Southern Brooklyn

Councilman Maisel Renews Call To Repair Belt Parkway Lights Damaged In Sandy

Source: retrofresh! via flickr
Source: retrofresh!/Flickr

When Superstorm Sandy struck the neighborhood in October 2012, it was lights out on the Belt Parkway near Plumb Beach’s exit 9. Literally.

And then those lights stayed out for 15 months, despite promises given by the Department of Transportation to local elected officials to install emergency lighting until permanent repairs could be made.

Now Councilman Alan Maisel, who replaces Lew Fidler, has picked up the torch, firing off a letter to the DOT demanding repairs be made and pointing out that the situation is made even more dangerous thanks to the “pitted … moonscape of potholes, cracks and uneven surfaces.”

I probably would’ve gone with the “Edward James Olmos of highways,” but maybe that’s why I’m not an elected official.

Here’s the letter in full:

February 18, 2014

Commissioner Polly Trottenberg
NYC Department of Transportation
55 Water Street
New York, NY 10041

Dear Commissioner Trottenberg:

Since Hurricane Sandy, a significant section of the Belt Parkway, in the area around Exit 9 and Plumb Beach, has been without regular road lighting of any kind. This is a dangerous situation that has only become more dangerous in the past month and is in need of both a temporary and permanent solution.

It is my understanding, based on correspondence with the office of your predecessor, that flood waters had damaged underground electrical cabling, the repair or replacement of which was being undertaken but that more time was needed. At the time, I had been told that these repairs would be completed before the fall of 2013. Therefore, I had requested, as did my predecessor in the Council, emergency lighting for the interim and we were told that such lighting would be provided. Yet, the highway remains dark – the repairs have not been completed and the interim lighting has not been introduced. That is an intolerably dangerous situation for motorists.

Yet, now the situation has actually become even more dangerous. After the recent cycle of snowstorms and plowing efforts, the surface of the Belt Parkway has become pitted in a moonscape of potholes, cracks and uneven surfaces. This alone is dangerous and, as I am sure you are already aware, in need of attention. However, when combined with the absence of lighting, so that a motorist might be unable to see or avoid upcoming road hazards, the danger to all concerned is multiplied.

I believe it is imperative that emergency lighting, run off generators, be introduced to this section of the highway until permanent repairs to the lighting system can be made. This is now more urgent than ever and I ask that it be addressed as expeditiously as possible. Thank you.

Councilman-46th District

Comment policy


  1. They should fix potholes first, I can drive without lights, I have headlights, but I cant drive if I lose my wheel in one of those giant holes

  2. for whatever reasons, the entire area is disrespected, disregarded, dismissed: Brigham Park is still waiting, the Belt Pkwy pavement & lighting rot in hell, Plumb Beach pedestrian/jogger/bike path is waiting since 2009. Sheepshead Bay needs to be dredged. Damaged homes await insurance resolution. WTF?

  3. Who knows how much money was squandered by the bike nut. But we need to get those pot holes and lights taken care of. This isn’t a third world country. This is beyond embarrassing already.

  4. This area is runned down I agree with Mat50………The lamp posts are out around the Harbor View Senior Living, One lamp post is out directly across the street from the entrance 3900 Shore Parkway and the other is out as you continue on around the bend, both lights that are out are on the left side of the street. I’ve called 311 and they didn’t have the street names in their system where these lights are out.

  5. What, are you kidding me?! Those Lights in the stretch on the Belt Parkway, between roughly, the Flatbush Avenue exits, and Knapp Street, have been occasionally out, since the 1970’s, when I got my license, and first car! I’m not going to hold my breath over this!! And even more important, is now fixing the potholes, and seeing some enforcement, regarding a number of the knuckleheads who drive recklessly along that stretch, many of them when traveling west, are probably heading to the V, and Staten Island!!!

  6. Finally…maybe we will get some lights..
    The good news is, that just recently, they finally have ONE light above the
    exit sign at Exit 9 heading westbound. Before this I actually witnessed cars going off the road into the ditch on the right side…


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