Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 9:55 am | Fair 61º


Local News

New LED Lights Shining Bright Along Streets in Isla Vista

Officials say the project will help increase public safety, with further improvements planned for the next six months

"Dark, shadowy and hard to see" was how UCSB student Alex Moore described walking along Del Playa Drive before the improvements. But on Tuesday night, that same stretch of Isla Vista street was illuminated well by recently installed LED lights lining the roadway.

Eighty-five new LED street lights now illuminate Del Playa, Sabado Tarde, Trigo, Camino Corto and the streets in between.

Moore, who is also external vice president of local affairs for UCSB Associated Students, said walking through the area before was "a little intimidating."

"It was not ideal," he said, adding that additional lighting along the street has been a priority of the Associated Students for more than a decade.

Under the glow of those street lights, local officials gathered with Moore to celebrate the new lighting and cut a ribbon.

The Associated Students and the county Third District Office jointly conveyed a need for improved lighting in Isla Vista, and Public Works and Southern California Edison developed a project plan using crime statistics provided by the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr and Public Works Director Scott McGolpin spoke during Tuesday's event along with Sheriff Bill Brown, who said he expects the project to improve the quality of life in Isla Vista.

Brown called the Isla Vista Foot Patrol station, situated just a few streets from the new lights, the "most active station" in the county.

Depending on the study, crime decreases anywhere from 7 percent to 30 percent with improved lighting, he said.

Though lighting is just one portion of a larger safety picture in Isla Vista, Brown said his office would be watching to see how the increased lighting in the area affects crime statistics.

The lighting improvements come just as the community gears up for its annual Halloween festivities from Thursday through the weekend, which draw thousands of students to area parties.

Federal Community Development Block Grant funding, which reached $210,000, was used for the project, according to Farr.

The next phase of the lighting improvement project will add another 70 LED street lights in the next six months, improving the lighting east of Camino Corto, focusing on Del Playa, the loop area, and the streets between Del Playa and El Colegio.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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