Solar lights over flashlights

Proposal by RDEK for solar lights off Athalmer Road to brighten path

Those who have made the trek from the Athalmer bridge up to the Crossroads after dark know to pack a flashlight. But if the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) succeeds with its Columbia Basin Trust grant application, two new solar lights will be installed off Athalmer Road to brighten the walk.

Kevin Paterson, RDEK’s environmental services manager, said: “It’s dark and it’s difficult to see… on the darkest stretches adjacent to the road.”

He said the lights would be added on the steepest sections along Athalmer Road. The solar lights would cost $8,000 to shine some light on the pathway for anyone inclined to hike the trail at night.

Colin Peet, who is a recreation services supervisor for RDEK, came up with the idea for the proposal after getting feedback from people who found the path difficult to navigate in the dark.

Driving past, Mr. Peet has also seen pedestrians using their cell phones as flashlights to illuminate their way.

“Using the trail can get pretty sketchy,” because it’s steep and can be slippery in the winter, he said. He hopes to add solar lights to make the path safer and to “help people enjoy the trail more.”

According to RDEK’s application, the trail is popular year round and is used so shoppers can access the stores, restaurants and businesses located along the path. The RDEK is asking the Trust to provide $6,000 for the project and is prepared to provide $2,000 in assistance.

If the funding is approved, RDEK anticipates having the lights shining by the end of August.

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