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Letter: West Vancouver doesn't need year-round Christmas lights on trees

It doesn't make environmental or financial sense to have 'Disneyland' lights on municipal lamp posts and trees, this letter writer says
WV Street Lights PM web
Lights on a lamp post shine away in the middle of the day at the corner of Clyde Avenue and 15th Street in West Vancouver.

Dear Editor:

As I am not aware of being asked or informed of this light-polluting, energy-using, lighting-up of trees in Ambleside, as if we are children living in a “Disneyland,” I’m wondering who and why it was decided upon for this nonsensical extravagance and for what purpose?

First, we have very pleasant and adequate lamp post lights. Then, these lamp posts were wrapped in silver lights for Christmas. Then, they were left illuminated year round. Then, they were recently changed to gold-coloured lights (except one post in the 400 block of 14th Street). And now, and for the last few nights, a sleep-disturbing cherry-picker bucket lift and workers have been stringing lights in virtually every tree from 13th Street to 19th Street on Marine Drive, and the 1400 block of Clyde Avenue.

Environmentally, it is strongly advised that we should be lessening our use of energy and lowering light pollution. These lights further illuminate the bedrooms and disturb the sleep of those who live near these streets. They are also unfriendly and disorienting to wildlife who fly at night and create further dangerous obstacles for them to become entangled in, night or day.

The costs expended on this ridiculous exercise would be far better spent repairing our potentially life-changing dangerous tripping-hazard, uneven sidewalks and road intersections that cause large vehicles to sound like they are exploding when going over the uneven, cracked and sunken surfaces. (FYI: call number M-98054 has been created on the latter from the district’s Engineering and Transportation Services Dept.)

The Ambleside businesses are not open at night, there are only souped-up, extremely noisy, ear-piercing loud vehicles using Marine Drive as a racetrack between 10:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., and young teenagers yelling profanities and throwing objects around. Is this for their benefit? I can see no other reason.

I’d appreciate an answer and justification to we taxpayers for this unnecessary and irresponsible expense in these extremely financially challenging times, please.

Christine Ballantine
West Vancouver