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City of Austin looking to improve safety in West Campus neighborhood

After a recent violent attack on UT's main campus that left a student dead and three others injured, getting home safely remains a big concern for some students who live in the West Campus neighborhood. (CBS Austin)

After a recent violent attack on UT's main campus that left a student dead and three others injured, getting home safely remains a big concern for some students who live in the West Campus neighborhood.

"At times, there's too many homeless people around this area, but then again, sometimes, especially when something happens around campus, there's a lot of police, and then I feel better," said Nadine Gibson, who lives in the area.

Many of the streets in the West Campus neighborhood are well lit, but farther from campus, it is dark.

"The farther west you get into West Campus, the less street lights there are," APD Senior Police Officer Eric Copeland said.

Residents we spoke to who walk the area at night say their biggest concerns are drivers not paying attention in dark areas that are also sometimes surrounded with bushes and trees.

"There's quite a bit of drinking in this neighborhood. There's people driving and not paying attention, maybe had a little bit too much to drink," Gibson told CBS Austin.

Police who work in the area say distracted driving poses a big risk to pedestrians in the neighborhood.

"Distracted driving is big, because you have a lot of younger drivers. There people who may not have been driving as long or who are texting and driving," Copeland said.

Gibson believes more streetlights will keep drivers more aware of people like her who walk at night to get home.

"It's hard to cross streets especially when you're worried that someone can't see you," Gibson said.

On Thursday, the City of Austin plans to discuss ways they can improve lighting for pedestrian safety in the West Campus area.

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