Dozens of New Lights Will Soon Brighten Downtown Jamaica

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on June 16, 2014 5:11pm 

 New lights will soon be added for pedestrians on the sidewalks along Jamaica Avenue.
New lights will soon be added for pedestrians on the sidewalks along Jamaica Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — The city is planning to install more than 100 lamps along Jamaica Avenue to improve safety and encourage more nightlife in downtown Jamaica.

The lamps will be added to light posts that are now installed along the busy commercial street which currently illuminate the street only.

After the project is completed, the posts along Jamaica Avenue, between Sutphin Boulevard and 169th Street, will also have a second arm, that will be above the sidewalk.

The project will be paid for with a $229,000 grant from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

“The idea is to create more lighting on sidewalks so that people feel more comfortable being there,” said Felicia Tunnah, executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District. “We’re hoping that stores are going to want to stay open later, that people are going to shop later and that they will be experiencing positive nightlife later because they will feel safer in the district.”

The additional lamps will be installed sometime after July 1.

Similar solutions have been used to improve safety by other BIDs, Tunnah said. The Downtown Alliance installed "approximately 450 pedestrian arms in the late 1990’s, as did Grand Central Partnership and the 34th Street Partnership," she said.

The Jamaica project is one of seven streetscape improvements projects for which Katz has allocated more than $1 million.

Other projects include planting trees in a lot at 99th Avenue and Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans and installing energy efficient LED street lights underneath the elevated subway along Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven.

"The commercial corridors found in the diverse neighborhoods throughout Queens are key assets and economic engines for our borough,” Katz said in a statement. “The funds I am allocating to enhance these commercial corridors will help them maximize their potential as retail centers and civic gathering places."

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