POLICY 15.  STREET LIGHT POLICY
December 15, 2014
I.   PURPOSE:
The purpose of this policy is to establish a consistent and standardized process to be used by the Town of Middletown to determine the placement of streetlights. The policy is intended to provide a procedure for review and approval/denial of streetlight requests, and to provide an ongoing system of prioritizing the need for future installation of streetlights.
Public streetlights are not designed to light private property, or to provide home security improvements that are the private homeowner’s responsibility. Streetlights requested for protection of private property should be made directly to the appropriate utility company, and the applicant is responsible for installation, operation and maintenance costs. Also, residents have the option to install their own outdoor lighting systems for security.
II.   STATEMENT OF POLICY:
The purpose of public streetlights is intended to ensure the safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The Town of Middletown will determine the placement of streetlights according to the following criteria:
   1.   Initial installation of public streetlights in new developments is regulated by the Planning Board, and they are installed in accordance with the Planning Board approved site plan.
   2.   Any streetlights requested outside of new developments shall be as follows:
      Streetlights should be placed along streets and roads where increased lighting is necessary for the safety of motor and pedestrian traffic. In general, streetlights may be considered at the following locations:
      i.   Intersections.
      ii.   Dangerous curves or significant changes in the roadway, whether they are horizontal or vertical.
      iii.   Dead end streets and cul-de-sacs that are longer than 300 feet.
      iv.   Between intersections where the spacing of lights exceeds 1,000 feet. Street lights between intersections should generally be located at lot lines and near fire hydrants.
      v.   Street locations with a high motor vehicle accident history.
      vi.   Street locations where potentially hazardous or unsafe road conditions have been identified.
      vii.   Other areas with a high accident history.
      The Town will not be responsible for streetlights that are installed to illuminate private property or private driveways.
III.   OBJECTIVE CRITERIA FOR CONSIDERATION:
Street lighting is a discretionary action. The Town of Middletown will consider roadway safety, costs, excess lighting onto nearby homes, and energy consumption when making recommendations and decisions about new streetlight installations.
IV. POLICY FOR APPROVAL:
Requests for streetlights will be submitted to the Town Administrator, who will review the initial request and decide if it needs to be further evaluated by town administration for public safety need. If appropriate, requests that have been evaluated by the administration will be forwarded to the Town Council for their review. All requests will be approved or denied based on the following objective criteria:
   1.   The streetlight is needed to improve the safety of the public as described in sections I and II of this policy;
   2.   Other methods of increasing safety such as the use of signs, reflectors and paint do not produce sufficient warning;
   3.   Improve safety of pedestrian crossings; and
   4.   Budgetary constraints.
V.   PROCEDURE FOR EVALUATION OF NEED AND APPROVAL:
The process for approval for installation of a streetlight or reactivation of an existing streetlight by the Town Council will begin in one of two ways: Citizen request and ongoing municipal review of need.
A.   Citizen Request:
   1.   Requests for streetlights may be made by residents, business operators, institutions, and other interested parties.
   2.   All requests will be submitted to the Town Administrator, who will review the request and when appropriate, assign it to town administration to review for public safety evaluation of need. They will conduct an evaluation of the streetlight application, prepare a report of the location’s characteristics, motor vehicle accident history, and potential hazards and unsafe road conditions of the location, and submit the report and recommendation to the Town Council for action.
   3.   The citizen will be notified in writing if the request is denied.
   4.   If the request is approved, the Town Council shall direct the order for a new streetlight or reactivation of an existing streetlight, and will inform the citizen making the request.
   5.   The actual date of installation will be determined by funds budgeted annually for street lighting. The Department of Public Works will oversee the installation and arrangements will be made with the appropriate electric company.
B.   Municipal Review of Need:
   1.   The Police Department or Department of Public Works may identify streetlight need at locations identified from routine patrol as areas in need of future streetlight installation, and forward those reports to the Town Administrator, who will review and submit to the Town Council for consideration if appropriate.
   2.   The Town Council will consider the findings of the report, weigh the criteria and considerations described above in this policy, finalize a recommendation, and make a determination.
   3.   If the Town Council approves the addition of the location, they will direct the Department of Public Works to arrange for the installation or reactivation.
VI.   APPLICATION:
Any person requesting a streetlight shall do so by completing the attached application and sending it to the Town Administrator, Town of Middletown, 350 East Main Road, Middletown, RI 02842 or to townadministrator@middletownri.com.
VII.   EQUIPMENT:
   1.   The Middletown Department of Public Works will determine the type and installation details of the lighting, including determining the: luminaire type, wattage, mounting height, light distribution pattern, and in the case of multiple lights an installation pattern.
   2.   Public Works shall consult with the electric company to determine feasibility of new lighting technologies to reduce operating and maintenance costs.
   3.   Existing poles will be used whenever possible.