Linear Park hit by vandals
The first time people got into the habit of smashing light bulbs along Linear Park, a paved path on the lakeside of Highway 50 between Ski Run Boulevard and the intersection of the highway and Pioneer Trail, was about five years ago.
At that time, employees for the city of South Lake Tahoe installed protective metal covers for the lights, and they worked. But now vandals are taking out the posts that contain the lights.
“They’re kicking them,” said Tom Walters, city facilities manager. “It’s karate practice, I guess.”
The light posts are made of concrete and about 2 feet tall, but their bases are above ground and anchored with short pieces of metal. Walters contacted representatives of the company that makes the product. They told him they had never received complaints about light posts being faulty, or easy to kick over.
Wesley Turner, 39, of South Lake Tahoe, was out Tuesday walking his dog on the path and saw the downed poles.
“It’s terrible. I don’t think it’s cool, no question about it,” Turner said. “I was out here walking last night at 8 p.m. as it is. And these are nice, attractive, star-friendly lights.”
Eleven of the 38 light posts have gone over in the last month. Tom Walters, facilities manager for the city, was out Tuesday removing the posts and capping the fixtures so the area is safe for the public. The city estimates the damage to the lights to be $8,000.
Brad Vidro, public works director for the city, said he plans to investigate other options for lighting the path before repairing the damage.
“What we may need to do is get something up higher, something that can’t be kicked over,” he said.
Engineers who designed the path ordered shorter light poles, according to Vidro, in an effort to reduce light pollution in the area, which includes Tahoe Meadows, a gated neighborhood north of the highway.
– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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