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Queens Chronicle

New way of light on Jamaica Avenue

World’s Fair posts, LED lights will make bright commercial corridor

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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:30 am

A press conference was held Friday morning on the sidewalk of Jamaica Avenue and 92nd Street to mark the installation of new pedestrian light treatments under the elevated J/Z tracks.

The first phase of the project is now considered complete, according to a statement from the office of Councilmember Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), with the Department of Transportation scheduled to complete installation in the coming months.

Commissioner Polly Trottenberg was present to articulate her viewpoint on the importance of the new light treatments, which will be LED-lit and are connected to poles first introduced to Queens during the 1965 World’s Fair.

“It’s been a long-standing challenge ... how to better illuminate commercial strips which are underneath elevated subway structures and highway structures,” the commissioner said at the sidewalk podium. “I want to thank my team, Josh Benson, Ghanshyam Batel, folks in our lighting division, for rolling up their sleeves and coming up with a solution that works for this structure.”

Trottenberg went on to discuss the intended impact of the LED treatment on the community.

“It’s going to be energy-efficient, and it’s going to make this commercial corridor feel safe, attractive and vibrant,” she said.

Ulrich also referenced the LED lighting in his comments.

“The goal was to have something distinctive, something unique, something that was energy efficient, something that would provide better illumination, something that would really brighten up the el, and under the el, for the storeowners and the people who shop here,” he said, directly referencing “the residents who walk to and from school every day.”

Ulrich also had praise for Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who was represented by her office.

“If it were not for Melinda Katz, we would not be able to fund this,” Ulrich started, pausing to let a rumbling subway train overhead pass before finishing, “entirely.” He had earlier joked about a demonstration – which was impossible being that the event was around 10 a.m.

“It’s a vibrant community, a dynamic community, so many new immigrant families moving in here,” the councilmember concluded. “We want to show them we’re investing in their future and their community.” When asked how much the project had cost, Ulrich replied that it had “cost 1.4 million,” and joked, “we don’t know where the other $100,000 came from.”

Woodhaven Residents Block Association President Steve Forte was present representing the neighborhood’s residents.

“There’s an old saying, the best things come to those who wait,” Forte said, referencing the installation. “And hopefully this will be the first of many things we’re doing to better this whole shopping strip ... It’s been around for a long time and will hopefully be around for many more years.”

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