By COLlive reporter
Photos: Sholem Srugo/COLlive
The Transportation Committee of Brooklyn Community Board 9, which covers Crown Heights south of Eastern Parkway, convened last week to bring attention to the need for better lighting on Kingston Avenue.
The committee met last Thursday under the Chairmanship of Pat Baker, with the participation of representatives of Borough Transportation Commissioner Keith Bray.
Crown Heights resident Sholom Ber Goldstein, who has worked to beautify Kingston Avenue for many years, spoke passionately about the need for more and better lighting on the Avenue. “It must be corrected,” he said.
As reported on COLlive, the street lamps on Kingston Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Crown Heights, were recently switched from 400-watt lights to the dimmer LED lights without any notification or discussion with the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, who had arranged for the lighting since 1996.
Community activist Rabbi Chanina Sperlin, a member of the Transportation Committee, raised his concerns about the recent increase in crime and bias incidents in the vicinity, and the effect that darkened streets could have on the community’s safety.
Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, spoke about the recent changes to the street lights which have led to several complaints that parts of Kingston Avenue are very dark at night.
After the meeting, Commissioner Bray, participated in two conference calls where he listened to community concerns and promised to fully examine the issue. He will be dispatching teams to measure the lighting levels on Kingston and nearby Albany Avenues and to recommend changes for the future.
The meeting also heard a previously-scheduled presentation about new protected bike lanes being planned for Flatbush Avenue alongside Prospect Park from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard.
As of this Thursday, the situation has not been corrected, and Sholom Ber Goldstein told COLlive he is frustrated by the lack of leadership.
“It is now a month – 30 days and counting – since the lights went dark on Kingston Avenue, and a year since Albany Avenue went dark,” Goldstein said. “Despite all the meetings being held, nothing is happening – it seems like nobody cares and nobody is interested in worrying for our security,” he said.