North Main Street: Street Lighting

Additional Reading

To learn about additional efforts in improving pedestrian safety on North Main Street, please check out our Pedestrian Safety page.


In support of the Providence North Main Street Task Force’s mission to address hazards to vulnerable road users in the NMS corridor, The Providence Streets Coalition conducted a data-gathering exercise to assess existing street lighting at signaled intersections on NMS. Between January 26 and February 18, 2024, we captured nighttime drone images of intersection lighting and took street-level measurements of vertical illuminance in crosswalks to see how lighting compared to federal standards. Federal Highway Administration guidelines specify that intersection crosswalks should be lit at a level of 30 lux vertical illuminance, and midblock crosswalks at 20 lux. Lights should be positioned a few feet ahead of a crosswalk in relation to the direction of vehicle travel, so drivers see the side of the pedestrian’s body that is illuminated by the streetlight; a backlit pedestrian is less

We found that streetlights on North Main Street are too dim and too few overall and that lights are positioned with little apparent thought toward crosswalk lighting. Intersection lighting is universally below the federal standard of 30 lux. Furthermore, many intersection streetlights were not functioning when this study was conducted. Many of our crosswalks are effectively unlighted.


Here we present drone and satellite images of North Main Street intersections marked up with the locations of streetlights, indications of which lights are and are not working, and the vertical illuminance values we measured. We recommend that the City of Providence take immediate steps to bring lighting up to federal standards.


The legend below is used throughout the following imagery:

Olney St & N Main St
Mid Block Crosswalk – Near University Marketplace (Whole Foods)
Doyle Ave & N Main St
Barbara Leonard Way & N Main St
Branch Ave & N Main St
Rochambeau Ave & N Main St
3rd St & N Main St
Smithfield Ave & N Main St
10th St & N Main St
Ann Mary St & Pawtucket Ave in Pawtucket (On Providence/Pawtucket border, next to Ocean State Job Lot Plaza)