By COLlive staff
Why did Kingston Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Crown Heights, recently go dark?
Many COLlive readers have reached out to find out why it seems to be so much darker on Kingston Avenue and on Albany Avenue in Crown Heights at night.
The answer is that since 1996, the City has been illuminating Kingston Avenue and Albany Avenue with bright 400 Watt street lamps.
About 15 years ago, the Jewish Community Council entered into a contract with the City to pay for the increased lighting in the neighborhood. That is why the brighter lights were left in place when all the City street lights were converted to LED lights about five years ago.
However, without warning, several days before Pesach, the brighter lights were replaced with the standard LED lights, leaving the Crown Heights main thoroughfares much darker.
Reb Sholom Ber Goldstein, a Crown Heights resident, reached out to the Department of Transportation about this issue, which is a “big cause for concern,” he said.
“It seems that the contractor who converted the city lights to LED lighting was unaware of the contract the CHJCC had with the city, and he downgraded the street lamps without authorization,” Goldstein said.
“During these troubling times, with the recent rise in crime, we need more light on our streets, not less!” Goldstein said.
Rabbi Eli Cohen of the Jewish Community Council told COLlive, “We would like to thank Reb Sholom Ber Goldstein who worked very hard over the years on this issue, as well as other Kingston Avenue improvements, such as all the benches on the Avenue.
“Because of his work, the 400 Watt requirement was incorporated into the design plan for Kingston Avenue when it was rebuilt several years ago.”
“The CHJCC will be reaching out to the City to improve the lighting and restore a bright Kingston Avenue as quickly as possible,” Cohen said.
Goldstein has another solution in the meantime.
“Until the city does return the brighter lamps, each community resident should increase in good deeds, to bring more brightness to his surroundings by doing random acts of goodness and kindness,” he said.