WHITTIER — Talk about your heartbreak.
The city of Whittier has been trying for 20 years to convert an abandoned Union Pacific tracks right of way into a biking/walking trail. As part of the finishing touches, they hire a contractor to pave it and put in lamposts. A few days later, vandals smash more than 80 of the 100 lamposts, tear out the conduits and steal the copper wiring, too.
I took a walk with former Whittier Daily News editor Bill Bell Tuesday morning to see for myself. Bell, who is Mr. Whittier, was taken a back by the extent of the damage.
A class from a nearby elementary school use the trail (next to a damaged lamp).
Damage to the new lamposts is extensive:
Over at Five Points, the new railroad bridge has been installed (as shown below).
It’s a worthwhile project. One that many cities would love to have. Having it lighted would help residents ride their bicycles or walk it in the evenings or at night. Getting exercise at night is a tough thing to do. Having a little incentive — a trail near your home — could persuade even the most stubborn couch potato to go take a walk.
What do you think? Should the city put in replacement lamps? Should they stop lighting the trail? Is there a better way?