Street illumination needed, not affordable
Published 8:18 am Thursday, May 25, 2017
Editorial by Dawn Burleigh
There is no doubt on what is the hottest topic of conversations in Orange lately – the sentencing for Carl Broussard.
Broussard struck and killed LaMya Newhouse, 6, and her mother, Ava Lewis, 25, as they crossed MacArthur Drive on November 2, 2015. However, he was not charged with their deaths but for two felony counts for failure to stop and render aid. His attorney, Paul Fukuda, said there was no delay in the two victims receiving aid due to the people on the scene. Fukuda even stated the timing of the medical care did not contribute to their deaths because they had almost immediate medical attention.
According to court testimonies, the ambulance made it to the scene before the police arrived and law enforcement was on the scene within minutes.
To spark further outrage, Broussard stated on the stand that he felt like a victim in the situation due to the blood alcohol level of the mother.
The true victims of this case are the citizens of Orange, starting with the baby boy Lewis left behind and now being raised by a friend who was at the scene of the crime.
One must take into consideration, the mother, her daughter and another adult friend had already crossed the same road prior to shopping. Anyone who has taken a child clothes shopping knows that is not a quick shopping trip.
Yes, the road was recently resurfaced, and yes, the street is in dire need of illumination. But, those were not the only contributing factors in the case. Nor was the recent time change which did contribute to sun setting earlier in the day.
Those were also not contributing factors for the death of Loleecia Hughey, 2, who was killed when a vehicle hit her Nov. 23, 2011, in the 2500 block of MacArthur, the day after Thanksgiving.
Hughey’s death re-started the outcry for more lights along MacArthur Drive.
Texas Department of Transportation was requested to do a study to determine if more traffic lights or streetlights were needed.
TxDOT determined there was not enough traffic turning from the side streets along the road to warrant traffic signals, according to minutes from the city of Pinehurst council meetings.
The survey also determined street lights were not needed because of the lack of nighttime accidents. If the connecting cities installed streetlights, TxDOT would not bear the expense of installing or operating them.
City of Pinehurst and West Orange have all looked into options for lighting the roadway.
The street is unique in one side belongs to Pinehurst, the other side of the street is West Orange but the right of way belongs to Orange but is a state highway, so is maintained by the State of Texas.
There is no easy, quick, inexpensive solution. The four entities will need to work together to find the best option while the rest of the citizens drive more carefully along the road.
In the end, it is the citizens who are hurting from what they deem as a case of injustice.
We hear the term quality of life a lot. The saying means: ‘the standard of health, comfort, and happiness experienced by an individual or group.’
Illumination for safer transportation while on foot or by motor, is needed. However, at this point not affordable.
Drivers, pay attention to the road. Pedestrians, wear light colored clothing, preferably with reflective tape. If you do not have reflective tape or clothing, at least consider light and bright colored clothing while walking at night.
Dawn Burleigh is editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org