Tag Archive for 'lighting'

Lights on 20th Ave over Ravenna Park

With the days getting shorter, many of us will soon be doing more walking in the dark. While there are many places in the city that need better lighting, there is now one fewer.

20th Ave NE over Ravenna Park has been closed to cars for decades, and while the old street light poles were still in place, they hadn’t been in use until recently. Just last week, those old light poles were retrofitted with modern LEDs to keep this pedestrian right-of-way lit after dark. Now people passing through here after sunset can feel a little safer.

Lighting on 20th Ave NE

Photo sent in by reader Nick Collecchi

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Stairway lighting combined with other projects due to limited budget

With five stairway improvements underway by SDOT this year, a reader was wondering about SDOT’s policy about lighting these stairways.

Aside from the Wilcox Wall stairs (8th Avenue in Queen Anne) and maybe one or two stairways on Magnolia, most all the stairs that I recall walking in Seattle are unlighted. That’s usually not a problem in the summer, but once winter comes around the lack of lighting combines with overgrown vegetation and a lack of regular sweeping to make most of Seattle’s stairways a bit treacherous and downright creepy.

One of the stairways under construction this year will receive lighting – the stairway at Ferdinand Street that provides a connection to Martin Luther King, Jr Way. However, the city’s annual budget determines how much SDOT can spend on stairway lighting, and this amount is “very little,” according to SDOT.

When possible, SDOT tries to fund lighting along with other maintenance projects. “So often, these separate programs, Lighting, Stairways and Sidewalks are combined to save money in the long run.”

For example, SDOT says “It makes sense to excavate for installation of lighting conduits and pole foundation before constructing a new stair or sidewalk.”

It is not clear, however why the Ferdinand Street stairway improvement received lighting while the other projects did not. This decision may have been based on factors such as pedestrian traffic, length of stairway, vegetation in the area, crime statistics, and ability of neighborhood funding. Once lighting is constructed by SDOT, Seattle City Light performs maintenance.