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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Beau Taylor Takes Over As Detroit’s Lighting Chief

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Taylor joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about keeping the lights on in Detroit.

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Detroit Public Lighting Authority

It’s one of Mayor Duggan’s favorite campaign lines — especially when people accuse him of not paying enough attention to Detroit neighborhoods — “The streetlights are back on.”

The city has spent years rebuilding its lighting infrastructure.

At one point, tens of thousands of Detroit’s streetlights were out — nearly half of all the streetlights in the city.

Now, the city’s new LED lights are a bragging point.

This year, Detroit has a new director of its Public Lighting Authority (PLA). Beau Taylor previously served as director of Detroit’s Public Lighting Department from 2013 to 2016 and helped create the new PLA. He had been with the department since 2011. Taylor also previously worked as an assistant to the city’s chief operating officer.

New Public Lighting Authority Director Beau Taylor (left) with Stephen Henderson (right)Jake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

New Public Lighting Authority Director Beau Taylor (left) with Stephen Henderson (right)

He joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about his new role and takes calls from listeners. Taylor says, at its worst, the situation a few years ago left large swaths of the city without working street lights.

It was creating a situation where you had high volumes of traffic driving through completely dark areas,” says Taylor.

Now, he says, “I think we’re in a good place.”

I do think it’s incumbent upon me and our agency to be responsive to the needs of the public,” he says. “And even if we can’t go every street and make a change, what we can do is be there and be empathetic and hear people’s concerns.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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