Evanston, Northwestern tackle off-campus lighting after report shows problem areas

Two+areas+near+Engelhart+Hall+are+identified+as+having+poor+lighting+in+a+new+report.+University+and+Associate+Student+Government+officials+identified+19+areas%2C+most+of+them+just+west+of+South+Campus%2C+where+lighting+could+be+improved.

Patrick Svitek/Daily Senior Staffer

Two areas near Engelhart Hall are identified as having poor lighting in a new report. University and Associate Student Government officials identified 19 areas, most of them just west of South Campus, where lighting could be improved.

Sophia Bollag, Summer Reporter

‪Evanston and Northwestern are teaming up to address poor lighting just west of South Campus after an Associated Student Government-sponsored light walk. ‬

University and ASG officials released a report last week identifying 19 locations where lighting could be improved based on their observations during the twice-a-year tour earlier this month. The problem areas are located mostly between downtown Evanston and Foster Street.

Fifty-three percent of undergraduate students cited inadequate lighting off campus as a safety concern in a survey conducted this academic year, said Anthony Kirchmeier, Nothwestern’s director of off-campus life.

“Students continue to say that it’s an issue so we continue to examine it,” said Kevin Harris, ASG community relations vice president and a rising Weinberg sophomore. “We’re interested because students are interested in it.”

Officials conducted the light walk June 4, investigating the blocks generally west of campus, including parts of Garrett Place, Orrington Avenue, Simpson Street, Sherman Avenue, Hamlin Street, Maple Avenue, Emerson Street, Sheridan Road, Foster Street and Library Place. Most areas cited in the report lacked lighting entirely, though some had lights that were broken or flickering.

Although no Evanston officials attended the light walk, Harris said the city has been notified and has committed to fixing the problem areas.

Facilities Management project manager Andrew McGonigle said two of the three problem areas identified in the report that fall under University jurisdiction have been fixed. The third area was cited as a potential location for a Blue Light emergency phone.

McGonigle said the University is reviewing the proposal to install a Blue Light phone behind the parking lot of the Hilton Garden Inn, 1818 Maple Ave.

The ASG light walks are organized once or twice per academic year. Separate walks to assess on-campus lighting take place regularly.

“It was very beneficial that we did two walks this year,” McGonigle said. “It keeps safety and security on everybody’s mind.”

Summer reporter Sophia Bollag can be reached at [email protected]northwestern.edu. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SophiaBollag.

The full report from Associated Student Government’s spring 2013 light walk: