Solar-powered bus shelter at Avenue C and 16th Street (Photo courtesy of DOT)
By Sabina Mollot
The city has installed its first solar-powered bus shelter, with a location outside Stuyvesant Town picked as the place for a pilot program.
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, the project was being funded not by the city but a Paris-based company that runs outdoor advertising campaigns called JCDecaux. If the lighting works out well, the company will also pay for other transitions to solar panel-powered lighting at non-powered shelters throughout the city as part of a franchise agreement.
Currently, JCDecaux is responsible for 3,000 bus shelters throughout the five boroughs as well as 300 newsstands. The company is now in its 10th year of partnership with the city and handles installation and maintenance of street furniture.
Meanwhile, the new lighting outside Stuyvesant Town at the shelter on Avenue C and 16th Street comes two and a half years after an elderly woman was fatally struck nearby by a Con Ed truck. The woman, 88-year-old Stuyvesant Town resident Stella Huang, had attempted to cross the street in the dark.
I continue to watch the Republican debates. There was another one just the other Thursday. And like the reality TV shows in vogue these days, the number of contestants seem to get whittled down each episode. Last week there were only four candidate survivors left.
In ancient Rome, the ruling class put on shows in their coliseum to appease the populace. They brought gladiators into the arena who fought one and other in bloody savage spectacles. The losers were cast to the lions and the winners went on to participate in more such events, all to the roaring approval of the masses.
So here we are two thousand years later and we are witness to the Republican Party’s reprise of the coliseum. Their contestants board the stage in front of a throng of ravenous and raucous supporters in the auditorium and millions more watching on TV. We are treated to obscenity laced rhetoric and juvenile taunts and insults being hurled at one and other like spears and swords from an earlier time. These modern day gladiators are competing for their political lives with the ultimate prize being a shot at the presidency.