Letter: Why are we afraid of dark?


City should make move

When I first came to Page, one of the things that attracted me to the house I bought was the fact that there was no streetlight in front of my house. Within six months, the city had installed the most obnoxious streetlight possible. I defended myself by installing blackout drapes.
Since that time, there has been an evolution of ever-brighter lighting in Page. An evolution promoted by myth; a myth that supports a very deep-seated human emotion, fear. When I read the letters about the dark sky ordinance, I am amazed how all the letters get down to one simple thing, fear of the dark.
How much light is enough? When I drive from Wahweap to home in Page at night (doesn’t happen often, usually when I am returning from a great Park Service interpretive program), I am stunned by the bright lights from Page. My first thought is there must be a game on at the high school stadium. But no, when I get into town, I realize it is only the streetlights that are providing that dazzling display.
Let me suggest that there is such a thing as too much light. And there is such a thing as the wrong kind of light. If someone shines a flashlight in your face, you will have difficulty seeing beyond that light into the darkness. And if you move from a brightly lit area into a less brightly illuminated area, your eyes will take time to adjust. The solution is more even lighting, not brighter and brighter lighting.
The best example of lighting in the Page area is the Marriot. The parking lot lights are not overkill and their building lights are reflected off the walls, not directed at you. The rest of Page could take a clue.

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