Study reveals more lights are needed in west campus following murder nearly 3 years ago

One out of five lights in west campus is either broken or has something blocking it.

These were the findings of a study conducted following the murder of UT freshman Haruka Weiser.

Monday the public safety commission discussed the survey and what could be done in the area to make it safer. Following the murder of Haruka Wieser the issue of lighting was brought up and whether there was enough in the area to keep it well lit at night.

According to APD statics, in October overall crime in the area was up 13% from last year.

“West campus is very dark its always been something that's been concerning from feedback we get from students and even parents and visitors and people who work in west campus have told us that,” said Joell Mcnew the president of Safe Horns.

The nonprofit was formed following the murder of Haruka Wieser, they bring issues like safety to light.

“We thought there would be an immediate response an immediate call to action,” said Mcnew.

One issue following the murder was lighting, nearly three years later a survey on the area was brought before the council.

“We hope by hearing these results and know for sure that these things which we've been asking for close to 3 years really are things that are needed,” said Mcnew.

The survey showed there are 1,100 lights in west campus with about one in five having a problem.

“Lights are out, there's overgrowth, or there's just spots where there isn't lighting at all,” said Mcnew.

It was estimated that more than 200 lights are needed to be added to the area with an estimated cost of about $1.7 to $2.3 million.

Fox-7 spoke to a student who lives in west campus who said she sees the problem first hand on a regular basis.

“A lot of the time I face a decision between a really dark corner or a parking garage and that goes against what my parents tell me don't go through a parking garage,” said Allie Runas.

Runas said she feels more lighting would also help students like her who bike in the area.

“There are some streets in particular that are really dim and I worry cars won't see my tail light,” said Runas.

The survey is expected to be brought before the city council in the coming weeks.

Both Mcnew and Runas said lighting is only part of the overall issue when it comes to tackling crime in the area.

They hope this survey gets the conversation going for more options in west campus.