Southern Brooklyn

City Installing Antique Lamps On Kings Highway

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Cymbrowitz with members of the Kings Highway Beautification Association | Source: Cymbrowitz's office

Twenty-two antique light poles are being installed along Kings Highway between Ocean Parkway and McDonald Avenue, replacing all existing street and traffic lights. It’s part of an effort to make an oft-ignored stretch of businesses more appealing to shoppers.

The project is being done with $228,000 allocated in 2007 by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and will be completed in approximately one month.

“It’s always important to enhance our commercial strips, but now with the economy taking its toll on shopkeepers’ bottom lines, it’s even more important that we do what we can to encourage local shopping,” Cymbrowitz said.

Cymbrowitz told Sheepshead Bites that this stretch of Kings Highway is not covered by the Kings Highway Business Improvement District, which spends thousands annually on the stretch east of Ocean Parkway for beautification and revitalization. Meanwhile, the western portion’s more grisly aesthetic is turning off shoppers, evidenced by rapidly shuttering businesses. The antique lights – and other recent initiatives – are part of an effort to restore the area’s economic viability.

The assemblyman’s office explains:

Kings Highway and Ocean Parkway was the dividing line between a thriving shopping district and one that saw vacant stores multiplying quickly (currently at a historic level). The Kings Highway BID worked hard keeping the area east of Ocean Parkway viable, but its area did not include west of Ocean Parkway. In 2005 members of the surrounding community formed the Kings Highway Beautification Association with the goal of improving the Kings Highway shopping strip from Ocean Parkway to McDonald Avenue. They worked with the merchants to keep the street clean, even purchasing modern litter cans themselves to reduce litter, had graffiti removed and tried to attract new storekeepers. These concerned community residents are continuing their efforts,which is helping the small shops in this area, as well as all community members who live in the surrounding community. After listening to the concerns of the Kings Highway Beautification Association, and consulting with the NYC Departments of Transportation and Parks, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz allocated State “multi-modal” funds in 2007, as an investment in revitalizing this once very active commercial area. Multi-modal funding may only be used for capital improvements within a right-of-way such as a street or highway.

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58 COMMENTS

  1. I think they are thinking of it as an investment. People tend to like to shop in prettier areas. Kings Highway is disgusting. Especially in front of that Domino store, it always smells like garbage.

  2. This is a waste of state money, the reason the area between Ocean Parkway and McDonald Ave is dying is because the Orthodox community has taken over that retail strip and cater only to Jews. Why would anyone else risk thier money on a buisness there when the only foot traffic resembles Borough Park…

  3. that’s why so many people run for offices. keep your day job and get to BS around your community and get paid again!

  4. This really makes me wonder – why now? It takes 3 years to spend money on street lamps?

    “The project is being done with $228,000 allocated in 2007 by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and will be completed in approximately one month.”

  5. Look at the ones on Emmons Avenue. They look ugly because DOT doesn’t even use black or brown bands for the street signs and parking regulations. Their beauty is marred by a half dozen silver bands that adorn some of them. And when they repaint the lamposts they use cheap flat brown paint instead of the glossy paint when they were first installed. If you are going to spend good money for this stuff that supposed to look beautiful, don’t destroy that beauty with stupidity.

  6. It looks like they’re not even anchored to the ground properly. And while they did give it an initial coat of black paint they will need repainting in a few years.

    And I think Microshock is right, it’s only the bases that are antique.

  7. Especially since it’s faux antique. The bases may be old, the rest seem to be modern.

    And who is going to notice it if its done that way?

    Sounds like a boondoggle to me.

  8. Was this really need? How about using money for something useful? City claiming no money but apparently they have enough money for BS. Does anyone audit these stupid city agencies?

  9. He lives around the corner along with some of the most powerful (rich) business men in the city. SY community.

  10. I know. That’s partly why I’m not surprised. The other part is that he would involve himself and then take no part in considering whether this will actually achieve the desired result.

  11. Exactly. We are all adults (and should have known a Russian expression “One hand warms another one”), why is everybody surprised? It could have been worse, at least we are not in New Jersey…

  12. Settle down, everyone. The light pole in the photo is incomplete. It’s just the base – there will be a full lamp post when it’s completed (if it’s not already).

  13. But none of these people in the photo look Hasidic. See, it looks like Kings Highway. I suspect that the local don’t shop on their own shopping street.

    OTOH, Avenue P seems to be healthy.

  14. Where the hell is my pic of the pigeons on the antique lamps in Sheepshead Bay when I need it? Well any way that’s what they are good for “the birds”.

  15. It is the kind of community where people are expected to do what they can to help for the “common good”. But I suspect that this is hardly going to make a real difference.

    OTOH, in the past year there has been some improvement. There are some new businesses moving into vacant storefronts. I do sincerely doubt, however that the antique poles were the deal maker.

  16. I think they would have done it even with their own money, but if they can get state money,all the better.

    I found a whole block of vacant storefronts (I think it was between East 3rd and 4th) a year ago. Now they are rented. So I suppose that the planned revival of the neighborhood has a number of different spokes on its wheel.

  17. You know what would have beautied the street even better? POWER WASHING AND CLEANING UP ALL THE LITTER. That and removing all those horrendous advertising flyer would have made a huge difference. They would have looked like brand new streets. Money should be used wisley. New lamps on dirty streets just looks ridiculous.

  18. Wow, this is an absolute waste of money. Wanna spend $228k on Kings Highway? Clean it up. There’s NOTHING worthy of this kind of attention between OP & McDonald. It’s dead on Friday nights and all of Saturday because of the Orthodox community.

    Moving from OP and up towards Ocean Ave- it’s an absolute shit hole. It’s not even just by Domino, it’s all of Kings Highway. I think Avenue U smells better!

  19. I have seen some new lamp posts in Bay Ridge recently. They have an older or antique style, but they are rife with Facist symbolism.

  20. The city only comes up short on money for the important things, like, schools, police, fire, and sanitation depts. Yet they can waste money on superfluous things like antique street lamps and unwanted traffic pattern changes or obstructions, that make traveling in this city more dangerous and time consuming.

  21. Where do you come up with this unsubstantiated opinion? There has never been a Jewish President. Rutherford B. Hayes is typically listed in general sources about U.S. Presidents as a Methodist. However, a number of sources indicate that he was in no way a Methodist, but that he was baptized as a Presbyterian (and ended up being merely a nominal member of that denomination).

  22. Its laughable that Sitt is on a this assiociation. He is the gentleman with the stupid smile. He has turned opeating businesses and buildings into empty lots here in Coney Island.

  23. If local government does not direct some of the tax revenues coming from affluent New Yorkers back into their own neighborhoods, and make those areas more clean, attractive, safe and pleasant, – than those inhabitants will eventually choose to leave the city, and those dollars will disappear permanently. I read every comment on this list. This has nothing to do with who is and is not Jewish, or whether the shops decide to open or close on Friday nights and Saturdays. These area residents are paying substantial amounts in property taxes and income taxes, and by doing so they are supporting the public school system, that they don’t even use. 99% of their children attend private schools. If the appearance of the shopping areas and the quality of life continues to get worse, why would someone who can afford to move anyplace they want to stay there? Competition for high income and high net worth individuals and successful businesses is heating up and NJ and Conn will be happy to accommodate these people and give them very pretty streets and stores to shop in. This is the reality, and it’s the reality that needs to be addressed.

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