Some German Villagers might be in the dark about it, but there's a lack of lighting in some areas of the neighborhood.

That's the finding of about a dozen volunteers who did visual surveys at night of the historic district's lighting situation, said Dan Glasener, chairman of the German Village Society's safety committee.

The volunteers found porch lights often aren't turned on at night, trees are blocking out the glow from streetlights and residential lights and driveways aren't illuminated, leaving long stretches of roadway dark, Glasener said.

So now what?

Glasener said his group of volunteers are looking for ways to get the word out about lighting in the village.

"I think the bottom line is we need to continue to send a message to the neighborhood: You can do a better job with lighting," he said.

The survey started as a crime-prevention effort, so as long as there is crime, there will be a need to make it difficult for criminals to operate, Glasener said.

"Lighting is a deterrent," he said. "The more well-lit things are the more people don't like to move out of the shadows."

Glasener said the volunteers surveyed roughly 30 percent of streets in the historic district, giving them a fairly accurate picture of the situation.

"We look for moments to reinforce (the message): Lights are important. It takes a few cents to light up the night," he said.

The solution isn't clear, but volunteers could hold open meetings and go door to door, letting residents know about their lighting situations and new technologies that could advance the cause, Glasener said.

Volunteer Bill Boys assessed the entire length of Mohawk Street, from East Livingston Avenue to Reinhard Avenue.

Crime is one thing, pedestrian safety is another, Boys said.

Because of the uneven nature of the bricks in the neighborhood, those who have difficulty walking are going to have a more difficult time noticing bumps on the sidewalk, he said.

On a positive note, all the overhead city lights were working, although one was somewhat dim, Boys said.

And some residential lights were better than others at lighting up larger portions of the sidewalk and street, he said.

In one example, between East Lansing and East Whittier streets, the sidewalk still remained relatively dark even though most of the houselights were turned on, Boys said.

"In some cases, it's the foliage (blocking out the light)," he said, "but when the porch light is on, it only illuminates the porch."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary