Walk in the Dark 2009

Walk in the Dark is an annual fall event in which the University of Houston community comes together to take an evening walk to see firsthand what the campus needs to better safeguard the campus in terms of lighting, security cameras, sidewalk safety & ADA compliance, etc. Students, staff from UH Department of Public Safety, Plant Operations, Utility Services, and student government  representatives take notes and make recommendations. This year’s event took place in mid-October. Members of the above mentioned groups gathered in front of the University Center before breaking up into smaller groups. Each group lead by a member of Plant Operations or the Department of Public Safety, walked a pre-assigned area of campus checking anything from lighting to call boxes. More lighting was suggested in parking lots, exterior buildings and the interior of campus.

Click this link for notes and recommendations regarding each beat:

Beat 1 - General Services Building Area, Athletic Alumni and Robertson Stadium
http://www.uh.edu/police/WITDB1.html

Beat 2 - Inner Core of the Campus from Architecture/Moores to E. Cullen/Heyne
http://www.uh.edu/police/WITDB2.html

Beat 3 - Optometry/Wellness to Melcher/Law Center
http://www.uh.edu/police/WITDB3.html

Beat 4 - Cullen Oaks/Cambridge Oaks to Cougar Place to Quad/Moody to Bayou Oaks
http://www.uh.edu/police/WITDB4.html

Below are details on future improvements and the work that’s already been accomplished:

Cameras

  • Currently UH has 531 exterior security cameras which are monitored 24/7 in a virtual patrol room as part of the Department of Public Safety. We have spent over $1 million on cameras in the past three years.
  • Over the next year UH will be adding at least two dozen additional exterior cameras at a cost of over $100,000.
  • More cameras and emergency phones will be added as a part of the following projects:
    • East Parking Garage
    • Fleming Addition
    • Valenti Addition
    • Calhoun Lofts
    • Wheeler Housing East
    • Cemo Hall
    • Classroom and Business Building
    • Health and Biomedical Sciences Center
    • Stadium Parking Garage
    • Metro Southeast Light‐rail Line
    • UH Hilton Renovation
    • Science Buildings Renovation to SR1, Fleming and Old Science

Lighting

  • Parking lot lighting was improved in various lots including 1A, 4A, 12, 16E, and 16D and portions of 20 and 21.
  • Installed over 400 new walk lights in the past 2 and replaced all existing pedestrian lighting with more energy efficient lighting that increased the amount of light on the sidewalk over 100%, gives better color rendition and visibility and meets the “dark sides” lighting pollution codes.
  • Lighting upgrades and security lighting will be added as part of the following projects:
    • East Parking Garage
    • Fleming Addition
    • Valenti Addition
    • Calhoun Lofts
    • Wheeler Housing East
    • Cemo Hall
    • Classroom and Business Building
    • Health and Biomedical Sciences Center
    • Stadium Parking Garage
    • Metro Southeast Light‐rail Line
    • UH Hilton Renovation
    • Science Buildings Renovation to SR1, Fleming and Old Science
  • In the past 3‐4 years UH has spent over $2 million on upgrading exterior lighting and will be spending approximately $500,000 on new exterior lighting connected to new projects and the reconstruction in the northeast portion of campus. Cost for this safety improvement will be over $250,000.

Building Exterior Door Card Access

  • In the next six months exterior door card readers will be added to various buildings on campus to improve safety and security and restrict off‐hour access to authorized faculty, staff and students.
  • The first building to receive exterior door card readers will be SERC, SR1, SR2 and Roy Cullen.

Sidewalks and Paving

  • UH spends over $300,000 repairing, replacing and adding new sidewalks and handicapped ramps each year.
  • 15,000 square feet of new sidewalk has been added in the past 2 years.
  • Replaced all E. Cullen Plaza sidewalks in the past year.
  • Repaired 2000 Linear feet of Mud Jack sidewalks in the past 18 months.
  • Improve campus drainage so sidewalks aren’t under water.
  • Clean off mud, etc from ramps and sidewalks.
  • Fill in holes next to sidewalks.
  • Installed 18 new wheelchair ramps in the past 18 months.
  • Additional sidewalks and paving will be added as part of the following projects:
    • East Parking Garage
    • Fleming Addition
    • Valenti Addition/School of Communications
    • Calhoun Lofts
    • Wheeler Housing East
    • Cemo Hall
    • Classroom and Business Building
    • Health and Biomedical Sciences Center
    • Stadium Parking Garage
    • Metro Southeast Light‐rail Line
    • Central Utilities Plant Expansion
    • UH Hilton Renovation
    • Science Buildings Renovation to SR1, Fleming and Old Science

Landscaping

  • Trim tree limbs for lighting and camera views
  • Trim back hedges in unsafe areas where criminals might hide