By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter
Jul. 12, 2017: Village lighting improvements will progress through the summer Mayor Mary Marvin noted in her report at the July 10 Bronxville Board of Trustees meeting.
Phase 2 of the downtown lighting project will focus on the Kraft Avenue parking lot and the west side traffic circle. According to Village Administrator Jim Palmer, the village will be going out to bid for new lighting fixtures for both locations.
Marvin announced that the village also plans to begin testing lighting options in residential areas with a view toward upgrading street lighting throughout the village. A range of lights will be tested on Oriole Avenue between Woodland Avenue and Orchard Place.“We want to get residents’ reactions to the colors and coolness of various lighting options,” Marvin said.
Palmer explained that village officials decided on the Oriole Avenue block for testing the effectiveness of lighting samples because of the existing setbacks of the houses along the street. “We encourage people to go down the street and see if they can tell the difference between the samples and the existing lights,” he said. One sample has a light temperature of 3,000 Kelvin and another 4,000 Kelvin.
Kelvin temperatures are used to measure the color of lighting. At 4,000 Kelvin, light is equivalent to natural daylight. When the color temperature rises above that level, the light becomes colder and has more of a white or blue color. Color temperature below 4,000 Kelvin has a warmer yellow cast.
While most communities have elected for a temperature of 4,000 Kelvin, Palmer said that he is trying to locate lighting with a color temperature in between. A sample fixture will be set up to evaluate appropriate lighting that will not have an unpleasant impact on residents.
Palmer stated that the village has decided to upgrade lighting for many reasons. The new LED lighting fixtures will be more energy efficient, will last much longer than the current incandescent lights, which are being phased out, and should cost about one-third less than the incandescent fixtures.
Palmer also stated that, in recent years, the village has had to replace the same lighting ballasts, which regulate the current to the lights, two and three times. “It’s exhausting,” he said.
Mayor Marvin reported that residents have commented to her that village neighborhoods, from a safety standpoint, are too dark.
“I think people should understand,” Marvin said, “that there will be a very big difference between lighting in the business district, where traffic volume and pedestrian safety are primary concerns, and residential areas. “Changes in the residential areas will have to roll out very slowly,” she said.
“This will not be a one-size-fits-all solution,” Palmer emphasized. Distances between lighting poles vary among neighborhoods and measurements will be taken to determine which color temperature will serve a particular neighborhood best. “We’re trying to maintain the integrity of appropriate lighting,” he added.
Trustee Randy Mayer suggested that the direction of new lighting receive appropriate attention so the light is directed where it will be most effective rather than illuminate indiscriminately and contribute to light pollution.
Trustee Anne W. Poorman encourages resident feedback “at every step in the process so that people aren’t surprised.”
Pictured here: Trustee Anne Poorman, Mayor Mary Marvin, trustee Bob Underhill, and trustee Guy Longobardo.
Photo by C. Bartold