by Joe Bachman
A well-known city bike trail may get a little light shed on it.
The city considered a request from the Community Leadership Project that would install solar lights on the bike trail from Lyon Park to the Firefighters Memorial on 2nd Ave. South. The project, headed by Mid-State Renewable Energy Specialist Ben Nusz, seeks to improve visibility and safety for night riders.
“We selected the models that would have the cost, durability and lighting ability we need,” said Nusz. “The advantage of something like this is illuminating a lot of the surrounding infrastructure.”
The initial plan is to have the lights spaced 45 feet apart. They will be equipped with a lithium ion battery that will charge during the day for night use. Due to the light weight of the lights, the solar panels may be able to be mounted on fence posts. The solar lights are also considered low maintenance.
While the idea is in the preliminary stages, members of the Parks and Recreation Committee spoke optimistically about the trail, and approved the group to move forward with further research and fundraising for the project.
“It’s a common request, and many users see it as one of the nicer amenities of the community,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink. “As a commissioner, I feel like they should continue to pursue this.”
The expected cost of the project will be approximately $24,000-$30,000. The group will seek grants and donations from businesses within the area for completion.