BY JEN KHEDAROO
New pedestrian lighting was recently installed along Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven.
The LED lights were installed at nearly a dozen locations between 91st Street and Woodhaven Boulevard under the elevated J and Z line as part of the project’s initial phase.
Throughout the fall, the Department of Transportation will continue to install more lighting up to 109th Street.
“This is a vibrant community, it’s a dynamic community,” Councilman Eric Ulrich said. “So many immigrant families are moving in here, and we want to show them that we are investing in their community.”
The Jamaica Avenue project was funded with $1.4 million allocated by Ulrich and Borough President Melinda Katz.
Steve Forte, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, said the community has been waiting for the lighting upgrades for a while.
“The best things come to those who wait,” Forte said. “Hopefully this will be the first of many things that we do to better this shopping strip. It’s been around for a long time, and hopefully it will be around for many more years.”
Ulrich added that the late Maria Thomson, who served as executive director for the local BID for decades, pushed to upgrade the lighting along the commercial corridor for years.
“The desire was to have something distinctive, something unique, and something that was energy-efficient and would provide better illumination,” Ulrich said.
Community Board 9 chair Jay Richard Smith hopes safety will improve on Jamaica Avenue through better lighting on both the street and sidewalk.
“This new lighting will not only improve quality of life for commuters and shoppers along Jamaica Avenue,” added DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, “these new energy-efficient LED treatments provide a sustainably lit and safer retail and community environment.”