The walk home for many students got a little brighter earlier this month with the installation of two new street lights near campus. 

The City of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works has installed one at Hathway Avenue and Via Carta near the Recreation Center’s beach volleyball courts and another at Grand Avenue and Fredericks Street.

The streetlights are a part of a city program aiming to increase the number of streetlights in the city, according to Transportation Planning Engineer Jennifer Rice. City standards dictate that there should be a streetlight every 250 feet and the city currently does not meet that standard.

The streetlights at Hathway Avenue and Via Carta, which cost about $30,000, as well as at Grand Avenue and Fredericks Street, which cost about $800, were prioritized first. Both locations were requested by the community. 

The city plans to install nine new streetlights in 2020, but is working with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to determine if all nine could be feasibly installed.

Video by Cydney Melton

Psychology senior Olivia Martinez said she welcomes the addition of the streetlights. Martinez said that the lack of light on Hathway Avenue causes her to avoid walking home alone as much as possible. 

“This area was actually already pretty bright, being by the Rec Center,” Martinez said. “I’d like to see more streetlights down the street where it gets really dark and there are less houses.” 

Rice said that students voicing their opinions about the lack of streetlights was a major factor in kick-starting the street lighting program with the city.

The city plans to continue to add streetlights in an effort to bring all streets into compliance with the standard.

Moving forward, San Luis Obispo will explore atypical streetlight options, such as solar-powered lights. Another option is to install lights directly on power poles instead of constructing standalone streetlights. 

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