Arcadia Electrical Company, Ridgewood, N.Y., installed 341 new lighting fixtures near walkways, playgrounds and parking lots at Polo Grounds Towers in Harlem as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Action Plan (MAP), an initiative to reduce crime and increase neighborhood safety at 15 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development sites with the highest crime rates.
“Increasing safety is at the core of improving the lives of NYCHA residents,” de Blasio said in a March 11 press release. “That’s why we are implementing a comprehensive security plan—more lighting, additional security cameras, and improved coordination between NYCHA and the police department—to do this. After decades of disinvestment in our public housing, we are leveraging every tool possible to strengthen and preserve NYCHA for today and future generations.”
Construction has begun at eight other locations in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan. Each of the projects vary in size. NYCHA expects new lighting will be substantially completed at 13 of the 15 MAP sites by the end of 2017. Temporary light towers will remain at the developments until all projects are completed.
“The projects are specifically related to lighting, which is right up an electrical contractor’s alley,” said Stephen Gianotti, president of Arcadia Electrical.
The outdated lighting was from the 1960s and required maintenance by replacing every lamp that had burned out. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have longevity, he said.
The new lights brighten up areas that weren’t well lit—such as gardens, walkways, playgrounds and parking lots—providing a safer environment for residents.
“Safety was the most important part [of this program], but it also cut down on electrical usage, bills and maintenance,” Gianotti said. “The old lights didn’t provide much coverage. The technology when they were installed wasn’t available. LED isn’t only brighter but comes at a much lower cost than traditional lighting.”
Arcadia Electrical is performing installations with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 3, which trains community members to work on these projects.
“In partnership with Local Union 3 IBEW and the mayor’s office, we were able to hire members of the community to be part of our team, and together we made the Polo Grounds a safer, more enjoyable place to call home,” Gianotti said.
Arcadia Electrical is currently working at Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx.
“Good lighting deters crime and promotes public safety,” said Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Manhattan district attorney. “The installation of new exterior lighting at Polo Grounds Towers, which is part of my office’s $101 million commitment to improve NYCHA security, will enhance residential safety and quality of life for thousands of New Yorkers.”