My tea is nearly ready

And the sun has left the sky.

It's time to take the window

To see O’Leerie going by.

For every night at teatime

And before you take your seat

With lantern and with ladder

He comes posting up the street.


For we are very lucky

With a lamp before the door.

And Leerie stops to light it

As he lights so many more.

And O! Before you hurry by

With ladder and with light.

O Leerie, see a little child

And nod to him to night!


                  Robert Louis Stevenson


Sandy Springs Lighting Program Hits The Streets

From the Sandy Springs Revitalization Milestone newsletter -- April 2002.


Overlay Ordinance Helps Recapture That Village Appeal

In days gone by, the lamplighter was a familiar character in every neighborhood. He serviced anywhere from 75 to a 100 gas lamps daily, cleaning globes and adjusting burners, turning them on in the evening and off at morn.  While the lamplighter has vanished from our modern urban environment, through the efforts of Sandy Springs Revitalization, Inc., downtown Sandy Springs is starting to recapture some of that old-fashioned village character.  Pockets of streetscape set off by distinctive forest green streetlights are springing up throughout the revitalization district, evidence that the Sandy Springs Overlay Ordinance, is working and working well.


Eight new developments, including properties like The Reddington Townhomes, Bluestone Lofts and Sandy Springs Toyota, have already installed 40 of the new lights and 3,175 feet of streetscape in the commercial district.  In October Whispering Pines became the first “demonstration” neighborhood to get pedestrian scale lights. And this fall, Sandy Springs Revitalization, Inc. will install another 104 streetlights as part of a public streetscape project planned along a mile and a half of Roswell Road and Johnson Ferry. 


Crookneck or Poletop?

SSRI’s Urban Design Committee chose the Sandy Springs fixture – a Lumec lamp on a Union Metal pole – for its human scale, quality of light, and easy maintenance.  It is designed specifically for pedestrian environments.  The crookneck streetlights as seen in SSRI’s Roswell Road Demonstration streetscape are popular and appealing.   As an urban design element, they create an attractive visual rhythm along the streetscape, and will continue to be a key feature at major intersections.  Mid-block commercial areas and neighborhoods will employ a poletop light. The poletop lights have a globe that is designed to throw most of the light on the sidewalk and the street, and not back into yards and houses. 


When Ghoulish Is Not Good

Did you ever hold a flashlight under your chin to look scary?  The wrong angle and color of light in a pedestrian environment can be pretty scary too.  Those tall sodium vapor roadway lights produce a yellowish orange light at a sharp angle that casts strange shadows and discolors skin tones and foliage.  The human scale of the new Sandy Springs pedestrian lights causes the light to shine at a more normal angle.  The lighting element is metal halide, which offers a broader lighting spectrum and a more natural white light.    People look normal, and you can recognize who they are if you know them.


Creating a 24-7 Lifestyle

There’s more to the Sandy Springs streetlights than just looking good.  Placed in the streetscape between the automobiles and pedestrians, they give a sense of separation and hence greater comfort. The spacing between lights is designed so there are no long areas of darkness between the pools of light, making the pedestrian system comfortable and usable ‘round the clock.


Through the combination of public improvements spearheaded by SSRI and the investment of private developers, Sandy Springs should soon be well on its way to tripling the amount of installed streetscape, and achieving the vision of the Livable Centers Plan as a walkable, livable 24-hour lifestyle community for all to enjoy.




Streetscape installed as of March 2002
Reddington Townhomes 9 775'
Bluestone Lofts 8 660'
Sandy Springs Toyota 6 525'
SouthTrust Bank 6 335'
Carriage Gates Townhomes 5 350'
Big Ten Tire 2 135'
Burger King 2 220'
Link Counseling Center 2 175'
Whispering Pines Neighborhood 57 6,000'
Streetscape installed beginning fall 2002
SSRI Transit Oriented Streetscape Roswell Rd./JF 104 14,400'