Detroit To Shut Off Half Its Streetlights Due To Budget Woes | Due to the effects of the Great Recession, several American cities have turned off their streetlights in a last-ditch effort to save money. Highland Park, Michigan, even ripped up its lampposts to save a few dollars. Now Detroit is turning off half of its streetlights as a budget cutting measure. “You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer. Even as they cut hundreds of millions of dollars in support to cities and schools in the 2012 budget, Michigan lawmakers saw fit to dole out $1.7 billion in corporate tax breaks.