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City of San Diego Completes Repairs on Hundreds of Streetlights in Downtown

before and after picture of streetlight repairs

More than 700 broken and vandalized streetlights in Downtown have been repaired ahead of schedule as part of a collaborative effort between the City of San Diego and the Downtown San Diego Partnership. The project, which launched in May, focused on East Village and Gaslamp Quarter using data-driven analysis to prioritize repairs by geographical location.

"Functioning streetlights are crucial for safe, vibrant and thriving communities. That's why we have dedicated new resources to repairing streetlights in neighborhoods across San Diego,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “We are continuing to work to repair streetlights across the city — and we will get it done.” 

In addition to 710 streetlights being repaired, crews installed 129 anti-theft covers to prevent future outages, as many of the broken lights were caused by vandals who broke into the light poles and damaged or removed the wiring. Repairs conducted by City crews and contractors included replacing fuses, fuse holders, photocells and cabling to circuits. 

With the streetlight repairs completed in Downtown, City teams were able to close approximately 600 outstanding Get It Done reports. 

“Repairing more than 700 broken and vandalized streetlights in Downtown is a significant milestone, making Downtown San Diego safer for everyone,” said Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, who represents District 3. “Let this project stand as a testament to our commitment to improving safety conditions. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of City crews and contractors, we are not just fixing lights, but also securing them against future vandalism. Let us continue to shine a light on progress and prioritize safety in all our communities.” 

The City of San Diego’s Transportation Department maintains more than 60,000 streetlights citywide and has made progress in addressing the backlog of approximately 6,000 streetlights in need of repair and replacement. In January 2022, the Transportation Department reorganized its repair teams into north and south crews and changed repair prioritization from a chronological “oldest case first” model to a geographical location-based priority model developed by the City’s Performance and Analytics Department.   

To continue making progress in reducing the streetlight repair backlog, Fiscal Year 2024’s budget includes an additional $2.3 million for supplemental work performed by City-managed contractors and will introduce a streetlight safety priority score criteria which will consider prioritization factors such as historic service levels, communities of concern, liability and claims, proximity to schools and parks, and crime rates.  

In April of this year, Mayor Gloria also announced $3.5 million in federal funding had been secured to repair streetlights in the communities of Pacific Beach and Logan Heights.