Hold your applause for new street lights

To the Editor:
Contrary to the Reporter’s story about how well residents and city officials have received the City’s new LED lighting retrofitted into “cobrahead”-style street lights, this reception is not a shared one.

Some residents on St. Mark’s Rd. were dissatisfied enough with the new lights that they contacted city officials to have the LED lights replaced, after they were installed on several streets without neighborhood notification.  The replacement lighting we feel is far superior to that of the LED lighting.
The LED lighting provides focused bright light in the direction that it shines, much like the LED flashlights.  This leaves the areas not in the direct beam as much darker than the former lights.  The brightness of the LED makes sharp black & white contrasts between the areas in and out of the LED light.

Conversely, the lighting that has now replaced the LED’s on St. Mark’s Rd. more effectively diffuse the light.  They give a day-time effect to the light.  One can now see people standing in the shadows. 

Features and descriptions are much easier to discern than in the stark contrasts created by LED lighting.
This is a public safety issue.  Was the police department consulted about the effectiveness of the lighting?  I implore people to come to Florida St. and see the distinctions for themselves.  At Florida St. one can stand in one spot to see Glenrose Rd. with the LED lights and St. Mark’s Rd. with their replacement lights.  Similarly, one can stand at Lonsdale St. to compare its LED lights to the more universal lighting on Florida St.

While we are all in favor of saving money, it would not be wise to jump at the new program for that consideration alone.  If crime can’t be seen with LED lighting, then how much have we really saved?
 - Kevin Barry & Barry Mullen
St. Mark’s Rd

Editor’s Note: A city response
City officials supervising the LED pilot program this week responded to the concerns about the streetlights on Glenrose Street in particular. Joanne Masaro, the Commissioner of Public Works, told the Reporter that her office takes seriously the observations of Mr. Barry and Mr. Mullen and would have crews there on Wednesday night to observe the conditions.

“We will upgrade the wattage as needed,” Massaro said. “We understand that what works on one street may not work somewhere else. This project is very important and we will work to evaluate it and make changes as needed.”