PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Streets Department is doing a citywide survey of alley lights, because of rampant vandalism to the lights caused by those who would prefer that the alleys stay dark.

Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson told City Council that her department is doing a street by street survey of all alley lights to determine why so many are constantly out. In some cases, she said just a new bulb is needed, but sometimes it’s pure vandalism.

“We have a problem with people throwing rocks, and also with bullets,” Tolson explained.

Council president Anna Verna asked, “they what?”

“They shoot them out,” Tolson responded.

Councilman Bill Greenlee followed “And aren’t they also cutting wires?”

“Yes, there’s lot of various damage,” Tolson said. “When people intend to disable a light, it’s difficult to work around them.”

And council members noted that the alley light problem is worst, ironically, in high crime areas where they are needed the most.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

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