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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEWORLEANS -- Streetcar lights and your car headlights are pretty much the only thing lighting a swath of St. Charles Avenue these days.

'You can be sure that the criminal element or the predatory element knows how dark it is here at night,' said Lakeview resident Michael Allen.

It's troubling to Allen and his wife, who parked along the avenue Thursday night.

'I would say for the residents in this area it presents a real public safety hazard. A lot of shadows, a lot of trees and one can't see who or what is around them,' he said.

The tourist destination has been sitting in the dark for some time now because street lights just aren't working. In some cases they're simply missing.

A few months ago the St. Charles Avenue Association did a survey of 300 streetlights between Jackson and Carrolton avenues. It found that more than half were burned out, broken or missing.

'You can see across the street there are two lights that have been out. One we witnessed get hit one night by a vehicle,' said Evan Hayes.

Hayes is the owner of Delachaise Wine Bar. He's taken matters into his own hands by installing decorative and security lights for patrons in an area that would otherwise not be well lit.

The Uptown business is gearing up for a busy Carnival season crowd, and like so many in this neighborhood, Hayes would like to the city to fix the street lights before krewes start to roll.

'It is a safety issue,' Hayes said. 'We gotta get this taken care of. More lights are going to make it safer.'

Eyewitness News reached out to the City of New Orleans for an update on why lights are still out along St. Charles.

The City says there is a sequence to work being done along the Avenue requiring City crews and Entergy to restore power to the conduit powering streetlights. A City spokesperson says that will happen when RTA completes its work on the neutral ground. That's when the City says it will start making permanent repairs to fix streetlights.

The City also says additional temporary lighting will be provided ahead of the Mardi Gras parades.

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