One of Columbus’ great community assets is its People Trails system, the 27-mile path that local people use to practice a healthy lifestyle by running or walking, to leisurely enjoy nature or as a transportation route to get from place to place.
However, there are limits to its use, especially during winter months with the season’s shorter days and longer periods of darkness.
You see, all 27 miles of the People Trails are unlit.
That means the darkness increases hazards and safety risks for trail users at night — something particularly concerning for those who use the paths for daily transportation.
Columbus East senior Lizzy Frazier, a trail user herself, wondered why the trail wasn’t lit and began pursuing it for her senior project. Frazier has proposed adding lighting along portions of the entire trail system, and even reflective strips and emergency phones.
Frazier’s fundraising efforts, through a GoFundMe page and a 5K walk/run in November, have generated about $1,400 so far — representing only a faction of the estimated $1 million cost.
However, her idea has the attention of the Columbus Park Foundation, which has the means to provide far more funding. The foundation has agreed to hear her presentation during a 4 p.m. Dec. 11 board meeting at Donner Center, 739 22nd St. in Columbus.
Frazier’s project is an idea that has merit and is worthy of serious consideration.
Columbus’ People Trails system is a key community asset and as such needs to be maintained properly and improved when possible. In this case, that’s with improved safety for users.
Columbus uses the trail system as a selling point for residents, newcomers and visitors. Enhancing its safety would make it an even more valuable asset.
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