With poll Some residents along Evanston’s lakefront are complaining about new lights installed this year as part of an upgrade to pathways through the waterfront parks.

With poll Some residents along Evanston’s lakefront are complaining about new lights installed this year as part of an upgrade to pathways through the waterfront parks.

In a newsletter, the Southeast Evanston Association complains that the new lights create a “curtain of light” along the lakefront and argues that the lighting violates provisions of the lakefront master plan.

The group also asks why lights are kept on all night, when the park officially closes at 11 p.m.

Top: A long-exposure photo captures a couple walking through Dawes Park about 10 p.m. Monday. Above: A cyclist rides down the path illuminated by the new lights.

City staff responsible for the new path design and the lighting say the brighter lights make it easier for police to monitor activity in the park overnight.

They’ve also noted that the design of the lights — which have been used in other recent park renovation projects across the city — promote the “dark sky” concept by aiming all the light down toward the ground.

What do you think?

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Dawes Park Lighting.

    I really like the additional lighting in the park. I think it is very helpful, but they do seem excessively, overly bright, Dimmer switches anyone?

  2. Lights

    One of the things I most enjoy about entering Evanston from Chicago is the drop in light levels.  Lighting is all about where the light is going.  Street lighting/path lighting in parks should have fixtures that put the light down – sorry for all of those Talmadge fixtures which, while historic, shoot the light out in all directions.  And to make matters worse, several years back, the City bumped up the light levels in those fixtures which made matters considerably worse.  Those fixtures were originally designed for incandescent lamps, which emitted a soft glow.  Now, they are really quite awful for everyone on the 2nd and 3rd floors everywhere – especially in the half of the year when the leaves are gone.  In addition to being annoying and because they shoot the light out in all directions, they waste much of the energy they consume.  Terrible solution. 

    Lighting in the parks is fine if the lights are night sky friendly and put the light where it does the most good.  It seems that the lighting shown in the photos in this article do a pretty good of aiming the light where it's needed (and I do think lighting is needed).  NU also did a really nice job with the lighting on wide sidewalk on the east side of Sheridan Road, north of Clark Street, so kudos to them too.

  3. Improved esthetics and safety

    The new lakefront path actually makes me want to go down there. The fact that it is now paved and lit up improves the esthetics and public safety components of the path.

    I've lived in Evanston for a few years now, and never really cared much about the path because it was so "unfriendly". This is a MAJOR improvement and I cannot fathom why these residents are making such a stink about it.

    You'd think that all of those yuppies would be thankful for lights at night for their own safety and protection… Oh wait, then they would not have something to complain about. It seems as though half of the houses down there are for sale anyway, so stop whining

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