AUSTIN (KXAN) — Over 600 streetlamps in West Campus are newly upgraded to improve low lighting in the area, Austin Energy said Monday.
Austin Energy said it worked with UT parent and community group Safehorns and other organizations to address the low lighting and lack of lighting in the area.
“This gives natural surveillance, it allows students to look out ahead of them in a 30-foot parameter and decide if they’re walking a safe route,” SafeHorns president Joell McNew said.
The changes were led by an Austin City Council resolution from May 2017. It directed Austin’s city manager to do a lighting study focused on West Campus pedestrian safety.
The street lamps were retrofitted with brighter LED bulbs, the Austin Energy release said. Other improvements include fixing non-functioning light fixtures; trimming trees around lighting to better illuminate sidewalks; and installing 15 more streetlights.
“This provides a nice clear pathway of roadway lighting for pedestrians,” Austin Energy vice president of field service operations Elton Richards said. “The students can feel safe as they travel at night, which quite often they do.”
The West Campus area includes residential and commercial buildings, bounded by West 29th Street, Guadalupe Street, North Lamar Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Safety and crime concerns have recently been raised in the area with UT President Jay Hartzell calling for more patrols last November following a shooting. A police standoff in June renewed safety concerns in the neighborhood.