- A Bishops Crook street light on 6th Ave. by W. 11th St. The Bishops Crook was first introduced in 1900 as one of the many decorative light posts of the time. The Bishops Crook takes it’s name from the staff Bishop’s carry. Starting in 1980, the city began reproducing the classic street-lights and erecting them throughout select historic districts like Madison Ave. & 50th St. and the West Village..
- A warning light on a Bishops Crook. In 2008, red warning lights were installed on 79,000 street lights. These lights are used to indicated to passersby that a street light is experiencing electrical problems. Stray voltage can sometimes electrify the light poles and injure if not kill those who come in contact with it. The DOT said that it will install another 184,000 “in the coming months.”
- M-2 Traffic Signal Pole. The M-2 Traffic Signal Pole was first introduced in 1953 and thereafter was the standard in New York City. The pole was designed to affix to any standard street light. Here, it hangs off a standard Cobra Head/octagonal round street light.
Street lights have taken on new urban functions since their introduction to cities in the 1800s. They’ve become canvases, opportunities for writers, a free billboard, and an instrument of governmental control.
- Here, this street light serves multiple control functions. Aside from holding traffic signals, both for cars and pedestrians, street lights now often hold surveillance cameras. On Washington Square East, this street light watches over passersby, many of whom live in the New York University dorm a few feet away.