Aggressive Township Streetlight Project Illuminates Lakewood and Saves Lives

jcp2If you’ve noticed that Lakewood looks increasingly “lit up,” rest assured, it is not your imagination.

With no fanfare, Township Committeemen and former mayors Menashe Miller and Meir Lichtenstein have worked aggressively over the past three year to upgrade and add over 1,000 streetlights throughout Lakewood. Some of the neighborhoods that have gotten a major transformation are Albert Avenue, Ridge Avenue, James Street, Joe Parker, South Lake Drive, Oak Street and, most recently, Squankum and Kennedy.

In addition, various individual streets throughout Lakewood have received, or are in the process of receiving, new or upgraded streetlights as a result of resident complaints to the Township, which will be followed by streetlight projects in other inadequately lit neighborhoods.

jcp3With Lakewood’s robust population growth, enhanced street lighting is necessary to increase quality of life, making residents feel safer walking the streets and more visible to motorists. All newly installed or upgraded streetlights have powerful 250 watt lamps, in contrast to the 50-150 watt range previously used. This lighting strength is unprecedented in New Jersey, and JCP&L was originally highly skeptical of the plan. However, following the installation of the powerful lamps, the Township has received a steady stream of messages of gratitude from residents.

Though streetlights may seem like a relatively easy governmental task, it is not so at all. The poles and lamps are owned by the JCP&L utility company, and only JCP&L can install, upgrade or repair a streetlight. Lakewood Township pays JCP&L a set fee to install, upgrade or maintain each streetlight, and the utility company is thus legally obligated to fulfill requests for repairs or additions within a designated time frame.

jcp1However, until just a few years ago, JCP&L was notorious for failing to repair reported streetlight outages. Getting them to install a new lamp was virtually impossible. Committeeman Lichtenstein, the official Township liaison to JCP&L; Deputy Mayor Miller; and others; worked aggressively to ensure that JCP&L is living up to its obligations, even withholding Township payments for a while until the company came through.

As a result, JCP&L is now significantly more responsive to outage reports by both Township officials and everyday residents, as well as to Township requests for new and upgraded lamps. Committeeman Lichtenstein remains in constant contact with JCP&L, committed to build upon the progress and add and/or upgrade many more streetlights throughout Lakewood in the months and years ahead.

“I would like to thank JCP&L for helping us make Lakewood a safer place for pedestrians, and remaining responsive as we continue this effort,” he says. “We look forward to continue listening to our residents and improving their quality of life.”

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  1. There have been so many accidents on cedarbridge and it is so incredibly dark starting from Martin Luther going south for quite a few miles. Even at the lights and intersections it is very dark. When is something going to be done about that?

  2. I agree with comment #4, there have been way too many accidents on cedarbridge between MLK and Clover. Its very dark. Its probably a county road though and not the responsibility of lakewood township.

  3. For all you complainers if you think street lights have anything to do with accidents I don’t know what your smoking. Accidents happen when someone is in a place that he’s not supposed to be in. Be it a car or pedestrian or something else. A street light doesn’t allow someone to just walk into the street. So this is all much ado about nothin

  4. Is there a link where someone can request new or improved lighting?
    How about new or needing to fix sidewalks link?
    Or much needed potholes report?
    I’m sure Duvi’s can set you(township or tls) up with something ASAP
    Should work with a simple google form.

  5. Can we get Hillside in westgate lit up with like flood lights or something in front of the shul and the plaza where people are crossing all the time in black?

  6. Though proper lighting definitely helps, definitely the main cause of additional accidents in town is the traffic congestion which is a direct result of the townships overdelepoments of areas.

  7. The high pressure sodium or Halide bulbs which they use in most street lites light very very HOT and use a tremendous amount of electricity . There are new LED street lite bulbs called Cobra which cost more than double (about $200 a bulb) are supposed to illuminate even better and use 85% less electricity.
    I have the old type high pressure halide bulbs lighting up my backyard of which my electric bill is quite high as a result of them (to avoid a dark spooky backyard) . Always I say “next month ” I will spend the $1,200 on materials plus call down an electrician to change them.

  8. Chaim

    Even with a light and only a couple of cars on the road, it is very scary to make a left from clover to cedarbridge and literally cannot see the street I am turning on to.

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