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University City Lighting - new lamp posts in University City Credit: Michelle Bigony

As part of the fourth phase of an initiative to improve lighting both on- and off-campus, the Division of Public Safety is working with other University officials, local businesses and landlords to install more lighting around off-campus residences.

According to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush, the fourth stage of the University City Lighting Initiative has been primarily focused on areas that are prominent with off-campus housing — between 40th and 43rd Streets from Baltimore Avenue to Chestnut Street.

Rush said 40 lights have already been installed and that the University has an order in place for 50 additional lights.

The University City Lighting Initiative was implemented in 2006 as part of Operation Safe, a plan designed to add lighting and police presence in the highest-crime regions in the Penn Patrol Zone.

The first stage of the initiative began in November 2006 when the University replaced all streetlights between 40th and 43rd Streets and between Market Street and Baltimore Avenue.

Rush explained that the current problem with lighting around off-campus residences in this area are the large tree canopies that make the streets darker.

The University has been coordinating with local businesses and landlords to install new lighting in off-campus areas where many Penn students live.

According to Rush, the University has offered to subsidize a portion of the cost of the lighting if landlords or companies agree to install or replace it themselves.

The landlords and companies that have participated in the project so far include University City Housing, University Enterprises Real Estate, and University City Associates Realty Group.

A majority of the lights being installed in the fourth stage of the project include wall packs and grass lanterns around apartments and houses.

The lights are sustainable because they have a very long life, Rush said.

She added that installing these lights makes the community safer because the extra lighting is less inviting to perpetrators of criminal activity and offers students a greater feeling of safety.

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