Lower East Side BID Proposing New Essex Street Lighting

Posted on: November 11th, 2011 at 6:09 am by

In an attempt to promote safety and neighborhood business in one fell swoop, the Lower East Side BID is proposing a new lighting scheme along the entire length of the Essex Street corridor.  From East Houston to Canal Street.

Within the last couple years, the BID came into $300,000 of capital grant money courtesy of the Borough President’s office.  The funds are earmarked specifically for this project, but with a limited timeframe of 12-16 months.  So Wednesday night, representative Tim Laughlin argued their collective case to the transportation committee to replace the decorative “Bishop’s Crook” street lamps with more modern (i.e. homogenous) technology.  Indeed, the proposal calls for 28 LED-equipped “WM” highway-style poles along this stretch, matching similar intentions for both Allen and East Houston.  The more outdated stockpile would then be redistributed to “contextually appropriate locations” on Norfolk, Suffolk, Stanton, and Rivington.

The proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer for the board to approve, however it was met with some static by preservation-minded community folk living south of Grand Street. The argument hinged upon the gradual dismantling of Lower East Side character, with the elimination of the Bishop’s Crook poles from Essex as the latest battle front.  As such, the BID was accused of essentially sterilizing the neighborhood, and impinging on this particular area which doesn’t fall within their jurisdiction.

But there’s another dimension to the story, as the Public Design Commission (“PDC”) helming the project no longer approves the installation of these antique-style Bishop’s Crook fixtures. Ergo, adding more units was not even an option.  So the BID played the stuck-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place card, especially since the BDP is not known for bowing to community pressure (kinda defeats the purpose, no?).  The board decided to table the issue for the time being.

Recent Stories

Opposition Mounts Against Public Hotel Garden Revamp on Chrystie Street

The 28-story Public Hotel hopes to reconfigure its garden area along Chrystie Street. Neighbors are not having it. Posters in the immediate vicinity display the opposition to the liquor license modification. Claiming that the new garden format would be an “open air eating and drinking playground for the rich.” According to materials submitted to the […]

Developer to Close Lands End II Parking Lot by Month End for New 700-Foot Towers

Not two months after the Appellate Court overturned community lawsuits stopping the Two Bridges mega-developments, one of said projects is now moving forward. Tenants of the Lands End II housing complex were informed, via letter, that the rear parking lot will close by the end of April to make way for the 700-foot megatowers by […]

An Art Show to Benefit the Educational Alliance

A new art exhibit to support the Educational Alliance and its Manny Cantor Center kicks off this weekend. Drawing inspiration from the recently-deposed Hester Street Fair, “CONTINUE TO BE” is a celebratory show welcoming the warmth and hope of springtime in the city, featuring both new and old work from local photographers who have documented life […]

Clayton’s Corner: Shine a Light on the Dark

Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, nights are especially dark on the streets of the Lower East Side. Fewer businesses, less activity, less overall light. In this latest installment of Clayton’s Corner, the neighborhood documentarian shines a light on the darkness.

City Officially Breaks Ground on $1.45B East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

After an initial delay, the contested $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project is set to break ground in the coming days. All against a backdrop of legal filings and vociferous community opposition. “Building a recovery for all of us means fighting climate change and investing in resilient communities,” Mayor de Blasio stated in a […]