City officials have funded a project that aims to improve lighting in North Village by the end of the year, Westwood council members announced at a meeting Wednesday.
Westwood Neighborhood Council member Jacob Finn said the Bureau of Street Services prioritized improving North Village lighting after receiving multiple complaints from community members.
Eddie Chavez, a Bureau of Street Services manager, said the bureau is planning to install more energy-efficient LED streetlights in North Village and the rest of the city. He added bureau officials have not yet inspected the area.
Chavez said new streetlights cost an average of $15,000 each, but converting bulbs in existing streetlights to LEDs would be less costly.
Finn said he and Heather Hourdequin, the undergraduate student government internal vice president, have been calling on city officials to improve lighting in North Village for more than a year and a half.
He added he and Hourdequin worked with UCPD to map criminal activity and lighting in North Village, and found a clear correlation between poorly lit areas and crimes like burglaries and robberies.
The findings helped spark the “Let’s Get Lit” campaign, a marketing initiative in North Village to encourage students to support the issue.
Finn said he and other student advocates from “Let’s Get Lit” plan to reach out to both the Undergraduate Students Association Council and the Westwood Neighborhood Council to secure funding for the campaign. They hope to put up banners on fraternity houses and streetlights to bring attention to the campaign.
Hourdequin said she plans to introduce a resolution in USAC asking the council to support lighting improvements in Westwood Village.
Some students said improving lighting in the Village would make them feel safer. Kai Leong, a fourth-year economics student, said he thinks having better lighting can reduce crime rates in North Village.
McKenzie Zimmerman, a second-year aerospace engineering student, said she thinks improved lighting will benefit students walking home at night.
“When I‘m walking home from an apartment or party, I always feel a little nervous walking alone because it’s so dark out,” Zimmerman said.
The Westwood Neighborhood Council will vote whether to fund the campaign at a meeting next month.
Contributing reports by April Hoang, Bruin contributor.