We need streetlights in Eastsound | Editorial

There are a variety of reasons to dislike these dark winter nights, but foremost for us it the lack of lighting in Eastsound.

It is dark by 4:30 p.m. when the streets here are still busy. Driving through town can be treacherous – people are walking in the crosswalk and, very often, traveling across the road where there isn’t a crosswalk. Having tasteful, charming streetlights would allow pedestrians and drivers to see where they are going.

At last week’s town hall meeting hosted by Councilman Rick Hughes, we learned there are conduits placed throughout the sidewalks ready for lamps to be installed. So we have a way to do it, we just need to find funding for it.

We urge the Eastsound Planning Review Commission and San Juan County to tackle this project.

Money for the lights could come from a community fund, lodging tax grant or Port of Orcas funds. All ports in the state of Washington have the ability to raise money for economic development and infrastructure.

“If someone comes to me leading the charge, I will do whatever I can to make infrastructure needs met in Eastsound,” Hughes told the Islands’ Sounder. “We’ll figure out how to find the money.”

We know how long it took to get trash cans up in town, so an endeavor of this scope would probably be even longer. But the ball needs to get rolling. It’s a public safety issue.