City Keeps Chinatown Park in the Dark over Light Outages [OP-ED]

Posted on: February 28th, 2020 at 5:04 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

Is the Department of Transportation stuck in neutral?

Back in early 2017, the lights dotting Columbus Park in Chinatown began to fade, eventually shrouding the whole park in darkness. Being an early riser and accustomed to walking my Furbabies at 5:00am daily, I was forced to carry a flashlight in order to see. My inquiries to the Parks Department were passed to DOT, the agency, strangely enough, that is responsible for maintenance of lighting within parks.

The issue was finally resolved almost a year later due to media pressure. The city acted to replace burned-out lamps days after Bowery Boogie, and later, NBC News, ran stories.

Photo: Karlin Chan

However, within a few short months, in April 2019, the lamps started flickering out again. And stayed that way. So, we are back to square one.

Once again, repeated inquiries were met with the same noncommittal responses from DOT.

Currently within Columbus Park’s northern section, there are 15 of 18 lamps out; within Foley Square Park, there are 7 of 11 lights out; and Thomas Paine Park has no working lights, including the fountain area favored for demonstrations.

Many may find park lighting a trivial issue, but it’s time to raise the alarm in light of the gruesome murder of four homeless men on the Bowery last October, as well as the murder of Tessa Majors in Morningside Park. We cannot afford to have publicly accessible spaces shrouded in darkness.

All said, the city not only keeps us in the dark on community issues now it’s doing it literally.

Recent Stories

Clayton’s Corner: Overthrow the Wrong Way

In this installment of Clayton’s Corner, photographer Clayton Patterson shares news that the Overthrow boxing gym on Bleecker Street is back in action. Then, crosstown on Essex Street, two cops stopped for a quick slice. However, flouting traffic by driving the wrong way to park in front of Champion Pizza. This move seemed to irk […]

How COVID and a Bus Stop Chased Benson’s from Essex Street

The following guest post was penned by Boogie reader Sydney Fishman. For five years, Benson’s held down the corner of East Houston and Essex Streets with craft beers, sumptuous burgers, and the occasional movie night. The movie nights, according to owner Annie Morton, were the highlight of Benson’s tenure on the Lower East Side. Before […]

Next Phase of Market Line at Essex Crossing Now Visible

With scaffolding and other construction elements removed from The Artisan building at Essex Crossing, another part of the Market Line is coming into focus. Unlike the westernmost third of the Market Line, this section beneath 180 Broome Street feels less like a dungeon. Design elements, including massive grand staircase and full facade glass open the […]

14-Story Eldridge Street Hotel Hit with Stop Work Order

The hotel newcomer underway on lower Eldridge Street – recently topped out at fourteen stories – met the might of the city. Inspectors from Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order on 79 Eldridge about a week ago. It’s a full order which only allows work “to provide shoring for all staircases and provide design […]

Eighteen Groups Sign Open Letter Demanding Transparency over CB3 Removal of Committee Chairs

Eighteen community groups within Community Board 3 on the Lower East Side this week co-signed an open letter to city and state officials urging inquiry into the removal of Alexandra Militano and Carolyn Ratcliffe as chairs of the SLA and Arts & Culture subcommittees, respectively. The shakeup, apparently inspired by a stated “new direction” for […]