THE PROBLEM Lights at a Northwest Baltimore shopping plaza have been dark for months.
THE BACKSTORY Watchdog readers often draw attention to unlit street lamps in their neighborhoods. But Shirley Clinton had an unusual problem because her immediate environs include the shopping center across the street from her apartment complex.
Clinton is president of the tenants association at the Reisterstown Square Apartments on Eberle Drive. The entrance to the apartment complex faces a Home Depot in Reisterstown Plaza. Several streetlights along the path that leads to their complex have been dark for months, she wrote in an e-mail to Watchdog.
On behalf of her neighbors, she said, she contacted the Home Depot store at the end of October. Employees told her to call the retailer's corporate offices, so she tried the toll-free number and talked to someone but got no resolution.
Next she contacted Reisterstown Plaza's management office. After a few calls, a supervisor told her they would alert the tenant, Home Depot, about the problem because it was the retailer's responsibility, Clinton said.
"This has been going on too long, for the safety of the people who live here in the complex and for [Home Depot's] patrons," she said. "Everyone doesn't get home here in the complex before dark."
Matthew Tramel, a spokesman for the owner of the property, said the company is concerned about the safety of customers and employees.
After the problem was reported in late December, the real estate company contacted Home Depot to have the issue resolved, he said.
A Home Depot spokeswoman said that two bulbs happened to burn out in close succession and that staff at the store were aware of the problem. "I think the timing was probably the weird thing going on here," said Jen King, spokeswoman for Home Depot's northern division.
She said in an interview Friday that someone would replace the burned-out bulbs.
WHO CAN FIX THIS For similar problems, contact the store manager.
Watchdog has more information about the street lamps at Union Wharf in Fells Point, unlit since they were installed. Developer Larry Silverstein, part of a partnership that owns that undeveloped 4-acre property near where Thames Street dead-ends at the harbor, said he's looking into it and continuing to talk to city officials but that it could take more than six months.
"To be honest, we didn't even know the lights were not on," he said. "We just have to find out physically how to turn those lights on - is there a conduit we can connect to," he said. "We don't even have an electric meter out there."
Is there something in your neighborhood that's not getting fixed? Tell us where the problem is and how long it's been there by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 410-332-6735.