Friday, October 28, 2011

Lighting Up the MUP

There has been a lot of discussion lately over whether to light the MUP (multi use path), which is, IMHO, one of Tofino's greatest assets. This came to the fore after a tragic death in town.

Personally, I am not in favour of lighting the MUP. Aside from my concerns over light pollution, ongoing maintenance and the like, I feel it ignores our personally responsibility. It is pretty easy - and inexpensive - to light yourself on the MUP. Lights on the front and back of bikes and flashlights held by pedestrians will alleviate most of the dangers. (I say most, because there are other "dangers," often surprising and almost inexplicable. As a pedestrian, I was hit by a cyclist in the middle of a sunny summer day.)

This fall a Light the MUP initiative began. I applaud local people trying to make things happen, but, again, I was concerned over heading down a road that we could not maintain when there is a simpler alternative, so it is great to see that they've started with a great initiative — making free lights available at three accessible locations. From the story in The Westerly:

"Launching on October 22 is the group's first efforts in lighting up the way for Tofino residents.

The group of volunteers have purchased bike lights that will be available at three different site locations along the MUP: one in town, one near Beaches and Live to Surf, and one near the Cox Bay information centre.

"If you need a light at night, you can grab one and drop it in a box when you are leaving," said Mussato.

There will be small keychain lights available for pedestrians as well."

Bravo. To all those involved, thanks for your efforts.

Please consider donating a light to this positive initiative.

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