It was a request that didn’t appeared as if it would never see the light of day, but for Councillor Giovanni Recupero, there is now a light at the end of the tunnel – or rather – on the curves of Marginal Street.
This week, Recupero said he was glad to finally see the substantial crossing light installed at the PORT Park so residents of his district – including children – can safely cross a dangerous road to get to the new park.
“They said I couldn’t do it; no one said this could be done, but here it is,” he said on Monday. “I found money in an account from Eastern Minerals. I called for that money to be used for this light, and convinced my fellow councillors to vote for it. Everyone told me not to try to do this because it was too expensive. But we did our research and we did it. It’s a great achievement for all of the children of this district. This is a dangerous spot. The park is great, but you couldn’t safely get to the other side of the street.”
Marginal Street is a truck route flanked by some industry and a dense residential neighborhood.
The PORT Park came on the scene about five years ago, and is a beloved asset for the community in the summer months. However, for those in the neighborhood adjacent to it, dodging fast-moving tractor trailers was daunting.
Now, Recupero said thanks to the rest of the Council, and the unbelievable investment in his district by City Manager Tom Ambrosino, the situation is much safer.
The light cost just under $1 million in total, and is a full traffic light that can be activated at the push of a button and completely stops vehicles for pedestrians.
The idea was rejected several years ago when first proposed by Recupero because of the price tag. However, he said he investigated some forgotten accounts and found a mitigation account from Eastern Minerals that was to be used for infrastructure in his district.
And bingo – the light shone. “The City spends money on everything and it should spend money on the safety of the children,” he said. “Now the children and their parents don’t have to worry anymore because the light will always be here.”