City Council hears report on lighting situation at Abram and Cooper

The pedestrian death of a UTA student last November brought the safety issue to light

  • The lighting at the intersection of Abram and Cooper (shown here) came under scrutiny after a UTA student was struck and killed by a vehicle late at night last November. (Photo: City of Arlington)
    The lighting at the intersection of Abram and Cooper (shown here) came under scrutiny after a UTA student was struck and killed by a vehicle late at night last November. (Photo: City of Arlington)
The Arlington V...

A cooperative effort between the City of Arlington and the University of Texas at Arlington to improve street lighting at the intersection of West Abram Street and North Cooper Street was discussed at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

The discussion was a follow-up to an inquiry from Councilmember Sheri Capehart concerning the lighting situation at the northern boundary of the UT Arlington campus.

Matters about the lighting at the intersection came to the forefront last November when UTA student Eneyda Sorto was struck and killed by a vehicle late at night while attempting to cross Cooper at Abram.

Poor lighting at the intersection was determined as at least partially responsible for the fatal accident.

According to the discussion item, the City is responsible for the maintenance of streetlights along public streets in Arlington (below, in red). Home-Owners Associations, commercial businesses and university campuses maintain streetlights on private streets (in blue) within the city limits.

In the UTA area, the City maintains the majority of the streetlights on public roads and the university maintains the streetlights on private streets within its campus.

The university also maintains all pedestrian lights around the campus, including those located within the public right-of-way.

City staffers have recently coordinated with UTA to install additional lighting along Cooper Street from Abram Street to UTA Boulevard (formerly West Border Street).

UTA installed additional lighting on the adjacent buildings on the east side of the road, while the City installed temporary lights on wooden poles on the west side.

The additional lights are temporary and will be replaced upon development of the adjacent properties.

A spokesperson with UTA said the university has two of the six new lights up. The four remaining lights will be installed on Wednesday.

In addition, the City has worked with UTA to select a pedestrian light acorn fixture for Abram Street that closely matches the current UTA fixture to provide a consistent look.

Three pedestrian poles and fixtures have been ordered to help provide coverage from the driveway approach to the east corner of Abram. Crews are scheduled to begin working on the poles and fixtures in the next two weeks.