TULSA, Okla. — From the day she was born, Darla Cook has been blind. Still, she knows just walking outside their west Tulsa home can be dangerous at night. Not only for her but her disabled husband too and their neighbors.
"It seems like they just don't care," Darla said. "It would be great, it would help me out, it would make me feel safer in the area."
If they could get the lone streetlight along their street to work, but neighbors said that light hasn't worked for years. The lone streetlight stands at the end of the elevated crosswalk that leads from their neighborhood to Eugene Fields Elementary across a busy street.
Chrystal lives next to the bridge, too, with her five young children.
"I'm paranoid, I don't want them to play in the front yard," Chrystal said.
Mark has taken these pictures at night from just outside their front door. Black as pitch, he describes it, which makes the space under the crosswalk a perfect hideaway for those causing problems.
"I feel like if they if the light up here was working, a lot of them wouldn't stay here because it would be too bright for them at night," Mark said.
Even though Darla can't see, she's bumped into people sleeping on the sidewalk as she takes her daily walk. One that Mark sometimes can't take because of COPD and diabetes.
So more than a year ago, Darla said she started calling the City and PSO countless times for help with the streetlight. She started with the city.
"They sent someone out and said it was PSO's problem, PSO came out over a year ago, they said it was the city's problem, we just can't find any answers," Darla said.
Darla and Mark said they've kept calling in hopes of trying to find someone who could give them an answer. All the while, that streetlight up there has remained dark.
So finally, they called the Problem Solvers and we got in touch with both the city and PSO. A spokesperson for the city said their electricians traced the circuit on-site and found the fixture is actually owned by PSO.
It's an older light fixture that was possibly installed when the bridge was built many years ago. PSO told us the situation was already on their radar screen and they plan to have a repair plan within a day or two.
During their long wait, Mark and Darla installed a motion detecting solar security light. But it dims, they said, in comparison to a working streetlight. Especially one that's bright to make sure to help make everyone living along this neighborhood street feel a little safer.
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