AGENDA #3a(2)





Mayor Foy and Town Council members


James Allred, Student Body President, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Petition to Increase Emergency Call Boxes and Pedestrian-Level Lighting in Downtown Chapel Hill


March 26, 2007




Citizens of the Town of Chapel Hill and student-residents have a shared interest in promoting safety and the perception of safety in the downtown Chapel Hill area.  The town has done a commendable job of promoting safety and security through police patrols and ample street lighting. Students, visitors, and permanent residents continue to prioritize safety in the downtown area among their concerns.  To that end, students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have levied a fee on themselves which may be used to cover the cost of infrastructure improvements to promote safety in the downtown area. It is with their support that UNC-Chapel Hill Student Government approaches the Town of Chapel Hill to collaborate in making these improvements.

 Recently the Town of Chapel Hill and UNC-Chapel Hill have collaborated on the Good Neighbor Initiative, a project aimed at promoting a better sense of community between permanent residents and student-residents. The project also encourages student-residents in particular to be responsible neighbors that are mindful of the community setting in which they live.  It is our belief that this project will improve the perception of safety and reduce crime, both of which will lead student-residents to further take pride in their community and work to be responsible neighbors.

In researching this proposal, student government representatives have met with representatives from the Chapel Hill Police Department several times as well as consulting with Liz Parham of the Downtown Partnership.  After a careful study of the project, we believe this proposal represents the best option for the associated price to improve safety and the perception of safety in the communities served.  At the same time, we are mindful of the fact this is but a small and incremental step toward contributing to safety in our town, and continued collaboration will be essential in the future. 

The proposal has two phases:  the installation of emergency call boxes (“blue lights”) for direct access to 911 dispatchers and to serve as a deterrent to crime, and the installation of pedestrian-level lights along sidewalks in selected areas with high pedestrian traffic.

The first proposal calls for the installation of four model CB-1 call boxes from the vendor CodeBlue.  These call boxes would provide a direct link to Orange County 911. The electricity for these call boxes would be provided by Duke Energy, and the telephone line would be managed by Bellsouth. All fixed costs (including permit, design, and installation costs) would be provided by UNC Chapel Hill student government at a total estimated cost of $60,000.  The recurring costs would be paid by the Town of Chapel Hill, including the cost of maintaining power and telephone access to these call boxes.

The proposed locations for these four call boxes are: (1) the intersection of McCauley Street and Ransom Street, (2) the intersection of Mallette Street and Colony Court, (3) the intersection of Church Street and Short Street, and (4) the intersection of North Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. These areas cover major pedestrian traffic corridors while remaining close to preexisting power and phone lines.

UNC Chapel Hill Student Government will also pay $20,000 toward the installation of pedestrian level lighting in the Northside district, the Cameron-McCauley district, and along the sidewalk on E. Rosemary Street between Hillsboro and Boundary streets.  All capital and installation costs will be paid by UNC-Chapel Hill Student Government, and, again, the nominal recurring costs (for electricity) will be covered by the Town of Chapel Hill. These lights will provide light to the sidewalks in addition to the light already provided to the street surface, and come with the recommendation of the Chapel Hill Police Department.




This proposal represents a significant partnership between the Town of Chapel Hill and student-residents, and this is a long-term proposal.  However, its benefits have the potential to extend far beyond benefits to students.  The entire Northside and Cameron-McCauley neighborhoods can expect a more communal atmosphere and an increased perception of safety.  I hope you will seriously consider this proposal, and I look forward to answering your questions on or before March 26.







James Allred

Chapel Hill Resident, 1986-present

UNC-Chapel Hill Student Body President