NEWORLEANS-- On the heels of a brutal beating in the Marigny earlier this month, some French Quarter residents are worried that dark spots in their neighborhood could lead to more crime
'After watching video on Facebook a couple days ago of the guy getting beat up with the bottle. It kind of concerned me. I live in the Quarter,' said Joshua Sevine.
He has lived in the neighborhood since just after Katrina. Sevine says seeing broken or missing city street lights late at night is unnerving. According to the French Quarter resident, a two-year-old trouble spot sits at the corner of Saint Ann and Dauphine streets.
'Our biggest concern is getting this repaired or fixed. It would be nice to have something done here,' said Sevine.
'Especially in some of our areas that have increased crime and neighborhoods that have not seen crime to the degree that they have now. I think a lot of people looking at the parallel of lights that are out and a higher rate of crime and at least that sense of being unsafe,' said Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer. Her office keeps a database of at least 1,000 lighting complaints which are then forwarded to the Public Works Department.
Palmer says the city does have the money to fix the problem.
'We were told that when we allocated $10 million that was enough to get these lights turned on,' said Palmer of the money budgeted towards fixing lights this year.
Right now, the city says there are about 5,000 outages city-wide not connected to Hurricane Isaac and its tracking 1,900 repairs that are in progress.
'Every day we have 20 crews deployed fixing lights citywide. We're trying to be as aggressive as possible,' said the City's director of Public Works, Col. Mark Jernigan.
The city says light outages can either be a quick fix or a complicated undertaking which can take time.
'About 40 percent of the cases we've got right now. It's a lot more involved then just a simple light bulb. It's what we classify as a major repair and that takes time,' said Jernigan.
As crews work to get city lights that are out back up and running, one French Quarter resident stresses it boils down to public safety.
'This is why we have crime and violence in the Quarter, the Marigny, the Bywater. I think that's a big part to do with it,' said Sevine.