General Information on Distinctive Light Fixtures

In order to achieve a coherent streetscape, the Public Design Commission supports a unified approach to street furniture, including light fixtures. Consequently, the Commission encourages the installation of fixtures that are sympathetic to the aesthetic and historic character of specific neighborhoods, both in terms of architectural style and scale. The Commission discourages the installation of historic poles, such as the Bishop's Crook, in neighborhoods that are characterized by contemporary architecture.

The Commission also supports the consistent use of light fixtures throughout entire neighborhoods, communities, or districts to achieve maximum cohesion and visual impact. The Commission encourages applicants to develop comprehensive master plans that address these areas holistically and avoid piecemeal proposals. Master plans may be implemented in multiple phases, if sufficient funds are not available to undertake an entire area at one time.

Before selecting light fixtures, applicants must consult the Department of Transportation and its Street Lighting Catalogue to determine which fixtures meet mandatory light levels on specific streets, so that a minimum number of poles can be maintained. The Commission strongly discourages proposals that require the installation of more light poles than are currently installed, as they increase visual clutter and detract from a unified streetscape.