Growing up, we often had power cuts in our apartment block. There was, however, one neighbor who always had the lights on - no matter what was going on around - be it a casual power-cut or a change of power in the country (we often had those, too). Turns out, that guy somehow got connected to the street light and was happily sucking the power out of it while the rest of us were trying to find a romance behind the candles.
Not very nice of him, don't you think?
These 'manual' street lights made me think of that nasty neighbor. I assume if he had to spin the wheels each time he wanted to steal some energy, he would be more likely to pay his actual bills (and suffer from power cuts, just like the rest of us).
In general, I find the idea wonderful - it would save the precious energy and provide some of us with a free gym on the open air. However, I don't see it working in the dark neighborhoods, where the last thing you want to do is stop to spin the wheels. On those cold winter nights, when the street lights die, you are much more likely to guide your pass with a cell phone and run, than sit on something (extremely cold!) and well... shine. But as I said, the idea, in general, is nice. Maybe limit it to the main areas of the city only? How about that?
via Yanko Design