Evanston aldermen this week opted to go with a contemporary-looking fixture for pedestrian lighting near the Emerson-Ridge-Green Bay intersection — and save some money in the process.

City staff presented a choice between a new LED fixture — which has already been chosen for roadway lighting for the project — and two more traditional designs.

One of the traditional designs offered by staff as an alternative.

Adding the traditional fixtues to the davit-arm poles used for the roadway lights would cost $1,500 each. The contemporary-look Holophane lights would cost $450 each — less than a third as much.


Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, said he was opposed to the idea of adding an additional traditional fixture design when the city has already invested so much in the iconic Tallmadge lights around town. He suggested the money saved could be used to provide more interesting lighting under the railroad viaduct at the intersection

Other aldermen said they believed that a project goal of making the area more pedestrian-friendly required including some sort of pedestrian lighting — so they rejected the option of scratching the pedestrian lights from the plan completely.

While much of the roadway reconstruction project is being paid for with grant money, the pedestrian lighting will have to be paid for by the city. For the 26 lights involved that will be $11,700 for the contemporary lights, compared to $39,000 for the traditional ones.

Lara Biggs of the city’s Public Works Agency said the plan is to paint all the light poles and fixtures black.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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