FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- It used to be lights out on a local trail at 11 p.m., but now the city of Fayetteville is going to keep the lights on the Scull Creek trail burning all night long.
Representatives from the city said people haven’t been getting off the trail after the sun goes down. They said over a two-month period more than 1,500 people stayed on the trail after 11 p.m.
Cyclists Juan Camacho and April Martin were on the trail after the sun went down, and they're already big fans of the new lighting.“To be able to ride when it's pitch black at night is amazing,” Camacho said.They said they aren't alone in being appreciative.
Camacho said, “Every 20 feet or so, I someone running or riding a bike or walking a dog.”The city of Fayetteville uses two infrared counters on the trail to monitor the number of people passing by.Trails coordinator Matt Mihalevich said, “A lot of people are using it to come home from work or late night jobs all hours of the day.”Mihalevich said that seems to be a growing trend. He said it does cost slightly more to keep those lights on all night long. But that's a small price to pay to keep citizens safe after dark.“Especially when we are looking at the winter months, getting dark at 5 o' clock, the lights really help out, provide a safe way home,” he said.
Currently only three out of the 16 total miles of trail in the city are lit, but Mihalevich tells us the city eventually plans to have every mile lit, every hour of the day.The city is also experimenting with LED lights on the trail in order to cut costs. Officials said the lights use about a quarter of the power the regular lights on the trail use.Representatives from the city said about 30,000 people used the trail over a two-month period during all hours of the day.
Commentary: Well, we may not have a lot of trails in Arkansas but we sure use them like crazy!