September 3, 2013 | Vol. 74 No. 6

Light from Duquesne athletic field leaks into S.S. Slopes residents lives

Three years ago, when the lights of George K. Cupples Stadium on East Carson St. were shining into some South Side Slopes’ homes, residents met with city school district officials. The lights were replaced, and the problem was resolved.

The lights from Duquesne University’s Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field are so intense that they cast shadows on the inside of some South Side Slopes residents’ homes.

So far, residents have not had nearly the level of cooperation with Duquesne University regarding the lights at Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field.

“We want them to keep the lights on the field and out of our homes,” Slopes’ resident and Duquesne University alumnus Betty Kripp said.

During the school year, the lights could be on any of seven days a week, and at various times.

“We feel these lights trespass into our homes,” Mrs. Kripp said.

Correspondence with the university began in 2006. One meeting was held with university officials, with no marked improvement.

Among the long-running complaints of Slopes’ residents are: lights are on when the field is not in use; lights are too intense; spillage of light into the neighborhood is causing sleep interruption; and lights are so glaring as to cause shadows inside homes.

The lights are also in stark contrast to the rest of the city lights in terms of brightness.

While some light is okay, light of such magnitude is regarded as overpowering by many Slopes’ residents.

It is also seen as a blotch on the skyline, which defeats a primary purpose for living on the Slopes: its skyline view.

In 2006, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) sent Duquesne University an email about the lights being on when the field is not in use, and that those lights are too bright.

The reply stated the university receives requests from many groups to keep the lights on beyond normal times. While there was a promise to check into it, there was no further response to the email.

Other emails over the years by SSSNA members garnered mixed responses but no improvements.

Shields installed in 2012 by the university made no difference in the light problem on the Slopes.

The problem began four to five years ago when the lighting was tweeked or upgraded, and kept on for long stretches. Residents surmise the latter was done as a safety concern to keep the campus lit, and that the practice has grown.

One recommendation is to hire an architectural lighting consultant as lighting can be tuned, and residents say they are only asking for a tune-up.

Dawn and Paul Lorincy get a glare from the lights on their television set almost around-the-clock.

Mr. Lorincy added the lights blind motorists crossing the Tenth St. Bridge from South Side to Second Ave. in the early morning as they are so bright.

“I would love to have a conversation with them,” Mrs. Lorincy said of university officials.

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