By: Sharon Aron Baron
Parkland residents will no longer be driving in the dark, thanks to the efforts of one city commissioner who has made it her mission to light the roadways.
An advocate of lighting the streets of her city, Commissioner Christine Hunschofsky said that it was one of her biggest priorities when she ran for office in 2013.
“As the city is growing and developing, the residents want to make sure that the safety and infrastructure is where it needs to be in our growing city and street lighting was brought up to me by several residents prior to me even running for office,” said Hunschofsky. “This became something I felt was very important for the safety of our city.”
Starting on September 8, with a completion date in the summer of 2017, 83 Florida Power & Light poles will be installed along University Drive from Holmberg to Loxahatchee Road as part of their latest phase of lighting their roadways. This comes immediately after the North Springs Improvement District transferred responsibility of the road to the City on June 22.
The first phase of the project will be digging to make way for underground power to service the light poles. That phase will give way to erecting the concrete poles. Residents will see lights on both sides of University Drive from Holmberg Road to just north of the Congregation Kol Tikvah.
After she was elected, Hunschofsky brought up the concept of a comprehensive city-wide street light program at a strategic planning meeting which received the support of the majority of the commission and became part of their strategic plan. As part of the plan, they identified the roads that should have street lights, then prioritized them.
Number one on the list was Loxahatchee Road. Before the city would even open University Drive to Loxahatchee, they first made sure the lighting was in place to ensure the safety of the residents driving along it.
Currently in the works is lighting Nob Hill Road, but the project is encountering delays as the road isn’t open all the way to Loxahatchee Road.
Hunschofsky said that the newest lighting will be LED which is energy and cost effective saving taxpayers money, however, ordering it caused a delay with FPL due to waiting for the equipment to be in stock.
“The LED is a better quality light, that is more uniform and will light the road more evenly,” she said.
According to the City, while construction crews will be working largely off road, there may be periodic short-term lane closures.