Goodbye darkness, my old friend…

The gas station opened at the beginning of July. There were big signs in the window and a portable sign thing. The hours were 5:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.. I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic, but thought that was better than 24 hours at least.

Almost immediately, people would park any old way in the lot, since nothing was demarcated. At night, when people parked nose in, facing the chainlink fence, their headlights shone right through the canvas, through my opaque curtains and into my kitchen and dining room. Fuck !

I read through the City of London’s bylaws. There was NOTHING that compelled a business next to a residence, let alone a late night business with traffic that came and went, to put up an opaque fence !

A canopy was put over the pump area. It had sort of potlights that shone downward. Except that due to the station’s higher elevation I could plainly see 8 of these bright lights from below. I could see these lights from my front step, I could see them out my kitchen and diningroom window. I could even see most of them from my bedroom, on the second floor, laying on my bed.

Then they installed a light near the property line, another high one that lit up half my backyard outside the kitchen. Its light was a blinding glare that made my eyes hurt, and obliterated me from clearly seeing anything in front of me. This was unwelcome. I liked to sit in my backyard, after dark, invisible. I liked seeing the fireflies. I also liked being unseen by the human creeps that roam after dark. It was safer.

A few weeks later the canopy was completed, now with bright back-lighting in white and blue. Even though this was close to Hamilton Rd. it was bright enough to light up my rooms that faced it, and cast strong shadows on the wall. Suddenly I was living next to a spaceship. Inexplicably, this panel of bright lighting mostly faced my house. Pegler is very short, with not much traffic on Trafalgar at the end of the street. What was the point of having oriented the lit canopy this way ? It made no sense.

London, being stuck in some kind of time warp, does not have ANY bylaws regulating lighting, light pollution or light infiltration. They do have a 4th draft of a light pollution proposal, as of March 2018:

The proposal is completely reasonable, except that it has not been passed. If you are in London, your asshole neighbour can shine floodlights in your window, and you have no legal recourse to do anything about this, except to ask them not to.

There is the concept of freedom of religion – that in this country (Canada) individuals have the right to observe and practice whatever religion they believe in, without government interference or control. There is also the concept of freedom FROM religion – which suggests that church and state are clearly separate, and that people have the right to not believe in or practice any religion at all. I wanted freedom FROM light – that the commercial neighbour could use and enjoy their lighting – as long as it did not negatively affect me, or my property.

Then the gas station’s sign announced their new hours: 24 hours !

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