By Dave Schwab
A lengthy effort to patch the aging electrical infrastructure that has periodically darkened sections of La Jolla’s downtown appears to be wrapping up.
“At this moment, every streetlight in the Village of La Jolla is working,” Egon Kafka said last week, even as the countywide blackout hung over town.
A La Jolla Town Trustee and La Jolla Village Merchants Association board member, he has been a seemingly one-man crusader working with the city on streetlight restoration.
Electrical power has returned, “at least for the time being,” to the especially troublesome 48 streetlights of the Girard Avenue-Wall Street-Herschel Avenue circuit which dates back to November 1945.
Kafka said streetlight repairs have put 16 of those 48 lights on a separate circuit.
Those lights, on the two blocks of lower Girard above the dip on Prospect Street, have been dark almost 10 years because their wires were just completely destroyed underground,” he said.
“I have methodically been calling in streetlights that needed repair, 30 or 35 over the last month or two, and especially over the last few weeks,” he said, adding the city’s streetlights division deserves credit for being responsive with limited resources.
“They’ve done a bang-up job and really worked hard and not disrupted traffic all summer, even though they had to keep working to create new wires under Girard — it’s a miracle,” he said.
Village streetlights need to be continually monitored to ensure their performance.
“It’s important to report whether they’re out or flickering on and off,” Kafka said.
To report streetlight problems, call (619) 527-7500, preferably during the day.