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City takes responsibility for burnt light bulbs, making changes to reporting process after WBRZ report

6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Friday, May 19 2023 May 19, 2023 May 19, 2023 7:10 PM May 19, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A 2 On Your Side mystery has been solved! The streetlights along Burbank Drive are the city's responsibility after all. However, the city says the current system to report burnt light bulbs isn't working the way it was designed. Following Thursday's report, there are plans to make changes.

Alexander Tardo reached out to 2 On Your Side about the burnt bulbs along Burbank Drive recently, when his 311 requests were mysteriously closed out without being fixed.

"They're not on at night, a lot of them, especially the ones at the intersections," he said.

Tardo says he's concerned because of the recent tragedies along Burbank Drive involving pedestrians, including Madison Brooks near Pelican Lakes and Ethel Wesley at Bluebonnet Boulevard.

"We had someone killed on Ben Hur last week," he said.

Tardo says he reports the outages when he sees them in the city's 311 app. While the bulbs have been replaced in the past, recently his requests have been closed out and the bulbs have stayed dark.

"They're just marked out as closed and they just don't get fixed," he said.

Since Thursday, 2 On Your Side has learned the streetlights along Burbank Drive are the city's responsibility. The city replaces the light bulbs. Once a 311 request is received, the requests are submitted to either Entergy or DEMCO depending on the area. Then those requests are closed.

Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford says the city doesn't get any update after those requests are submitted to the electric companies.

"We do not get anything back from them that tells me that they have been repaired or not," Raiford said.

It's why some of the bulbs have remained burnt-out.

Tardo says more attention should be given to busy intersections.

"It just seems like a very obvious safety precaution that's not being maintained," Tardo said.

The city says it's requesting a meeting with the electric companies to change the process so it can be better informed. The city also says it will be out checking all of the streetlights along Burbank Drive on Friday and changing the bulbs that need to be addressed.

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