Shining a Light on Hope

By ecoRI News staff

The new off-grid, solar streetlights would be positioned between Fifth Street and Rochambeau Avenue. (Joanna Detz/ecoRI News)

The new off-grid, solar streetlights would be positioned between Fifth Street and Rochambeau Avenue. (Joanna Detz/ecoRI News)

By ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — The lights may shine a little brighter (and greener) on Hope Street. The Hope Street Merchants Association (HSMA) is working to bring new off-grid solar-powered street lights to Hope Street.

The aptly named “Bring Light to Hope” project seeks to enhance pedestrian safety and showcase sustainability, and HSMA is working to engage the community in designing and funding the project, which will likely take a few years to complete. The group recently met to discuss its vision with Sheila Dormody, Providence’s sustainability director, who urged the association to compile specific plans for the project.

So HSMA turned to Jonathan Harris, an assistant professor at Johnson & Wales School of Engineering and Design, who designed the new sidewalk bump-outs on Hope Street. He will be working with a group of graduate students to design some possible street-light models.

HSMA also is working closely with Shaun Allen, an energy analyst with Energy Conservation Inc., who will help find funding for the project.

“This project is inspired by our commitment to our neighbors and many visitors to enhance the appearance and pedestrian safety on Hope Street,” according to a recent HSMA press release.

At a November fundraiser for "Bring Light to Hope" held at Pizzico, HSMA co-president and co-owner of Kreatelier, Pernilla Frazier, expressed her excitement for this new vision of Hope Street. “The neighborhood has grown and become a destination,” she said. New, greener lighting will shine a light on that.