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Pilot streetlight program to LED the way this month

By DEBRA BANERJEE

The ad hoc LED streetlight committee will begin the first stage of its pilot program this month, committee chairman Victor Goldberg informed community leaders in a letter dated Sept. 9. Goldberg and committee member Ron Schulhof presented an update as outlined in the letter to the Confederation of Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Presidents Sept. 8.

Stage 1, the mini-pilot, planned for September to October, will see 25 LED streetlights of varying light colors and brightness installed in sections of Heathcote, Fox Meadow and Madison roads. Signage on each LED pole will identify the pole number and a website for residents to provide feedback or ask questions. At press time, 11 lights have been installed, Goldberg said.

The committee chairman told the Inquirer that the roads chosen for the mini-pilot study are Heathcote, from Morris Lane to Brookby Road, considered a major road; Fox Meadow, from Fenimore to Olmsted, a secondary road; and Madison, between Sprague and Richelieu, designated a residential road.

Stage 2 of the project is slated to begin in late November or early December. Based on feedback from residents in the mini-pilot stage, the full pilot will see the installation of 100 or more LED streetlights throughout village neighborhoods representing the full array of types of streets, although not in every neighborhood association area. Signage will be attached to the poles identifying pole numbers and website address for feedback or questions. A map of all locations will be available for those who want to drive around and see them. Stage 2 will last about three months, giving residents a longer time to weigh in.


Bright idea

The movement to convert to LED street lights originated with the Sustainability Committee of the Scarsdale Forum, Goldberg said.

On April 28, the Scarsdale Board of Trustees established the ad hoc committee and budgeted $25,000 as part of its 2015-16 budget to develop the pilot program for LED lights in the village. The committee consists of chairman Goldberg, a former planning board chairman; David Raizen of Scarsdale Security; department of public works superintendent Benedict Salanitro; and Scarsdale Forum Sustainability Committee members Michelle Sterling and Schulhof.

LEDs (light emitting diodes) create illumination by the movement of current-stimulated electrons within a semiconductor material in the bulb. LED lights have a longer lifespan, don’t burn as hot as traditional bulbs and illuminate with a cleaner, brighter light.

The ad hoc committee has been looking at LED selections other municipalities have made, has met with vendors and is examining factors that will determine which lights will be best suited to what Scarsdale residents want.

The 2,017 streetlights currently used by the village are high-pressure sodium bulbs that give off an orange glow. It costs $180,000 annually to operate the streetlights.

The overall cost savings of the project is indeterminate at this time, Goldberg said, because the committee will be exploring financing options with vendors and alternative ways to fund the conversion.

“Scarsdale thinks of itself as a ‘village in a park,’ Goldberg told the Inquirer, “and as such we are sensitive to color and brightness and the ability to make adjustments if the light is a problem.”

The committee will update the community when the full pilot stage is underway and will post updates on electronic boards at the Scarsdale Library, village hall and through media outlets.

“Community feedback will be an integral party of our initial recommendation to the village board planned for January or February 2016,” wrote Goldberg in his letter.

For more information or to provide feedback, contact Goldberg at LED@scarsdale.com.


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of The Scarsdale Inquirer. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015