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Bloomberg to Replace NYC Fixtures With LED Lights

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An assortment of LED lights, some of which will be used throughout New York City.

An assortment of LED lights, some of which will be used throughout New York City.

An assortment of LED lights, some of which will be used throughout New York City.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced all 250,000 standard street light fixtures in New York City will be replaced with energy-efficient, light-emitting diodes (LED) by 2017, reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs. The Administration’s comprehensive, long-term sustainability program – PlaNYC – aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from City government operations 30 percent by 2017 and the LED replacements will help towards achieving that goal. Additionally, the LED replacement plan will build on the Department of Transportation’s strategic plan, which outlines steps to green transportation operations, while improving efficiency and reducing costs.

“With roughly a quarter-million street lights in our City, upgrading to more energy efficient lights is a large and necessary feat,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It will save taxpayers millions of dollars, move us closer to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals, and help us to continue reducing City government’s day-to-day costs and improving its operations.”

“Using LEDs for street lighting is more than just a bright idea, it’s a necessity for sustainable cities to operate more efficiently while also delivering clearer, better quality light for New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “From our parks to our bridges and to our streets and highways, these 250,000 lights will brighten New York City’s streetscapes for generations to come.”

“I commend Mayor Bloomberg and my colleagues at DOT for moving forward with these new, more energy-efficient LED streetlights. The newly-reconstructed Eastern Parkway is a great location to roll out this new technology. This project, which DDC completed earlier this year, brought new median plazas, bike and pedestrian paths, water and sewer mains, and landscaping to one of Brooklyn’s most well-traveled roadways,” said David J. Burney, FAIA, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

“DCAS is proud to support DOT’s ambitious street-lighting retrofit program, as part of its new Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency program or ‘ACE’ – providing $100 million for quick energy efficiency and clean heat retrofits, $10 million of which will go towards this LED street-lighting project,” said DCAS Commissioner Edna Wells-Handy. “The ACE Program overall is expected to contribute 5 percent of the City governments overall 30 percent reduction by 2017.” The first of three phases to replace the standard “cobra-head” high-pressure sodium street lights, which will upgrade 80,000 at a time across the five boroughs, is expected to be completed in December 2015 with the final phase expected to be completed by 2017. Following the replacement of roadway lighting, decorative fixtures in the city’s business and commercial districts will be addressed. This builds on DOT’s earlier efforts to green its lighting operations when the agency first began adding LEDs along highways in 2011. This work included more than 5,500 lights in underpasses along the FDR Drive as well as upcoming work to replace more than 24,389 lights along all major corridors such as Belt Parkway, Grand Central Parkway, Cross Bronx Expressway and other highways. This effort to address major corridors is expected to save $1.3 million on maintenance and $1.2 million on energy.

As part of the LED pilot initiative, the agency also completed the replacement of all the pedestrian lights in Central Park. The agency is now working towards installing LEDs in the cobra-head fixtures throughout the remainder of the park and interior and surrounding roadways. That project is expected to begin this December along with the remainder of the 1,200 luminaires along the FDR Drive. The earlier LED initiative along Eastern Parkway, along with upgrades to the Central Park pedestrian path lighting, were paid with $548,000 from the Mayor’s Energy Fund, and is estimated to produce up to 62 percent in energy savings.

The most recent lighting upgrades along Eastern Parkway are a capstone to the $22.2 million reconstruction project from Grand Army Plaza to Washington Avenue, which replaced water mains and sewers while rebuilding the median plaza with attractive benches, landscaping and a bike and pedestrian path that enhance safety and create a world-class, vibrant streetscape connecting Crown Heights with a newly redesigned Grand Army Plaza, the Brooklyn Public Library and Prospect Park. The capital project now features 23,000 square yards of DOT’s Complete Street treatment, with a new, wider median that includes 29 new park LED lights, 40 benches, landscaping and 11 trash receptacles. Led by the City’s Department of Design and Construction, the project delivered 52,000 square feet of new sidewalk pavers, 8,100 linear feet of granite and 94 linear feet of concrete curb, a two-way bicycle lane, 44 ADA compliant pedestrian ramps, catch basins and sewers. Further, DOT replaced 625 fixtures along Eastern Parkway, and most recently replaced LEDs in 483 luminaires along the corridor.

For the past decade, the agency has pioneered the application of energy-efficient lighting to both optimize and green its operations. New York City was the first large American city to use LED traffic signals, converting fixtures at all of the 12,700 signalized intersections citywide and producing an annual energy savings of 81 percent.

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