THE PROBLEM : Streetlamps along the Harbor Promenade in Fells Point have been unlit since 2006.
THE BACKSTORY: Michael D. Williams was not the first person to write to Watchdog about the unlit streetlights. Most of the public walkway that runs along the waterfront from Federal Hill to Canton has plenty of light, but a stretch that starts at The Crescent apartments to where Thames Street dead-ends at the water had been in the dark.
Williams, a Canton resident who runs along the path, said he first noticed the problem in September. He said he submitted a report to the city's 311 line, then wrote to Watchdog when the problem wasn't resolved.
"It's difficult to follow the path or see if there are any other people running," he said. "It's definitely a safety issue as well."
Mary Ellen Stepowany, who has lived on Thames Street for nine years, alerted Watchdog in July.
Those lights were installed several years ago as part of a second phase of development of the promenade, said Adrienne Barnes, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, which oversees maintenance of streetlights.
"It seems the developer did not notify proper parties to get the lights energized," Barnes said. Whoever installed the lights should have applied to the city's Department of Public Works for permits to switch them on, she said.
After calls from Watchdog, Barnes said Friday afternoon that the lights, which had been unlit for at least two years, would be fixed. She said transportation staff was working with Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. on the matter.
WHO CAN FIX THIS: City residents should call 311 to report problems.
Last week's Watchdog about the traffic signal on U.S. 40 at 62nd Street really struck a nerve with W. Brad Schlegel, who passes through that East Baltimore intersection during his daily commute to downtown Baltimore. He followed up with calls to staff in the traffic division of the Transportation Department and learned that the timing of the light would be adjusted to coordinate with signals on either side of the intersection. "My impression from talking to them is they're on top of this," he said.
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