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Roosevelt Avenue Comes out of the Shadows With New Pedestrian Lighting

Council Member Francisco Moya and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Roosevelt Avenue, where a lighting project has recently wrapped up. (via Council Member Moya)

Dec. 20, 2018  By Meghan Sackman

Roosevelt Avenue just got a whole lot brighter.

Officials announced earlier this week that the first phase of work on a street lighting project through Roosevelt Avenue has recently wrapped up, with revamped street lighting featuring new “pedestrian arms” installed over more than 20 blocks along the stretch.

The changes can be seen from 90th Street to 111th Street on the avenue, and come after more than $500,000 in city council allocations for the project.

“We’ve needed these on Roosevelt for years,” Council Member Francisco Moya said on social media about the project on Monday.

Moya said the goal of the initiative is to improve pedestrian safety, help make the dozens of small businesses along the stretch visible and ultimately enhance quality of life for all.

The 138 poles along the 21-block stretch now feature a second, slightly lower illuminating arm that faces and lights up the sidewalks. The “ped arm” installations, according to the DOT, began in late October and wrapped up toward the end of last month.

Work on Roosevelt Avenue lights, however, goes further back, following former Council Member Julissa Ferraras’ “New Deal Plan for Roosevelt Avenue” put forth in 2013.

The plan, implemented in 2015, saw the yellow, 100- and 150-watt lights on the poles between 90th and 111th Street replaced with new and brighter 78- and 91-watt LED lights.

Lighting up Roosevelt Avenue has always proven tricky, as the 7 train support columns create shadows along the roadway, and the elevated track structure itself limits the height of the poles.

The changes, however, are set to overcome the challenges.

“Especially during the darkest months of the year, new energy-efficient lighting upgrades critical infrastructure and creates a safer environment,” a DOT spokesperson said about the project. “That benefits local business, but because Roosevelt is also a Vision Zero Priority corridor, the brighter streets and sidewalks will be beneficial for traffic safety as well.”

The agency is also moving to install new poles with pedestrian arms and LED lights between 61st and 80th Streets on the avenue, with work in the next phase to begin in March 2019.

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JHeights my whole life

Mr. Vagge the crime minded don’t care about lights. I have been handed those prostitution business cards and offered a fake social security card on Roosevelt Ave. many times in 2018 and usually in broad day light during school hours.


All the better to see what the night’s prostitutes look like. The article does not address the blocks from 80th Street to 90th Street. These blocks are to remain in the dark?

Richard Vagge

Might this spread
Crime towards
37th Ave ?

Do we really think
the Crime minded
of Roosevelt are simply
going to Close Shop ?
… I think Not !
Richie V
The Rabid Activist
of Jackson Hts

Francés Rullan

I wrote Crowley a few years ago my street is super dark and I have 3 daughters. Nothing has been done about the lights in 74th Street between 34 & 35.


Especially in
the Summer with
trees in full bloom.
That issue is the
norm on the North
Side of 37th.
… heavy tree density
We need a Program
like ” Lught it Up ”
… homeowners
installing their
own lights
Problem Resolved

Black Forest Iced Cake

I live on that same block (74th between 34th and 35th Avenues). Yes, it’s too dark and that’s dangerous! But I learned quite awhile ago that Crowley has no interest in us and, if we’re not politically connected people who can help him rise to greater political power, we won’t be hearing back from him when we try to reach out to him. I’m delighted that a new person will taking over his political spot! I expect more cooperation from her than from him!

Daniel Lafave

I’m really not sure why you thought your Congressman was the right person to contact about street lights. Contact your city councilman. Street lights aren’t a responsibility of the Federal government.


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