Carol Wilkins, president of the Ravenswood Tenants Association, praises the new light fixtures installed at Ravenswood Houses.
The buildings and pathways at Ravenswood Houses in Astoria are shining brighter than ever.
Thanks to a nearly $4 million investment by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the housing complex has 626 new energy-efficient LED light fixtures throughout the area. Each entrance, walkway and parking area in 31 buildings will have the state-of-the-art lighting.
“Every single senior must feel safe in every single building, every single walkway and every single courtyard,” Van Bramer said. “These brand new lights are going a long way to making people feel safer.”
Van Bramer allocated $1 million in funding for the $3.7 million project, which will illuminate the space for the 4,380 residents of Ravenswood Houses at 21st Street and 36th Avenue.
Carol Wilkins, president of the Ravenswood Tenants Association, said she’s happy now that she can see at night.
“We’re all going to be safe, we can see what’s going on,” Wilkins said. “It’s a pleasure when I have to come home late from meetings, I can see who’s ahead of me and who’s passing by. It’s so great.”
Van Bramer cited a drop in major crimes as evidence that the lights, which were installed this summer, are already working. There have been no murders or shootings for the past two years. Robberies are down 17 percent, larcenies have decreased 14 percent, and auto theft has gone down nearly 67 percent.
“Those are good numbers we’re very proud of,” Van Bramer said. “Feeling safe at home is probably the most important thing that we can do for every single New Yorker. The good people of Ravenswood deserve the very best in every single way.”
Gerald Nelson, vice president of Public Safety for NYCHA, said the development was built back in the 1950s, so the previous lights were old. The new lights go on automatically and don’t need regular maintenance, he said.
“There’s plenty of lights,” Nelson said. “It’s like Yankee Stadium walking through here.”