A $2.1 million lighting improvement project was kicked off at the Pelham Parkway Houses.
New outdoor lights are planned throughout the development, with the installation of 93 LED lightpoles.
The majority of the new fixtures will be park-like poles installed in locations that previously lacked efficient lighting.
The event held Thursday, July 27, outside of 2385 Williamsbridge Road, began the 6-month time frame by when the project should be completed.
Senator Jeff Klein, who funded the installation, along with Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, and NYCHA general manager Michael Kelly, spoke to residents during a groundbreaking ceremony.
The outdoor lighting enhancements represent the latest project aimed at improving safety at the Pelham Parkway Houses following two tragic homicides just months apart in the summer of 2012, according to Klein.
“Everyone knows that back in the summer of 2012, we had a horrible summer here at Pelham Parkway Houses,” Klein said. “We lost two of our tenants — one, Evelyn Shapiro, whom I knew for many, many years, who lived here for such a long time. She was 88 years old.”
The other victim was Adrian Garcia, “a young man who was taken down in his prime,” Klein said. “He was 25 years old. And I know that caused a major tragedy in all of our lives. But not only in Pelham Parkway, but also in the surrounding community.”
Klein, who has represented this area for over 22 years, said he “has always recognized the importance of making sure Pelham Parkway Houses continues to remain a safe, great place to live. You know, if Pelham Parkway Houses falls by the wayside, the rest of the community is not far behind.”
The greater Pelham Parkway community is linked in an important way to Pelham Parkway Houses, according to Klein, who told residents at the ceremony that “we want to make sure that you’re safe and secure in your apartments.”
Klein said he obtained the lighting improvement funds in 2014, noting that better lighting is crucial to assuring that security cameras can clearly record criminal activity.
“We’re not going to stand for that (crimes). We are going to stand up loud and clear that Pelham Parkway Houses has to remain a safe place to live,” Klein said. “This money is going to go a long way. We’re going to do new lighting all over the grounds at Pelham Parkway Houses, new state-of-the-art LED lighting within the individual buildings. I think this is really going to make sure that we’re safe and secure.”
Gjonaj said that the NYC Housing Authority “is a major component of this community. We need to make sure that it remains affordable, safe and quality housing for you and your family. We’re going to make sure that New York State makes right by NYCHA residents.”
Kelly said that over 100,000 of New York’s citizens are served by public housing.
“We’re here to celebrate new lights as part of a larger commitment to clean, safe and connected public housing,” he said.