Sunset Park residents left in the dark after DOT removes streetlights

Neighbors say they have contacted the Department of Transportation, and have requested temporary lighting while they wait for replacement streetlights.

Mary-Lyn Buckley and

News 12 Staff

Aug 1, 2023, 1:52 AM

Updated 292 days ago

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The city's Department of Transportation removed multiple streetlights last week in Sunset Park after they said renovations were needed to replace old streetlight foundations. Residents living on 50th Street and 3rd Avenue say their previously well-lit street has turned "pitch black.”
"I have been a resident for 27 years, and I have never seen it gotten this bad," said longtime Sunset Park resident Gary Soto.
Holes four feet deep now stand at parts of the intersection, containing electrical wires in spots where streetlight posts were previously installed. Some holes are exposed, with a single plank of wood lying partially across it and topped with an orange construction cone. 
Elderly residents and parents stood together on 50th Street outraged, describing the sight in front of their homes as an "accident waiting to happen.”
"This is a hazard, look at the size of this hole," said lifelong resident Jose Rosario. "If a kid falls in here, it is no good."
Neighbors say they have contacted the DOT and have requested temporary lighting while they wait for replacement streetlights. So far, no temporary lighting has been installed in over a week. 
The Department of Transportation provided a statement that says in part, "Well-lit streets are vital to pedestrian and traffic safety and NYC DOT is dedicated to enhancing our streetlighting infrastructure. We are undertaking critical repair work in Sunset Park and are actively working to restore ample street lighting to this community."
Neighbors living along 50th Street claim that there have been attempted car robberies and an attempted home invasion since the streetlights were removed last week.


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