Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ketchum CDC to shed light on town

Solar streetlights, pedestrian maps and landmark signs to be installed downtown


By EXPRESS STAFF

    By early July, Ketchum’s downtown core will see the light. As a result of the Ketchum Community Development Corp.’s Walkable Ketchum Project—kicked off in early 2012—nine solar streetlights will be installed in Ketchum’s downtown core. These are the first of 16 streetlights to be installed by the end of this year and funded by the city of Ketchum.
    “There have been significant community hours behind this project and it is very exciting to see it coming to fruition,” said CDC Executive Director Jon Duval. “We hope that the signage and street lights will encourage more walking and exploring and contribute to the growing vitality of our downtown core.”
    According to a press release from the CDC, research has shown that additional downtown lighting increases walking at night, bringing more business and vitality to local shop owners and restaurants, as well as providing greater safety for pedestrians, especially during winter. The new LED solar lights require no power, will not disrupt sidewalks, and are dark-sky compliant.
    “We’ve been losing light as the power lines have been undergrounded and the streetlights were not replaced,” said architect Dale Bates, the driving force behind Walkable Ketchum. “Now with new solar technology, we can have light without running power, which is a huge cost savings passed on to the city and taxpayers.”
    Signs will also be installed. They include location signs identifying such buildings as City Hall and parks, vehicle signs directing drivers to appropriate parking, landmark signs to the post office, public library and Town Square; and maps and pedestrian bollards.
    The project’s volunteer team research and polling determined that 37 new streetlights are needed to provide the most beneficial amount of downtown lighting. In its release, the CDC stated that it hopes the community can help with the continuation of the project and installation of the remaining 21 streetlights. For anyone interested in making a contribution and having a streetlight named for their family or even their pet, the CDC will install placards on streetlights or even at dog height. See www.ketchumcdc.org to learn more.




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