The amber glow of the New York City streetlight is going away. In an energy-saving effort, the city plans to replace all of its 250,000 streetlights with brighter, whiter, energy-saving, light-emitting diode fixtures in one of the nation’s largest retrofitting projects, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, said in a news conference on Thursday.
The phasing out is part of the administration’s long-term plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017. Mayor Bloomberg described the switch as a “large and necessary feat” that will save taxpayers money and move the city closer to its sustainability goals. The project is also part of the Transportation Department’s plan for more environment-friendly operations, Ms. Sadik-Khan said.
The news conference was on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where lights have already been replaced, expecting to save more than $70,000 and nearly 248,000 kilowatt-hours a year in energy. Unlike standard lights, which last six years, LED bulbs can burn for 20 years before they need to be replaced, the administration said, and the project is expected to save $14 million a year in energy and maintenance costs.
The project, which began as a pilot program in 2009, will be completed in three phases. The full removal will start in Brooklyn with 80,000 “cobra-headed” streetlights, with their sodium high-pressured bulbs, then move on to Queens and, eventually, the rest of the city.
The city has already replaced some 3,625 lights along Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive in Manhattan; Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, between Grand Army Plaza and Ralph Avenue; and along pedestrian paths in Central Park, where, Ms. Sadik-Khan said, passers-by noticed the change.
“People tend to like them,” she said. “It’s clear. It’s bright. It really does a good job in providing fresher light.” The project is estimated to cost $76.5 million.
The project is the first to receive financing through the Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency initiative or “ACE,” the administration said, a $100 million competitive program that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services created to expedite such sustainability projects.
Lights along the city bridges will be financed by the Transportation Department, Ms. Sadik-Khan said.
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