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Students push for more lighting in Isla Vista

By Sara Bush
Published On: Apr 16 2013 10:15:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 17 2013 11:26:32 AM CDT

Santa Barbara County Supervisors help students get funding for new lights

ISLA VISTA, Calif. -

A group of students spent the last 6 months campaigning to get new street lights in Isla Vista.  They may be a step closer to their goal.

When the sun goes down, the streets in I.V. get very dark.  The streets are also very narrow, which creates hazardous traffic conditions.

Many students said they often don't feel safe at night.

"We've had a break in and a bike stolen just in this school year," said one student at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Another added, "there's frequent traffic accidents because of the lack of lighting, and its just scary at night."

A group of 8 students came up with a solution as part of a class assignment.

During their research, they learned Isla vista's population per square mile, matches big cities like Philadelphia and Chicago.

"If you look at the night sky in those cities, its blue.  It's lit up.  If you look at the night sky in Isla Vista, its pitch black," explained student Maia Kinnebrew.

Students began a campaign to get new street lamps installed, and replace existing ones with L.E.D.'s.

"One of the single best ways we can improve the Isla Vista community, and public safety is to improve the lighting," said Santa Barbara supervisor, Doreen Farr.

She says she's been considering the issue for a long time, but the students have been a big part in making the project a reality.

Now its just a matter of getting the money.

"We hoping to move forward with additional grants over the next few years to put in additional lights," said Farr.

According to Farr, work on the project could start as early as this year.

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