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NYC would build more sidewalk lighting under bill by Brooklyn City Councilman Lincoln Restler

A newly proposed law would have the city's Department of Transportation on the hook for installing hundreds of streetlights to illuminate sidewalks each year. (Shutterstock)
A newly proposed law would have the city’s Department of Transportation on the hook for installing hundreds of streetlights to illuminate sidewalks each year. (Shutterstock)

If vehicular roadways are lit up, then sidewalks should be illuminated too, says a Brooklyn City Council member who wants the Department of Transportation to install new lighting on 500 blocks of sidewalk each year.

City Council member Lincoln Restler (D-Brooklyn), would require the DOT to light up the sidewalks of at least 500 blocks of the city annually.

“Lots of regulations and policy-making goes into roadway lighting, but the majority of New Yorkers don’t drive — we walk,” said City Council member Lincoln Restler (D-Brooklyn). “Better sidewalk lighting will improve the day to day experience for New Yorkers.”

The legislation specifically targets “commercial corridors,” mixed-use blocks with residential and commercial zoning. A spokesperson for Restler estimated there are roughly 10,000 such blocks citywide.

The legislation specifically calls for “pedestrian lighting fixtures,” aimed at sidewalks and not roads.

Kelly Carroll, executive director of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Ave. Business Improvement District, told the Daily News she hoped the legislation becomes law.

“It’s past due for a city like New York,” she said. “Its an economic issue and a public safety issue.”

Carroll said that some business owners in her business improvement district — which extends from the BQE overpass west of Hicks St. to 4th Ave. in parts of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill — have taken to installing sets of decorative string lights on their storefronts to illuminate the sidewalk in front of their shops.

“It’s woefully under-lit,” Carroll said of the avenue, which includes many historic storefronts.

Jack Chester, owner of Free Range Wine and Spirits on the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Hoyt St., said that while his section of Atlantic Ave. was lined with “type B” lampposts — designed to light up sidewalks rather than roadways — many had been dark for years.

“On our block, they’re almost all burnt out,” Chester told The News.

The vintner said he’d recently moved his shop from to the corner, which has more light, and had seen business improve.

A lamppost near his old shop three doors down towards Smith St. has been burnt out for ten years, he said.

A Transportation Department spokesman said the agency is reviewing the legislation.