Aug. 12, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
Queens Council Member Julie Won is calling for more lighting to be installed at Hunters Point South Park and for damaged lights to be repaired.
Won wants the waterfront park to have better lighting, saying the current lack of lighting poses a safety risk to park-goers. She said new lighting was particularly needed by stairways and slopes.
The lawmaker is also looking for the city to repair lights that are no longer in operation. Some lights that illuminate the benches and pathways are currently not functioning.
Won penned a letter Tuesday to Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett, Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia and New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and CEO Andrew Kimball urging them to come together and improve the lighting at the park.
In the letter, Won calls on the EDC to pay for the lights and for the Parks Dept. to install the fixtures. The EDC was responsible for transforming the 11-acre site from a post-industrial wasteland into a waterfront park. The project was completed in 2018.
Won also called on the DOT and the Parks Dept. to maintain the new lights once they have been put in place.
“I am calling on the [Parks Dept.], EDC and DOT to expedite these actions, present the plans to my office and local stakeholders, and install new lights at Hunters Point South Park without delay.”
She told the city officials in the letter that her calls were prompted by a visit to the park earlier this year.
“We saw a clear need for more lighting at various locations throughout the park,” Won wrote.
Some residents have long complained that there is not sufficient lighting at the southern section of the park, which has various landscaped features that are illuminated at night with low-intensity lighting. The low lighting is understood to have been designed by architects for effect purposes.
A hill area at the southernmost point of the park also has poor nighttime lighting, according to Rob Basch, the president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC), a volunteer group that helps with the upkeep of the park.
Basch said that new pole lighting on the hill’s pathway would increase visibility.
He said that the southern section of Hunters Point South Park needs better lighting since it is generally darker than the rest of the park. He said that better lighting would also help improve security at the park and make park-goers feel safer.
“We would like to see more lighting,” Basch said. “The hill has a steep decline and lighting would help people see where they are going.”
Basch also said that the walkway facing the East River in front of Ottomanelli’s also needs new pole lighting. He said the Parks Dept. had previously suggested installing solar lights there but it became unfeasible due to supply chain issues.
Areas of Hunters Point South Park need new lights, including some stairways and slopes. I’m calling on @NYCParks, @NYCEDC, and @NYC_DOT to install additional pole lighting in the park so that our residents can enjoy time outside while staying safe. pic.twitter.com/6o5YpsoijL
— Council Member Julie Won (@CMJulieWon) August 10, 2022