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Entire railyard is illuminated for construction mornings and nights, including outside of scheduled construction hours

For the last several weeks railyard flood lights installed in 2010 have been used to extend construction hours.  They have also been used intermittently during the very early morning hours either for construction or LIRR maintenance.  

The lights are bright enough to cast shadows to neighborhoods outside the project site.  The residents most impacted live at the same height as the light fixtures. One incident report describes the condition in some residences in 700 Pacific Street as blinding at night.

The construction alerts outline the use of the lights to extend construction work hours starting at 6:00 am and from dusk to 7:30 pm weekdays.  But incident reports state the lights sometimes come on at earlier times weekdays like 4:30 am and  5:00 am  and weekends at 6:30 am.  The construction alerts do not describe the lights being used during the weekend at all.  

It is unclear at this writing whether the work outside the construction hours detailed in the construction alerts is associated with LIRR operation or with construction. Although the full yard is illuminated, often the work taking place is by a small number of workers in one location.  According to nearby residents, the lights have been turned on more frequently in the early mornings recently than in the past.  This coincides with the announcement in the construction alerts the lights would be used for construction.

The lights were installed in 2010 for railyard operation and repairs, not to facilitate construction by extending construction hours.  As far as we can tell, the use of lights to extend construction hours is not addressed in any environmental analysis for the project.  The Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments only addresses lighting for interim construction staging and parking.  For those uses the lights are to be directional to limit light intrusion beyond the site, and they are ". . . to be employed to reduce lighting during periods when the facility is not in active use, consistent with site security."(AMEC, p.15)  

Representatives of Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt raised the use of the lights with LIRR during a meeting in the spring of 2010.  The meeting was facilitated by former ESDC Ombudsman Forrest Taylor and took place at his office.   The lights had recently been installed and their intensity was a concern to the community.  At the meeting LIRR reassured the community representatives the lights would be used only rarely for work that could not be done during the day because of conflict with railyard operation.  The use of the lights for railyard or Carlton Avenue Bridge construction was not mentioned as a possibility.  At this time in the project's implementation the temporary railyard has been moved to its new location on the east side of the LIRR/MTA property, but has not yet been covered.






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Bright Lights

The lights in Atlantic Yards directly across from my Newswalk apartment are blindingly intense. They come on often at 5:00 PM and are on late making it difficult to sleep. I look out the windows to see who is working but don't see anyone. Why are these lights disturbing hundreds of people for so many hours for apparently no good reason. What is the purpose for this invasion of our space.