Despite burglary uptick, Parchester Village seeing the (LED) light


Some Parchester Village residents say poor lighting on Giant Road could be blamed for a recent rash of residential burglaries in their neighborhood.

At least seven burglaries have been reported in recent months in the small enclave in northwestern Richmond, police said.

The thieves “can just get on that road and disappear in the darkness,” said Goretha Johnson, president of the Parchester Village Neighborhood Council. “That’s an issue we need to get together as a community and handle together.”

Relief may be coming, however. According to the city, several street lights on Giant Road are slated to be replaced with LED versions in the next month. Along with being more energy efficient than the existing high-pressure sodium vapor lights, the LED lamps will cast a wider, brighter light and provide better clarity at night, said Adam Lenz, the city sustainability coordinator.

“We’re increasing the intensity of the light, and in addition to that you get a wider light…it’s easier to discern color and the environment,” Lenz said. “It’s more like a moonlight quality.”

The installation of LED lights is part of a citywide initiative to increase safety and reduce energy costs. Earlier this year in the residential section of Parchester Village, 49 lights were replaced with LEDs, and an additional 37 LED lights were installed, Lenz said.

Also, lighting upgrades have been made just off Richmond Parkway at the connection to Giant Road, Lenz said.

See below for before and after pictures of a Richmond street that was recently outfitted with LED lights. The image was taken from the firm Fehr & Peers, which was contracted to install them.

After with newly installed LED lights