Essex Street Light Poles are Now LED-Equipped
The lighting scheme along Essex Street is presently undergoing a complete shift to more modern technology. That warm glow is now replaced with the blinding antiseptic flood of LED. The Department of Transportation has begun swapping the infrastructure, and at least four new poles are now installed.
We caught this crew hoisting one into place outside the Seward Park courts on Friday morning.
The installation of this “highway-style” lighting scheme is years in the making, and includes screwing new LED bulbs into existing Bishop’s Crook units.
LEDs on Essex was first floated six years ago by the Lower East Side Partnership. The proposal was met with some static by preservation-minded community folk living south of Grand Street. The argument hinged upon the gradual dismantling of Lower East Side character, with the elimination of the Bishop’s Crook poles from Essex as the latest battle front. As such, the BID was accused of essentially sterilizing the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, there is something to be said for the migration to LED at the expense of neighborhood character. For instance, the New York Times reported back in March that residents of Rome were displeased by the influx of the lighting technology. That it changed the warm feel to something more like a morgue. The opposition argues, however, that it increases safety by eliminating shadows.