LA city officials flip switch on Historic Filipinotown street light installation

LOS ANGELES City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Board of Public Works (BPW), Bureau of Street Lighting, and community stakeholders on Wednesday, October 26 officially unveiled a streetlight project that improves pedestrian safety, and transforms the look and feel of one of the busiest commercial corridors in the 13th District.

O’Farrell and BPW Commissioner Joel Jacinto commemorated the occasion with a ceremonial ‘flipping of the switch’ at one of the installations, near the intersection of Temple and Union Streets.

“This collaboration is not only a celebration of our diversity, it is now a point of pride for the Historic Filipinotown community,” said O’Farrell. “I want to thank our partners in this project, including Commissioner Joel Jacinto, the Bureau of Street Lighting, the Department of Transportation, Metro, the HiFi Street Lights Committee, and artist Roel Punzalan for the wonderful gift of connecting Angelenos with their cultural identity.”

“This project has been a civic-community collaboration and I want to thank everyone involved, who made this vision come alive,” said Jacinto. “We started with the designation of Historic Filipinotown in 2002 and its initial Master Streetscape Plan in 2004 led by then-Councilmember Eric Garcetti and now, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. These beautifully-designed streetlights represent Filipino cultural values and enhance public safety.”

The project is a collaboration with O’Farrell, the BPW, the Bureau of Street Lighting, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and Metro.

“Security for passengers and employees is an important issue to Metro and these energy-efficient lights provide an environment of safety for all,” said Commissioner Cris B. Liban, LADOT and Metro Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability. “Energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps Metro and the City achieve the common goals of maintaining a world-class and sustainable transportation system.”

The goal of Project HiFi Lights is to improve safety for pedestrians and create a sense of place unique to the community. This $625,000 public safety project will satisfy the need for lighting at 17 bus stops called for in the Historic Filipinotown Temple Street (Glendale to Hoover) Streetscape Masterplan and Guidelines, but the artistic element is an added feature that further defines this unique neighborhood and its rich cultural heritage.

Local artist Roel Punzalan designed the decorative element on each light. Punzalan, an L.A. based artist, focused on the themes of kapwa meaning humanity, lakbay meaning mobility, and kapayapaan meaning peace.

O’Farrell is currently working with the Bureau of Street Services to improve pedestrian safety along Beverly Blvd., which includes improvements like replacing curb ramps, new medians, crosswalks, and curb extensions. The  Beverly Blvd. Transportation enhancements are scheduled to begin in the spring of next year.

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