Tbnewswatch Local News
Saturday July 4 2015
4:44 PM EDT
2014-08-19 at 16:47

Residents, Giertuga disappointed with County Park recreation trail light removal

By Kathleen Charlebois, for tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Denis Bresolin has become wary of letting his kids walk along the County Park trail in the evenings after discovering trail lights were missing.

The city’s parks department removed 43 lights from the northside area over the past few weeks, citing safety concerns with the bases of the light poles.

However, residents and the area’s city councilor are disappointed with the lack of notification.

Bresolin said he wasn’t aware of the lights’ disappearance at first, but noticed something was different on a walk with his wife.

“This trail is used by a lot of people: everyday walkers, day, evening, skateboarders, bicyclists, and with the lights being down, it’s going to be unsafe in the evenings,” he said.

He called McIntyre Coun. Trevor Giertuga, who says it’s a transparency issue as well as a safety issue.

“[The lights] will be replaced, but unfortunately what the problem is the ministers didn’t let anyone know what was going on,” Giertuga said.

“They didn’t let the constituents know, they didn’t let city council know, and they didn’t let the city councilor for the area—my ward—they didn’t let me know.”

Werner Schwar, the park planning coordinator for the city, said the lights were removed and will eventually be replaced as part of a master plan for upgrading the lighting system on the city’s recreational trails.

“County Park was identified as one of the first areas to replace the lighting, so the lights got taken down,” he said. “There were some safety concerns when they did the assessment, and because it was the first taken down, it will be the first to be replaced.”

The County Park lights are expected to be replaced by the fall, with other priorities including the Boulevard Lake Trail, McVicar Creek Trail, McIntyre River Trail and the Neebing River Trail.

However, Bresolin says he and other community members he’s talked to about the issue will still feel unsafe while the lights are out.

Giertuga didn’t appreciate being left in the dark either.

“I wasn’t happy and the members of council weren’t happy,” he said.

“We need to know these things if it’s going to affect the community like that. Seniors, children, families, they walk that route, sometime to get groceries, not just for recreational purposes. We need to know so when we get the calls, so we’re not looking silly."

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Jack Frost says:
Dangers from what exactly ?!
8/20/2014 4:43:11 PM
LetRrip says:
Hmmm less lighting on walking trails…. Not like our crime rate has sky rocketed in the last year pfffff… This is a great opportunity for criminals and gangs to attempt and be successful at even more crimes against themselves and the innocent residence just going for a walk or trying to get home after an evening shift. Expect more beatings, rapes, assaults, substance use and even murders. More places to conceal bodies and pass out. I hope with the decrease in lighting we can ask for an increase in policing because NOTHING good is to come of this. Speedy replacement city before we lose more money in paying police officers in overtime for an exponential increase in calls to the department and 911 dispatches.
8/20/2014 2:21:23 PM
dan dan says:
The lights haven't stopped any of the crimes that have been taking place already. Their absence for a short time will not make a difference.
8/20/2014 1:14:54 PM
Tannoy says:
This part of county park is not dangerous. Even without lights it not a bad path haha
8/20/2014 11:35:23 AM
tothecloud says:
This trail is barely safe during the daytime let alone night time.
8/20/2014 11:16:05 AM
Bluejaysfan says:
Coun. Trevor Giertuga is actually "trying" to do something? That's a first...
8/20/2014 9:22:36 AM
ring of fire dude says:
You gotta have a death wish if you walk anywhere in County Park at night !
8/19/2014 10:19:46 PM
nvjgu says:
Oh really. I didn't know they were ministry lights, should be city no.
8/19/2014 10:08:00 PM
Spartan says:
Good to know that they are addressing the poor lighting. When I walked I heard a buzzing sound coming from many of the light bases. Most worked however, many were out. If you don't feel safe in the dark, walk during the daylight, walk in pairs.
If your going to get mugged, I'm sure they don't care if its daylight or night time. Be aware and pay attention to your surroundings.
8/19/2014 9:07:53 PM
alarmforce says:
Thanks to Trevor Giertuga and other County Park residence for taking action and correcting this wrong. They might want to take it a step further and determine why the entrance walkway has not been repaved in years to the park. Why every year does the park look more like a construction area than a park with heavy equipment and all the damage they do. Private vehicles allowed in the park both winter & summer (and damage they do the the park in spring --- torn up sod, ruts, etc.) About time the city gave us back our park, as a park.
I'm sick and tired of the people in County Park being treated a second class citizens!!! I don't know of any other park in the shape of ours, every year.
8/19/2014 9:06:49 PM
Hank says:
I can see replacing the lights in areas that already have them but to put them in the new trails would be a waste. Who uses the trail along the Needing river at 3 am? I didn't realize that there is huge public outcry for lights in that area. Use the money to fix our roads. Lets not add more light pollution to our city and save the money.
8/19/2014 7:52:28 PM
dynamiter says:
How about at 7 pm - that is sunset on October 19th. You dont like going for a walk at 8 pm? What a moron?
8/19/2014 10:50:52 PM
Duncan Debunker says:
Wow, thanks guys. Thanks for making the most dangerous areas of County Park just a little more dangerous.

I hope you guys realize there is a huge liability issue here. Many assaults/rapes and even murders have happened on those very trails in the last ten years. Let's hope no one is a victim in this unfortunate mishap.
8/19/2014 6:05:30 PM
hadenough says:
Oh for crying out loud. Out of the 43 lights removed there were maybe a half dozen that still worked. They were pushed out of the ground and were tilted at all kinds of crazy angles. If one of them had fallen, Giertuga and others would have been chirping about why wasn't the hazard addressed.
8/19/2014 4:58:44 PM
cob says:
So how long were they in this condition? Why could they not order the new lights before taking down the old? How many more bone-headed decisions have to be made by city administration before someone on council has the guts to take them to task? I mean, really, didn't anyone think that it might be a good idea to have replacements on hand before taking down the old lights, and what was so dangerous that all of a sudden they had to remove them? Will the new lights arrive by October, just like the bus shelters did last year; i.e. 6 months or more late when they were finally installed this spring. There are just so many stupid things done by the city INOPerative department (Infrastructure & Operations). Fancy name for Public Works. Talk about lipstick on a pig!
8/19/2014 7:55:34 PM
dynamiter says:
I have kind of had enough of you and your crazy comments. It seems to me that Giertuga has a point and the city work planners seem to be out of touch with the fact that the sun goes down earlier in August. Why wasnt this done already? Why wasnt it done systematically - take 10 down put 10 up. I am always amazed about how far apart many lites are apart on many walking trails and why they are not operated by solar panels. We want people to exercise but we throw safety and other roadblocks in their faces.
8/19/2014 9:35:06 PM
tiredofit says:
The city is out of touch with a lot of things... especially it's residents.
8/20/2014 4:43:47 PM
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