Improving street lighting is also fighting against sexual assault and insecurity. These are two of the reasons that have led the Tarragona City Council to promote a plan to improve this aspect of public roads, with an economic injection amounting to 336,636.49 euros. Some of the actions have already started, others will do so in the coming weeks and the administration assures that there will still be “other very important ones” that will be outlined soon.
“The ultimate goal is for there to be more people who can feel comfortable and safe on the streets of Tarragona, and not just during the day,” says the councilor for Territori, Xavier Puig. The performances have been designed in a double line. On the one hand, the renovation of old mercury vapor lamps, for lights with LED technology, more sustainable and efficient. And, on the other, the installation of new streetlights in areas where an “excess of darkness” was detected, and therefore were poorly lit.
“When we bet on generating more light in these corners, we do it for the transparency of what happens on public roads and we are saying that the city’s squares and streets can be used with more confidence,” adds the third deputy mayor.
The first package of actions is the one that affects Via Imperi Romà and its surroundings, such as Passatge Josepa Massanés, Pompeu Fabra, Bisbe Bonet, General Domènech Batet i Mestres and Farinera squares.
Work began last October. In some of the areas, it was possible to preserve the existing supports and aesthetics, as is the case of Via Imperi Romà. On the other hand, in others, such as Plaza Farinera, the supports also had to be replaced. Likewise, in the Passatge Josepa Massanés, new lampposts were installed. This is a request made by the Associació de Veïns de Maria Cristina to the City Council, during a visit to explain the project for the pedestrianization of López Peláez street. “It was a scary area and you felt vulnerable, the neighbors didn’t pass by because they didn’t feel safe,” explains Puig.
“From the entrance through Avinguda Catalunya it was very dark, with graffiti and large bottles, and after the stairs everything was also black,” says Maria Carme Solé, president of the Associació de Veïns de Maria Cristina. It was a conflictive area, near the access to the Saavedra car park, through which it was avoided to pass. “In the garden area another lantern would not have gone bad, but I suppose that area will win in many aspects,” adds this neighborhood representative.
The project has meant an economic injection of 198,963.39 euros, of which the Provincial Council of Tarragona has contributed 127,432.43 through the investment program of the Pla d’Acció Municipal (PAM).
As for the second package of interventions, it affects the Parc del Francolí area. In this case, the dark spots have been attacked, with the installation of eight additional lampposts on the paths and the children’s play area, among other points. The investment amounts to 19,864 euros (VAT included). “There has been an improvement in some spaces, but there are still problems because there are lampposts that do not work and nobody changes them,” says the secretary of the Associació de Veïns del Parc Francolí, Roser Barrio.
This has always been an old demand of the neighbors who, on the other hand, defend the need for exhaustive pruning, since the trees are very tall and their branches prevent light from penetrating.
The meetings and demands of these entities often serve to detect these deficits. The other gateway is “technical services when they detect dark spaces, which are busy and important,” adds Puig. Through this route, the third package of actions was defined that affects various parts of the city, as is the case of Sant Pere i Sant Pau, Sant Salvador, the Vall de l’Arrabassada and Torreforta.
The project affects 186 lights that will be replaced, since they do not comply with current regulations, because they are mercury vapor and will be replaced by LED technology lights. These works will continue throughout the month of April and affect Passatge de Ferrer, the Pretori stairs and Salvador Espriu, Joan Fuster Ortells and D’Internet streets, among others.
In this case, the investment amounts to 70,083.68 euros (VAT included) and, according to the municipal technical services, “it will improve the lighting characteristics and the efficiency of the areas”. This is expected despite the fact that the installed power will be reduced, which will go from 66 kW to 17. All in all, the change to LED technology will mean savings of 222,470 kWh per year, which translates into annual economic savings of 17,798, 32 euros and a reduction of 77,867.7 kilos of CO2 emissions.
Finally, there is a fourth package of actions that will be promoted with a part of the remainder of PAM18. It refers to the renovation of 65 old luminaires in the Font del Centenari roundabout, Avinguda Vidal i Barraquer, the Bonavista Park and the Riu Llobregat car parks, in Campclar. In this case, the project has been awarded for a value of 47,718.88 euros (VAT included).