yes, many times.
I realize the installation of yet another outdoor light would be costly; however, look at it this way, if more seniors felt safer in going downtown they would more likely do so. Say, for instance, they felt safe enough to go downtown and eat out, that would generate more business and therefore more sales tax. These taxes could be added to the TIF fund and increasing the quality of life for everyone.
Yes, there is an immediate cost and it may result in the mayor cutting his trip to Japan a day shorter. However, in the long run, the cost of an additional light would pay for itself, without any tax abatements or major infrastructure cost. It would greatly increase the quality of life for seniors. And at least give the illusion that someone cared.
Darrell E. Baylor