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Winter Work: How Traffic Engineering Decks City Streets with Holiday Decorations 
Gay Street Christmas Decorations
The light poles on Gay Street showcase Christmas wreaths for the holiday season.

The Winter Work blog series continues, as we highlight how City employees make the holidays happen.

We rarely pay close attention to traffic signals - until something goes awry. City Traffic Engineers are the ones who get the call, regardless of the hour or weather conditions (in fact, it's often in the worst conditions), to repair malfunctioning or knocked down traffic signals.

Beyond the response role of these unsung heroes, Traffic Engineering also assists with holiday decorations on City streetlights. City Communications caught up with Hal Pena to gain some insight on the process of decorating light poles.

Hal Pena, Traffic Engineering

Signal Installation Crew Leader
With the City since: 1990

“City streetlights…dressed with bright red and green…”

One of America’s biggest downtown holiday traditions is a decorated streetlight - just try to find a miniature Christmas village set without one!

Each year, the City’s Traffic Engineering Division staff uses bucket trucks to decorate an estimated 100 streetlights with banners, lights and garland. This is quite a change of pace from the typical maintenance and emergency work on traffic signals.

“We’re working in all weather conditions year-round, so holiday work doesn’t really expose us to anything that we wouldn’t experience anyway,” said Harold “Hal” Pena of Traffic Engineering. “We are well-outfitted for any form of weather.”

Pena represents Traffic Engineering on the Special Events holiday planning committee.

“The nature of our regular work is response and repair, so I really enjoy being a part of the creative process on the front end of things during the holiday season,” he said.

This year, streetlights from Hill Avenue to Emory Place will be decorated. Pena and his team have also been working with the River Hill Gateway Association to install decorations along the Hill Avenue Viaduct.

On the Gay Street block that includes the Tennessee Theatre, holiday banners will commemorate the venue’s 90th anniversary.

“People make positive comments as we install banners, and it’s nice to get appreciative feedback,” said Pena.

Our Traffic Engineering Division does its part to herald in the holidays!
Posted by On 11 December, 2018 at 7:34 PM