WUFT News

Gainesville’s Main Street Light Poles Will Soon Meet State Standards

By on September 25th, 2013
Phase I for Main Street Streetscape has already commenced in downtown Gainesville. This is one of the many light poles that will be replaced with an LED light in an effort to make Main Street and downtown Gainesville as a whole more lit and safe for families and students.

Max Mattern / WUFT News

Phase I for Main Street Streetscape has already commenced in downtown Gainesville. This is one of the many light poles that will be replaced with an LED light in an effort to make Main Street and downtown Gainesville as a whole more lit and safe for families and students.

Things are looking bright for Main Street and downtown Gainesville.

North 8th Avenue to South Depot Avenue on Main Street is currently under construction for the installment of new light poles and the upgrade of existing ones as part of Phase I of Main Street Streetscape.

This is the first of two phases for the Main Street project, which is trying to improve the safety and look of downtown Gainesville. Phase I, which specifically focuses on the lighting of that entire area, began in August and is expected to be completed by December.

Phase II is set to begin in mid-2014 and will improve Main Street’s landscaping.

“The goal of the project is to give the lighting levels on Main Street a much more uniform luminance,” said Stefan Broadus, project manager and an engineer for Main Street Streetscape.

The project aims to bring Main Street to the necessary standards required by the Florida Department of Transportation on a major roadway, which includes having an average foot candle — a unit of light intensity — of 1.5 and a minimum to maximum light level ratio of 10:1, according to the City Commission’s report.

Thirteen of the 14 blocks between North Eighth Avenue and South Depot Avenue did not meet that criterion, so Broadus brought in a contractor, American Lighting and Signalization, to help meet those standards.

“During design, we came up with the proper lights and the proper spacing to use in the process,” Broadus said. “And we came up with a design in which some blocks have the average lighting level lower than before.”

The proposed improvements include adding up to 24 more pedestrian lights and six more roadway lights while installing LED lights in existing light poles. The city funded the design part of the project, while the Department of Energy funded the actual light construction and installment.

The project cost a total of $853,571.84, with most of the funds invested into the LED lights, according to the City Commission’s report.

LED lights last longer and are brighter than regular lights, and are a long-term investment for Gainesville, said Gina Busscher, public information director for FDOT of District 2, which serves Gainesville.

“It’s important to provide the necessary lighting so people can feel more comfortable,” said Busscher. “Also, crime tends to go down when streets are more lit.”

Main Street currently has pockets of intense light and pockets of complete darkness, Busscher said. The effort in the project design was to make the average maximum light level to minimum light level 10:1.

According to the report, North 4th Avenue to North 6th Avenue have as high a light ratio as 93:1, which shows the lack of consistency through that specific block with bright and dark spots throughout the street.

Kassia Walsh, manager of The Top restaurant located on Main Street, said her customers and employees would both benefit from more lighting in the area.

“In terms of helping customers feel more secure while walking, more lighting will guarantee that,” Walsh said.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Anthropology major, Alexis Brown, 18, tries on a hijab for the first time at a photobooth in the Islamic Fair.

Student-Run Islam Fair Brings Clarity On Religion

Hosted by the student-run organization Islam on Campus, the Islam Fair is meant to bring awareness and clarity of the religion.


Adrienne Fagan, a creator of Gainesville Atheist Brunch, checks the event page she created to advertise GAB’s inaugural brunch. GAB aims to create a safe space for atheists to gather and build community.

Atheist Space Creates Community, Eliminates Stigma

A Gainesville woman organizes brunch for locals to discuss atheism and to provide a community for fellow atheists.


Winford-Jenkins-Trash

Hawthorne Volunteer Trash Collector A Fixture In Community

When a doctor recommended he get more exercise, Hawthorne resident Winford Jenkins, 57, began taking daily walks around the city. After noticing just how much trash cluttered the streets, he decided to do something about it.


Assistant Fire Chief JoAnne Rice inspects an emergency exit sign outside her office at Gainesville Fire Rescue. Proper lighting, signage and open doorways are critical mainstays of a compliant fire inspection.

Majority Of Fire Inspections Don’t Check Out

The newest data on Gainesville’s statGNV shows that over half of all existing buildings in Gainesville received some type of violation. These violations include broken emergency exit signs, incorrect outlet cover plates and untested sprinkler systems.


12 Residents Seek Shelter After Explosion At Southwest Villas Apartment

An explosion at Southwest Villas on Thursday night displaced 12 residents. The cause of the explosion is unknown.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments