Lights will be added to West Campus in Austin to make area safer

The City of Austin has announced that it will be upgrading street lighting in West Campus to improve overall safety for residents and visitors.

More than 500 additional streetlights will be retrofitted with LED inserts by the end of 2022, according to a press release from the city. The ‘re-lamping’ process is part of a multi-year plan to increase pedestrian safety in the area following a resolution from the Austin City Council.

West Campus neighbors the University of Texas and contains some of the densest housing concentrations in Austin, according to the city. Campus safety groups have been expressing concerns about crime and safety in the area.

"The city listened to community concerns and is taking action to modernize the West Campus area to improve safety through a combination of better and more lighting, increased police patrols, and ongoing support to help our homeless neighbors find housing," said Stephanie Hayden-Howard, Assistant City Manager over Health and Environment.

The West Campus lighting improvement schedule has prioritized locations based on the degree of lighting deficiencies identified in a lighting study, followed by locations with crime and crash history.

The lighting upgrade schedule for 2022 is the latest in a series of actions to boost safety, according to the city. Other steps already completed include: 

  • Repair of non-functioning lighting fixtures and trimming of vegetation obstructing existing lighting. This is now an ongoing and year-round recurring activity.
  • Upgraded a total of 439 streetlights to LED lighting, providing enhanced illumination as compared to the previous non-LED lighting technology.
  • Increased APD directive patrols utilizing patrol units, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and foot patrols – these are done randomly throughout different times of the day.
  • Regular visits in the West Campus area by the City’s Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST) to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with the services they need.

"Austin Energy and other City of Austin departments worked closely together to get a lot of the recommended actions completed," said Elton Richards, Austin Energy Vice President of Electric System Field Operations. "We continue to work collaboratively to ensure that all West Campus concerns are identified, addressed, and corrected."

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