SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Decades ago, downtown Springfield was bustling with activity and Main Street was a well-lit business area. As a long-time Springfield resident, Steve Moe said he remembers the days when downtown Springfield was active after dark.
“This was the most popular spot in Springfield for many years. We had Alexander's department store here, Wright's Hardware next to it,” Moe reminisced, looking out over the darkened Main Street. “They were well lit and lots and lots of people used this.”
Moe, a member of the city’s Citizen's Advisory Committee spent his Thursday night walking along Main St. with a group of downtown business owners and other Citizen Advisory Committee members, charting the darkest sections of sidewalk and speculating on the best places for streetlights.
One of the group members, Abigail Ofori-Amoah, told KVAL News that the goal is public safety, and they hope the lights will boost night traffic for businesses.
“It's definitely been a need and it's finally … coming to a place where the need has been talked about,” Abigail told KVAL News reporter Tom Adams during the tour of downtown. “Now we're actually trying to put some action towards making something happen.”
The business owners and SCAC are still working out how much the project would cost, but Brian Barnett of Springfield Public Works said the group has already started working on a demonstration streetlight project.
"The amount of funds has not been identified for that exactly but we're hoping to do about five lights on one block face," said Barnett.
If the money is found, Brian Barnett told KVAL the one-block demonstration project will be on Main from 4th to Pioneer Parkway.
"There'll be just more of a sense of community feeling down here, showing people that there are things to do here in Springfield after 5 o'clock," Abigail said.