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'It makes it feel a little less safe' | Dark street in Ocean Beach has some neighbors worried crime could escalate

A strip of streetlights on Abbott Street in Ocean Beach have been out for more than year. Neighbors have begged for repairs; crews were out there fixing the lights.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — A dark street in Ocean Beach has some neighbors worried crime could escalate.

They’ve complained to the City of San Diego and Councilmember Jennifer Campbell’s office for the last year and they remain left in the dark.

It’s tough to see when you drive down Abbott Street in Ocean Beach at night.

“It makes it feel a little less safe,” said Jon Carr.

He lives on Abbott Street and says since January he's filed numerous complaints on the "Get It Done" app and had email exchanges with Councilmember Campbell’s representative, that say they will get back to him. 

“I don't know what else to do. So here we are. Still with the lights out. Still a really, dark street,” said Carr.

The only way you can see are from house lights and neighbors say they feel left in the dark.

“No answer, no nothing,” said a neighbor, who says she reported the streetlights to the city several times.

Lydia Kardos is still limping after she says she was hit by a car while riding her bike on the dark street after the holiday parade, the driver took off.

“No one would have seen me laying the road because there are no streetlights so they were waving cars from behind to stop,” said Kardos.

The city says aging streetlights are one of the more frequents reports they receive. 

Since 2020, the city says it responded to more than 40 Get It Done reports associated with streetlights either outages, knock overs, vandalism citywide.

“Looks like it's going to fall on me,” said Carr about an unsecure light fixture.

On Monday, News 8 reached out to the city about the street light issues, On Thursday crews were working on the electrical lines connected to the lights.

In an e-mail statement to News 8, city spokesperson Anthony Santacroce wrote:

The series of street lights along Abbot Street are currently part of the Abbott Street Series Circuit Capital Improvement Project working to repair and replace these long-lived lights. The surrounding community has been noticed and there is signage in the area describing the project, which is expected to be completed next year. The streetlights and their associated electrical equipment are some of the oldest in the City, and consequently have some of the most frequent issues. Since the beginning of 2020, the City has responded to more than 40 reports of outages, knock-overs and vandalism through the Get It Done application and we encourage the community keep reporting street light issues to Get It Done. 

 Repairing and replacing street lights is complicated work that can involve set backs and long timelines. We look forward to the completion of the project when we are able to provide the community with the safety and visibility of new, reliable street lights."

“Ahhh, nobody I know,” said Carr.

News 8 looked for signs while we were in the neighborhood but weren't able to find any. 

“It's disconcerting that through numerous requests and multiple neighbors, get it done requests, direct requests to our council persons office that it took you getting involved to get an answer,” said Carr. “It is a very simple answer that is all I wanted.”

Councilmember Campbell sent a statement:

The city says the work we are seeing now is ongoing and the project is expected to be completed next year.

“Street lights in our neighborhoods provide visibility and promote a sense of safety after dark. Unfortunately, the economic downturn has impacted city department timelines for repairing broken streetlights throughout the City. In the past two budget cycles, I have advocated for street light repair funding. My office has been in contact with department staff to receive updates and encourage an expedited timeline for fixes, especially in Ocean Beach. I will continue to advocate for additional funding in the coming fiscal year budget process to support the needs of the department.” 

“As long as I know something is being done, I think it's satisfying, I think it's great,” said Carr.

The week of January 24, 2022 Carr reported all the lights on Abbott were finally on. 

Credit: Jon Carr
All the lights on Abbott were out for a year. Ocean Beach residents say they reported the outages for a year and finally all the lights on Abbott Street were fixed.

If you have a story you would like News 8 to cover send an e-mail to yourstories@kfmb.com

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