By Madina Toure
City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) and the city Department of Transportation announced the installation of new LED lights and lampposts between 90th and 111th Streets on Roosevelt Avenue as part of her New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue.
Standing with students and families from the PS 307 Pioneer Academy in front of Alfano Replacement Plumbing Parts at 104-74 Roosevelt Ave., Ferreras said the $500,000 project would increase visibility on the avenue, which sits below the 7 train.
“As a young woman growing up in this neighborhood, oftentimes Roosevelt Avenue is very dark, it’s very bleak, it sets a shadow and it’s not necessarily a place where you want to walk when you’re coming home,” Ferreras said. “I believe that these new LED lights that have been tested throughout the city will provide the adequate lighting that we need for Roosevelt.”
The area covered by the project has a senior center and four elementary schools, including the Pioneer Academy and PS 19.
The new 78- and 91-watt LED fixtures will replace the 100- and 150-watt high-pressure sodium lights, leading to a better color rendering.
The project is part of Ferreras’ New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue, which she introduced in her first term. The New Deal’s goals include creating a better business environment, increasing sanitation services and upgrading lights.
It is also part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s OneNYC Initiative, which seeks to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by more than 30 percent by 2030.
The city plans to replace all streetlights with LED lights by the end of 2017.
Earlier this month, Ferreras announced that installing new lights between 82nd and 90th streets was a winning project during her participatory budgeting process. In the future, Ferreras will tackle the area from 111th Street to Citi Field.
“Thanks to the council member’s support, the new LED lights and poles that DOT is currently installing on Roosevelt Avenue help build on Vision Zero’s safety goals,” DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia said in a statement. “The improved lighting enhances visibility for all, boosts the look of the streetscape and saves on energy costs.”
The 82nd Street Partnership conducted a study toward the end of last year that highlighted areas in need of lighting, said Leslie Ramos, the partnership’s executive director.
“In terms of the businesses having a brighter area, it means they can probably have longer hours, it means that their clients are going to feel safer, they’re going to feel comfortable coming,” Ramos said. That could lead to “economic growth and opportunities” for those businesses, she added.
Maria Caraballo, PS 307’s community coordinator, said the new lights would help boost the community’s growth that consists of businesses and schools, traffic and the local sports arenas.
“Many of our families transition through Roosevelt on a daily basis both to get to school, back from school and for after-school activities as well as family activities,” Caraballo said. “The concern has always been the lighting of the community. It’s very old.”
Jason Gonzalez, sales manager at Alfano Replacement Plumbing Parts, said the 80-year-old business will benefit from the new lights.
“We have cameras on the building, on every corner of the building, the north, the south. It’ll give our cameras light just in case something happens for us and for the community. Having the lights here would be just a plus,” Gonzalez said.
Contractors started installing the davit poles last week. The DOT anticipates the work will be completed by the fall.