The sun never sets at R Street and Childs Avenue in Merced -- at least since Shop And Save installed a set of super-jumbo parking lot lights. Our tipster this week wrote in the complaint on the Sun-Star's Tip List online reporting map.
The lights were installed in late January, and, while the high-powered beams still stream over the top of some backyard fences on the other side of Childs Avenue, a fix will come soon.
Still, our tipster described his plight: "The lights are very bright and glaring as they are directed outward. The entirety of my backyard and house is lit up brightly so much so that when I stepped out of my back door last night I was blinded and could not even see my backyard."
The area will darken soon, said Samir Ahmed, owner of Shop And Save, who's already working on a solution.
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"After the lights were installed, a couple of customers complained that our lights were too bright. Because Shop And Save market tries to address the needs of our area, we ordered visors to be put on the lights to direct the light down on our lot and avoid extra light that might bother some people," Ahmed said in a statement he faxed to the Sun-Star.
Ahmed also talked to me over the phone. The lights were installed in the first place because residents and customers wanted more light in the area, not less, he said. "Many of our customers have complained that it was not bright enough in our lot for safety," Ahmed said. "We're just trying to help. We're trying to make things safer for the neighborhood."
Several neighbors in the area Wednesday afternoon said they weren't bothered by the overhead lights and they preferred them to darkness.
What's wrong: Bright lights meant to fight neighborhood crime are actually keeping residents awake at night.
Who's responsible: Samir Ahmed, owner of Shop And Save Market, said he was unaware how bright the lights were before installation.
What's being done: The overhead lights were already pointed directly downward to soften the glare. Ahmed has also ordered visors that with further constrict the pesky beams of light. They should arrive next month and he will install them as soon as possible, he said.
Tip off the tip list!
If you see something broken or in need of repair in your neighborhood, call the Sun-Star Tip List reporter, Danielle E. Gaines, with your tips at (209) 385-2477 or e-mail her at email@example.com.