Bayonne is looking to improve the dim lighting problem in some areas of the city, and officials have proposed a solution for other neighborhoods without street lights.
Residents addressed the council about the issue at the November meeting. According to resident Tammy Hager, street lights are in short supply in the city.
“They’re far and few between, and they’re very dim,” Hager said at the meeting. “I like to walk. Last week, I was walking and tripped over a sidewalk that was raised quite a bit. The area was dark, you can’t see it.”
Officials working on it
Hager said she has contacted her local elected representative First Ward City Councilman Neil Carroll, but also wanted to address the council about the issue to bring it to light.
“I have been in touch with Mr. Carroll and I sent him video, so he can get an idea of how dark it is,” Hager said. “I’m not sure what you guys can do about that.”
City Council Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski said she is aware of the issue, having recently spoken with the Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) Tom Cotter about the darkness problem.
“We had a conversation about this recently because I had a number of complaints about the darkness,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “It’s getting darker earlier but the weather is so nice so people were staying out there later. PSE&G has put new types of lights in sometimes that don’t illuminate. And the trees are very full. So we have made requests at times, if they’re really dimly lit and not shining, we can reach out with PSE&G to change those bulbs. We change the type of bulbs, because the one that they put out really have that yellow or that purple hue to them. They don’t make it to the ground at all.”
Ashe-Nadrowski said if there was a specific light, that the city could request a replacement bulb. In response, Hager said it was a larger problem than just one street light.
Need more lights
“It’s the whole area walking from 8th Street and Broadway to my house at West 8th,” Hager said. “It is very dark. People have porch lights on and it’s still too dark… Some blocks have two [street] lights, some have three… People will keep tripping, but dark areas also lead to more crime.”
Ashe-Nadrowski said that while the city can get the light bulbs changed, getting additional poles for street lights is another story.
“I absolutely agree with you,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “But PSE&G is responsible. We can make requests for them and changing the bulbs is something easier since there’s a pole there. There are better lights that just brighten up the area better.”
Ashe-Nadrowski encouraged Hager as well as all residents to report any lights that are faulty or have gone out.
“We should be doing all around the town actually,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “I don’t know what the problem really is about getting new lights. We can ask PSE&G about getting more lights.”
Making lemonade out of lemons?
Ashe-Nadrowski also had a curious idea that may be a possible solution if it can be applied.
“What I would like to do with PSE&G, with the new 5G towers, they’ve put up a lot of new poles which we could put lights on,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “We have a lot of those 5G poles, they’re really an eyesore in town. But they may be put to good use by putting additional lights on them because we do get that complaint.”
Ashe-Nadrowski said she and the council would continue looking into the proposal. Carroll thanked Hager for bringing her issue to the council. He has been recommending residents bring their issues before council in recent months to help get a resolution, to success.
“You made it really easy with that video that showed the one light was flickering,” Carroll said. “That’s been sent over to DPW. And it’s already been fixed. We got a crac team over there that’s on it. And it helps when a citizen like yourself gives us all the information possible, makes it go by faster.”
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