FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER IRIS WEINSHALL MARK COMPLETION OF INSTALLATION OF ENERGY EFFICIENT AND PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY TRAFFIC LIGHTS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall today ushered in a new era for New York City transportation by announcing the completion of the installation of brighter, safer, less expensive and more pedestrian friendly traffic lights throughout the City. The Mayor presided over a ceremony at the intersection of Broadway and Warren Streets in Lower Manhattan. Department of Transportation workers have replaced standard traffic lights with brighter signals and written "Walk/Don't Walk" signs with the international pedestrian symbols of a person walking and an open hand warning pedestrians to stop.
Intersection in the City now has international pedestrian signs and brand new traffic lights - all powered by light emitting diodes (LED). The LED signals are much brighter than conventional bulbs and last six times longer. LED signals will illuminate for 100,000 burning hours - or more than 12 years - compared with the maximum life span of 16,000 hours - or about two years - of existing incandescent bulbs. These new displays use between eight and 20 watts, whereas the old lamps require 67 watts.
"Now, signalized intersection in the City features new and improved pedestrian signals, which are all powered by light-emitting diodes, or LED," said Mayor Bloomberg. "These new displays are brighter, safer, less expensive, more environmentally sound, and more pedestrian friendly. New York City is the world's second home. People from all over the world live here, or visit as tourists. And many aren't fluent in English. Now, instead of confronting a foreign language when waiting to cross the street, pedestrians - including non-English speakers - are guided by the international symbols of a person walking and an open hand warning them to stop."
"At the Department of Transportation, we are willing to try new technology and other enhancements if we believe we can improve the quality of life for our residents and our visitors," said Commissioner Weinshall. "New York is a great walking City and it certainly is the greatest tourism City in the world. We already have received many favorable comments about our LED lights - from immigrants, residents and tourists."
Starting in 2000, DOT engineers installed LED in 2,800 intersections in Queens and Staten Island, followed by 3,700 intersections in Brooklyn and 1,500 intersections in the Bronx. Today's ceremony marks the installation of the last of approximately 2,700 intersections in Manhattan. The replacement of the traffic signals at the 10,700 intersections across the City cost $28.2 million and was entirely funded through a federal grant. The new lights will save the City $6.3 million a year in energy costs. Eight intersection scattered across the five boroughs have not been completed because of construction; they will be completed when the construction projects conclude.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Tom Cocola (DOT)