SCRANTON, Pa. -- Flickering lights outside The Marketplace at Steamtown are causing headaches for drivers and shoppers. The lights haven't been fixed for months because the city and the shopping center can't agree over whose job it is to fix them.
It might seem like just a nuisance, but it's actually the subject of a months-long dispute between the shopping center and the city.
Staff members are hopeful that a change in city leadership was just what they needed to get something done about these pesky streetlights.
"We don't want to argue, we just have this safe. A person was already hit with a car here, a person was killed when they were doing the crosswalk a few years ago. We just want it to be safe," said Anthony Cali, the director of public safety and operations.
Cali reached out to the city seven months ago when disgraced mayor Bill Courtright was still in office.
The Marketplace has lights on the side of its building to illuminate the sidewalk, but it says the lights that illuminate the street are entirely the city's responsibility.
Cali says the past two Scranton mayors have told him that getting the streetlights fixed was the shopping center's responsibility. But in a 2018 letter exchange, the city seems to acknowledge the streetlights are indeed city property.
"We sent letters to the city about that same issue, and the traffic signals were, at that time, on our bill," Cali said. "They did respond, and they took care of it, and it hasn't been on our bill since then."
People who walk and drive on Lackawanna Avenue agree that the faulty streetlights are dangerous
"I would definitely say it's distracting for drivers. You want a well-lit area when you come through, especially a downtown area like this. We should have better lighting," Jacob Price said.
But they also believe that addressing the problem should take priority over politics.
"I think that's kind of ridiculous, and if it really just comes down to a sensor or a couple bulbs, they should just get it done," Price added.
Mayor Paige Cognetti tells us she is immediately directing the DPW to repair the lights due to the public safety concern. She also says she and her team are still working to learn more about who is ultimately responsible for the maintenance of the streetlights.