WALKWAY LAMPS. Pedestrian ramps over expressways’ special lighting

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Lamppost design of yore can be seen in surviving original walkway lampposts that carry pedestrian traffic across busy highways such as the Long Island Expressway and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Many carry their original “cup” diffusers although several have been given the bucket sodium lamps that began appearing in the 1970s.

LEFT, CENTER: Oddly, the dignified walkway lamps on the BQE pedestrian overpass at Summit Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, seem to be of a piece with the Gothic St. Stephens Church, built in 1860.

Unusually, the Gothic walkway lamp on the east side of the BQE at Summit Street pulls double duty as a stoplight and sign holder.

RIGHT: A walkway pole at the Clearview Expressway in Bayside, Queens functions in an identical role.

LEFT: These walkway lights, on the ramp that connects East 42nd Street with the 1920s-era Tudor City complex, present the classic walkway light appearnce complete with 1940s vintage “cup” luminaires pandant-style.

CENTER: These original lamps are on the Peck Avenue crossing of the LIE.

RIGHT: This walkway lamp in Riverdale, Bronx seems overwhelmed by the stoplights and ‘don’t walk’ signs it has been forced to carry. Like the lamps on the BQE, it has been fitted with a modern sodium ‘bucket light’.

LEFT: These lamps at the Cloverdale Boulevard crossing on the LIE are seeing their final days in action. The walkway is being replaced.

RIGHT: The Long Island Expressway in Flushing boasts walkways that still carry some of their original walkway lamps, some with their original incandescent “cuplights.” Above and at left, a ped crossing just east of Flushing Meadows Park.


A simplified design can be seen on the pedestrian overpass at East 51 St and the FDR Drive, which has been allowed to retain its ‘cuplights’.

RIGHT: A walkway on the FDR Drive on Manhattan’s Lower East Side has taken its older poles and topped them with newer sodium-based lamps.

These ornate posts, found nowhere else in the city, illuminated the walkway leading from the old Staten Island Ferry Terminal (rebuilt in 2005) to Richmond Terrace, though they disappeared some time nefore that.

These walkway lamps, sporting GE  and Westinghouse mercury luminaires, light overpasses carrying the Motor Parkway over Francis Lewis Boulevard in Cunningham Park, Queens.

Two more FDR Drive pedestrian bridge lamps.

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