The city is getting all-new fancy street lights, and the mayor seems pretty happy about it.
He and his transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, excitedly announced an initiative to replace all of the city's street lamps with energy efficient LED lights.
"Bright lights in the big city!" Mayor Michael Bloomberg exclaimed at the unveiling of the plan on a median along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where the initiative is launching.
A lot of puns were made.
Sadik-Khan referred to using LEDs for street lighting as "more than just a bright idea."
"We're already starting to see our streets in a brand new light," she said, enumerating the many areas of the city already use LEDs, like pedestrian signals across the city, including the countdowns at more than 4,000 intersections. The "necklace lights" along all East River bridges have also been upgraded to the energy-efficient alternative.
Sadik-Kahn lauded the white lighting of LEDs as "far superior" to the yellow "kind of horror-movie lighting" of the old high-pressure sodium street lamps.
"We can literally say that the future is looking brighter for all New Yorkers!" she added.
"Very clever!" the mayor enjoined. "Lights, future, and all that stuff."
Bloomberg touted the LEDs for not only being energy efficient, but economically efficient as well. The LEDs last 20 years, compared to the current bulbs' six-year lifespan, and they're expected to save taxpayers an estimated $14 million a year, including $8 million in maintenance costs, which he said are generally the costs that climb.
The mayor promised the look of the street light fixtures themselves won't change in areas that have the more antique-looking old street lamps. Poles and wiring will remain the same, and there won't be any digging or street construction required, he added.
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