Today’s news:

City installs lights along Laurelton LIRR stop

Laurelton commuters now have lights protecting them when they travel late at night on the Long Island Rail Road.

The city Department of Transportation and New York City Transit installed new, environmentally friendly lighting systems near the station last week, City Councilman James Sanders (D−Laurelton) said. For weeks, residents complained the station was not well lit and made the area a scary place to travel, according to Sanders.

“The safety of our citizens takes priority, and they must be protected and safe−guarded. A few additional lights provided by the city will go a long way towards this goal,” the councilman said.

Sanders approached DOT and LIRR officials about the problem and they quickly responded to his request. The councilman noted that one of his constituents was sexually assaulted in the summer during a sex crime spree that took place all over southeast Queens.

The unapprehended assailant took the victim into an abandoned alley near the station, Sanders said.

“We are always on the lookout to make sure our district is safe and secure,” he said.

The lights also help to decrease the neighborhood’s carbon footprint, according to the councilman. The new lighting systems use energy−efficient light bulbs, which emit less watts of power without sacrificing brightness, Sanders said. The councilman said he hopes the station’s new lights can be used in other parts of his city to improve safety.

“We don’t just want to follow, we want to lead,” he said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e−mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 146.

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