“If you don’t ask and aren’t persistent, you are not going to see change,” Karolena Serratos, second-generation family owner of Professional Auto Care, 9916 Honeywell Road, recently wrote on her blog.

She should know. As the owner of the business property in Brays Oaks, Serratos pays an annual assessment to the Brays Oaks Management District, whose economic development mission includes enhancing public safety in the area. So when she saw problems cropping up on Honeywell, she contacted the district last year and asked for street lights to be installed there.

Working with CenterPoint Energy and Houston Public Works, the district funded the streetlights. They were erected along the street in March.

“Our street is now much brighter. I feel safer just having more lighting out there,” Serratos says. “Being a woman and owning an auto repair shop (that operates on both sides of Honeywell), I can step outside of my building and look both ways and see there are no shady cars parked down the street and I can better assess my situational awareness.”

Illegal dumping at the end of the street has now declined, she explained, and she sees less physical evidence in the morning that elicit sexual encounters had taken place there the night before.

“You light up one area and it seems like the activity goes to the other places,” Serratos.

Not that she wants to see potential criminal activity move to businesses on neighboring streets. She hopes that partnering government agencies will provide streetlights there, too.

Commercial property owners and others in the Brays Oaks district should write about such issues to [email protected]

Also, the district communicates regularly with Houston Police Department patrol commanders about crime trends and potential hot spots.