Van Ness Street Lights Back On After Month-Long Circuit Snafu

Van Ness Street Lights Back On After Month-Long Circuit Snafu
Photo: Hunter Edwards/Flickr
By Rose Garrett - Published on January 08, 2015.
In an ongoing effort to investigate reader questions about happenings in the neighborhood, we've got news about a lighting situation (or lack thereof). 
Last week, reader Margaret M. wrote in with the following:

Why are the street lamps not turned on on the west side of Van Ness? It's very dark when evening falls and dangerous. The east side of Van Ness, the street lamps are lit.

I live on Hayes Street, and noticed the unlit street lamps between Hayes and Market at least three months ago ... a couple of weeks back I was at Opera Plaza in the evening, and it came to mind to notice if the lamps were off on the west side of the Van Ness when I was walking back, and as I mentioned they are unlit also.

In the blocks where the buildings are closed up for the evening, it's so dark you almost can't see, and in the dark blocks near Market Street, there are bushes and trees creating the possibility (forgive my imagination) for being ambushed.  

We contacted Charles Sheehan of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), which oversees the city's streetlights. "The PG&E circuit supplying power to these lights has not been working for a little more than a month now," he explained via email. "There is nothing wrong with the lights, they are just not getting any electricity. This is a power distribution issue in the PG&E Mission substation."

Thus forwarded on to the electrical side of things, we touched base with PG&E's Joe Molica. "The outage was due to PG&E equipment, which feeds the City’s streetlight network; there was also a piece of City equipment that failed," he said. As of two days ago, Molica said, the issue had finally been resolved. 

"We met with the City and working together, we were able to reenergize all but one of the lights. This last remaining light that is out has a part that needs to be switched out by the City, which we understand they are working on. We would like to apologize to the residents and visitors of the area for any inconvenience this may have caused."
If someone would like to report a streetlight outage in SF, residents can call 311 or go to PG&E's website to report it. "We work very closely with the City and the folks at 311 to coordinate streetlight repair," Molica told us. 

Thanks to Margaret M. for the tip, and here's hoping your evening travels through the neighborhood are a little better illuminated from here on out.