Like many, I've now seen a few of the new traffic signal poles that are being erected on Ravenna's Main Street and at other intersections. I feel that this was a very unfortunate decision. The new poles, with gigantic mast-arms and LED fixtures, will certainly be adequate traffic signals, but they are more fitting for primary through streets or major arterials in big cities than for a historic Main Street of a small city like ours.
In addition, they badly undermine much of the work that has been done since the 1980s to capitalize on Ravenna's unique historic downtown.
The existing poles with traditional suspended fixtures were specifically designed to match the ornamental light poles that were erected at the same time, all part of a conscious push to use the architectural heritage of Main Street as an important economic development tool.
New, efficient LED lights should have been introduced into the existing fixtures to help maintain the character of downtown Ravenna. Of course the decision to replace has already been made, but I would like to make this plea to the city: Please do not throw away or scrap the current signals! It is almost inevitable that one day the current efforts at so-called modernization will look hopelessly outdated and there will be a move to replace the fixtures now going in with something more fitting. It is likely that at that time there will be a push to return to something more in keeping with the ambience of our historic downtown. It will save a lot of time and money if we already have the fixtures in storage, just waiting to be retrofitted and reinstalled.
Jack Schafer, Ravenna