Intersection at New Hampshire and Georgia Ave Getting Some Cool Looking Lampposts

DSCN1403, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

What do you think of them?

20 Comment

  • These have been going up all over the city for the past couple years. To my eyes they look like cheap faux historic nonsense but apparently the city likes them. They appear especially ridiculous when installed in large quantities along one or more blocks, e.g. 14th Street south of Irving or even worse, Canal Road between Foxhall and Key Bridge. Some of them have decorative plastic finials attached at the point where the horizontal street light arm meets the vertical post.

  • They look better than the existing ones and area nice enhancement to the streetscape

  • Am I wrong, or does the old one appear to have a solar panel? It would be a shame to lose that feature. On the other hand, the old one also, inexplicably, appears not to have a pedestrian walk sign function.

  • Looks like the solar panel is for the security camera, not necessarily for the light itself.

    I agree with Anon 3:37 in that often these lights are “knee-jerk history” instead of examples of authenticity. Then again there are no authentic historic 26-foot tall steel light poles, and light companies don’t offer much selection in this area. I think this is a situation where it’s an improvement, and we should be happy with what we get.

  • Yes, you want to always be sure to mount your Shotspotter gunfire sensors and crime surveillance cameras to historically accurate lamp posts.

  • @ Redhead – look again, above the NH Ave sign is a brown cover – beneath that cover… pedestrian walk sign. Yeah!

    As much as I hate the older lights, they work. If the new lights are more efficient, then by all means, but if its just for aesthetics, seems pretty stupid. To me, they should have used the same ones they put in on 14th.

  • At the moment, the only purpose these new lights serve is to block the functional crosswalk signal. I’m rolling the dice every time I cross New Hampshire to the Metro station!

  • RAW – maybe take a look up at the traffic light and look both ways before you cross- that’s what they used to do in the old days.

  • Agree with Larchie – and its better the city tries to implemenent a uniform (faux as it may be) look accross the city/neighborhoods.

    Big Worm, I thought the ones on 14th St (if you mean the new “old looking” ones in front of DC USA etc.) are part of the same design series but may e.g. be not as tall as these ones.

  • Big Worm – touche. I must be getting too soft in my old age. Next I’ll be telling those darned kids to turn down their rock & roll music.

  • GforGood – you are right, they have two styles on 14th street, I was thinking of the other ones…

  • I can’t believe anyone is objecting to these. I just wish they had similarly replaced the highway-style street lighting on 11th when they redid that street. This lighting (like all the new lighting on 14th street and Park Road west of 14th) is a lot more attractive and has a much more neighborhood feel than the urban highway feel provided by the previous lights. It will be nice when all of Sherman and Georgia has attractive lighting like this (and these large ones are just for intersections, I believe; most of the lighting will I expect be the classic bulb-on-top-of-pole lighting that was just installed on Park, etc.).

  • um…what was wrong with the old ones?

  • New2CH – people object to everything. It’s crazy I know, but it’s true.

    we got these in ledroit park a few years ago – along with brick sidewalks – and our neighborhood now looks amazing. i absolutely love them. compared to the old interstate highway utilitarian lights it’s a massive improvement.

  • My only objection is to government waste… the city council was just proposing a street light surtax on residents to pay for the electricity/maintenance cost of street lights… yet they can afford to install new lights??? – which may be no more efficient than the old ones, apparently lack solar technology, and is done just for the looks. This is concerning, last year there were incidents of residents spraypainting the glass domes because the lights were too bright… i would think bright lights use more energy, who pays for it? Oh we’ll just create a surtax, no big deal! Another example of improving just to improve is the installation of the textured pads (similar to the pads at the edge of metro) at sidewalk intersections. I believe those pads are for blind people only, how often do you read about a blind person getting hit at an intersection, never!!! They have dogs and walking canes… they are much more cautious than your average pedestrian. How much money was spent on that pet project? For the greater good of the people… maybe a few people. Do I sympathize for the blind, of course? Was there a string of incidents in the city, country, world of blind people being hit at interesections justifying the change? No. – shouldn’t the government have spending priorities on safety for the majority of the citizens (like Metro). I think so!

    Stepping off the soap box…

  • I am guessing this is part of the greater Georgia Ave. great streets program — all the lighting and street furniture is going to be replaced along Georgia Ave. over the next few years (I believe with the help of lots of federal funding, but I could be wrong), and it makes sense to install this section of lighting now while the construction is already underway at that intersection.

    In any event, turning Georgia Ave. into a more attractive, pedestrian friendly commercial zone will bring in FAR more tax dollars, in the long run, then the replacement costs of sidewalks, street lamps, and other aesthetic improvements. Look at Washington Street in Boston as an example of how new infrastructure can help radically transform a former red-light district with tons of vacancies into a vibrant, booming commercial corridor.

  • @ Big Worm: I wouldn’t call textured sidewalk ramps a pet project. My understanding is that they are part of the mandate put in place by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One could definitely still make the case for government waste, but it would be on the federal level since DC government is obligated by the federal government to follow the ADA. Plus, installing textured sidewalk ramps is probably cheaper for the DC government rather than dealing with a lawsuit for not implementing ADA requirements. Just a thought.

  • Jill – I was referring to all government waste… if in fact it is ADA mandated, that magnifies my point. The infrastructure in this country is crumbling and we are wasting money on projects that do nothing for the common good of the majority of people, i.e. improve commerce and safety. Safe bridges, damns, levies, tunnels should be a priority over sidewalks, unless the intention is to disable more americans through faulty infrastructure so more fall under ADA.

    New2 – I am in full support of coordinated commercial improvement and you are correct that improvements will likely yield greater tax revenue – yet they still want a surtax on residents for street lamps, even while getting federal funds to do most of the improvements. Where does the money go?

  • ADA -compliant curb cuts are a (extremely) tiny fraction of transportation budgets. You want to eliminate government waste? Tell the feds and state to stop building so many damn highways everywhere. Just one off-ramp probably costs the same as city-wide ADA ramps.

  • Big Worm, if you’re opposed to taxes for civic projects, then you should want the blind and crippled to get off the dole and get jobs. If you allow them access to the sidewalks and transportation routes, they’ll go downtown and earn their own living.

    Who are you and where do you live?

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