Students volunteer for safer streets

JW Dobbe, commissioner of Community Affairs Council. Orion File Photo.
JW Dobbe, commissioner of Community Affairs Council. Orion File Photo.

Associated Students members and about 30 student volunteers joined together to survey street lighting conditions just north of campus and in the avenues east of Warner Street Thursday night.

Groups of five to six students split up in routes and noted unlit areas and street lamps that are currently out of service, keeping track of their utility pole ID numbers.

The project was brought back last October just before halloween weekend after several years without any safety walks, said JW Dobbe, commissioner of the Community Affairs Council and walk organizer.

The council ran a South Campus walk last semester focusing on Ivy street and the adjoining neighborhoods, said Christina Barnsdale, another member of the Community Affairs Council and safety walk coordinator.

A week and a half before halloween weekend the council gave detailed information about the conditions of street lamps to Lt. Laver of the Chico Police Department, she said. Laver then passed the council’s recommendations on to Chico Public Works Committee.

By halloween weekend, all of the recommended street lights on Ivy Street and the surrounding neighborhoods had been fixed, Barnsdale said.

Members of Phi Chi Theta have also recently addressed this same issue, but the safety walks project is different, she said. It’s designed to push the city to fix any lighting problems, whereas Phi Chi Theta members mapped out safe routes for students walking to and from school at night.

The Community Affairs Council is also currently working with Public Works to widen bike lanes on Nord Avenue and to install a crossing signal on Nord in front of Timber apartments, Barnsdale said.

Many of the volunteers were freshman students, Barnsdale said.

“The changes that we make now will affect their living conditions next year when they are living off campus,” she said.

Eric McCauley can be reached at [email protected] and @theorion_news on Twitter.