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Yonkers upgrading traffic lights to LEDs

February 21, 2012 4:35:21 AM PST
In Westchester County, the city of Yonkers is systematically replacing it's old traffic lights with LED lights.

Officials say it's a way to save money and become more energy efficient.

There are about 200 intersections in Yonkers, and so far about half have been replaced. The city has also modernized the crosswalks to keep pedestrians safe.

The new LED lights at the intersection of Riverdale Avenue and Prospect Street are brighter, crisper and cheaper. The $200,000 upgrade is being funded by a state grant.

"Cost saving is roughly about 90 percent," Yonkers traffic engineer Frank Filiciotto said. "It costs about $2,000 an intersection per year to power it alone. Once you transition to LEDs it's about $200. So the savings is significant."

Traditional traffic lights require yearly maintenance to change bulbs, but the LED lights last anywhere from 8 to 10 years. So money is saved on maintenance as well.

"When we can place new technology that's going to save us $2 million a year, that is $2 million more a year we can spend on something else," Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said. "It's a real good thing for the taxpayers."

Upgraded pedestrian crosswalks are also being installed. Instead of the old "don't walk" symbol, the device tells pedestrians exactly how much time they have to cross before the light changes.

All intersections are going to be upgraded, but officials say it's going to take some time. The city is using grant money, and officials say there isn't enough to complete the project all at one time, so it will be carried out in phases.

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