Metro Councilwoman proposes ordinance to remove rope lights from houses, businesses


They’re bright, flexible and energy efficient. Rope lights are popular among homeowners and businesses with outdoor patios, but according to council member Tanaka Vercher of Antioch, rope lights are dangerous.

She’s sponsoring an ordinance to remove them from Nashville’s busy streets, because she says they can blind drivers and caused crashes.

"We shouldn’t have to wait for a family to be involved in a tragic accident,” Vercher said.

The ordinance doesn’t target neon lights, string lights or overhead lights, just rope lights.

“I don't see the difference between these lights and the streetlights or house lights or headlights are any lights like that,” said Tyler Richards, who opposes the ordinance.

"The lumens that you have from rope lighting as opposed to the lumens that you have from cars its totally different,” Vercher said.

The ordinance would not apply to rope lights in the heart of downtown Nashville, but it could affect more than just businesses, as houses on certain streets would also have to take these lights down.

The ordinance says, “rope lighting shall not be used on a building, sign or any property located adjacent to an arterial or collector street.”

Some applaud Vercher's efforts to make roadways safer.

"I think it's definitely a good thing,” said Shantaia Poulin, who is visiting Nashville From Canada.

But there are plenty of other solutions to keep drivers and pedestrians safe, Poulin said.

"Eider sidewalks, obviously would make it a lot safer,” Poulin said. “Having bigger bike lanes.”

Others question if the ordinance is really what Nashville need right now.

"I’m surprised that that's a focus,” Richards said. “It's a light, there are lots of other issues that need to be addressed before this, if even this.”

The Metro Council is set to take the ordinance up under first reading Tuesday.

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