Austin Energy upgrades more than 600 streetlights, makes other improvements to improve West Campus safety

September 13, 2022

Austin Energy crew member installs lighting in UT's West CampusAustin Energy is making the West Campus area brighter and safer. The community-owned electric utility collaborated with SafeHorns and other organizations to address low lighting and lack of lighting in the area. West Campus is bounded by West 29th Street, Guadalupe Street, North Lamar Boulevard, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The area near the University of Texas at Austin includes a mix of public and commercial properties.

“We conducted a lighting survey study that gave us recommendations on adding new lighting,” said Elton Richards, Austin Energy vice president of field service operations. “The actions we’ve taken and will take in the future will provide brighter and safer roadways and pathways for students, residents and visitors to West Campus.”

People walking, biking and driving through the area can expect a number of safety improvements implemented by Austin Energy staff.

  • Retrofitted 600 streetlamps to brighter LED bulbs
  • Repaired non-functioning lighting fixtures
  • Trimmed trees in an ongoing effort to raise tree canopies above the lighting and better illuminate sidewalks below
  • Installed 15 additional streetlights

“Austin Energy has been phenomenal,” said SafeHorns President Joell McNew. “They listened to our concerns and helped us prioritize hot spots based on crime data. It’s this kind of responsive, safety-oriented action that makes me so glad that Austin has a public power utility that cares about its community and the people who live here."

These improvements follow an Austin City Council resolution directing City staff to complete a lighting study and make recommendations for lighting strategies in West Campus. Multiple city agencies, including APD and the Austin Transportation Dept., collaborated on the West Campus Lighting study and recommendations.

View a video of this project