Brighton Beach residents are sick and tired of being left in the dark — literally — thanks to a streetlight saga they say has been going on for more than seven months.
Residents charge that since January, the city has failed to fix a faulty lamppost at the corner of Brighton Third Street and Brighton Second Lane, leaving them without any illumination —or sense of security.
“This is a quiet, desolate area so something like a street light is a critical thing,” said Judd Fischler, a former 60th Precinct Community Council president who lives near the corner. “We’ve had some burglaries down here, so we need something to light up the area.”
Fischler said the light started flickering last year before it completely died this past January. He made repeated calls to 311 and city officials earlier this summer about the light, and in early July, a private construction pulled out the dead street light and replaced it with a new one.
The problem wasn’t solved yet, though; the streetlight remained inoperable because Con Edison had yet to hook the light up to the city’s electrical grid.
That’s when this paper got involved: Upon hearing about Fischler’s plight, we called Con Edison on Aug. 8, and the next day, the utility company began the process of hooking up the new street light to the electric grid.
End of story? Not even close: Con Edison completed its work by Aug. 16, but the light was still off. When asked why, a Con Edison spokeswoman said that the responsibility now lied in the Department of Transportation’s hands.
“The light pole is alive and the base of the pole is electrified, but now it’s up to the city to complete the job,” said spokeswoman Joy Farber.
A spokesman for the Department of Transportation said the agency was looking into the problem, though as of press time, Fischler and his neighbors were still in the dark.
“This whole thing is stupid,” said Fischler. “It’s like that old joke about how many people does it take to screw in a light bulb.”