One Man's Alaska

A dimly lit Alaska highway

October 28, 2010

I had to drive into Anchorage this morning (from my apartment in Wasilla) for a 9 a.m. doctor's appointment, and it occurred to me that I've never driven here in the dark before. To be more accurate, I have driven north to Denali in the late-night dark, and the area north of Talkeetna is so rural I naturally didn't expect there to be lights on the road, but today I was surprised at how few lights are on the highway as I make the "rush hour" commute from Wasilla to Anchorage.

Where the city streets of Chicago often seem brighter at night than during the day, on Highway 1 -- the Glenn Highway, the only road from Anchorage to Wasilla -- at best the lights are spread out very far so they barely light the roads. And they're not bright white lights, they're more of a dim off-white or yellow light. And that's the best case. In other sections of the road dim yellow lights are much farther apart, and in other stretches there are no lights at all.

I'm left to wonder if this is a plan to save energy, a lack of budget, or a way to keep moose off the road.

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