New York City's Glow Dims

With rising energy prices, lights are dimming in New York City. Legislation in the state seeks to reduce the city's glow even more.
November 3, 2008, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"Gone are the days when cheap electricity, primitive lighting technology and landlords' desire to showcase their skyscrapers kept floor after floor of the city's highest towers glowing into the night. Now, rising energy costs, conservationism, stricter building codes and sophisticated lighting systems have conspired to slowly, often imperceptibly, transform Manhattan's venerable nightscape into one with a gentler glow."

"Instead of tower after tower shining at all hours - the World Trade Center stayed aglow long after its occupants went home - the skyline is becoming a patchwork of sparsely sparkling buildings decorated with ornamentally lighted tops."

"The State Assembly passed legislation in June requiring that new outdoor lighting have shields that reduce glare and waste; the bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, said it would most likely be taken up by the State Senate if the Democrats manage to win a majority on Tuesday (Republicans currently hold a one-seat advantage)."

"City Councilman Alan J. Gerson has introduced a variety of similar measures - to require full streetlight shields and motion detectors in all commercial and government buildings, and to mandate more efficiently lighted billboards. The first of the proposals could be taken up as early as this month."

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Published on Sunday, November 2, 2008 in The New York Times
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