It was announced at the town’s Public Works and Environmental Services meeting last week (June 2) that the Town of Lake Cowichan would be receiving the funding necessary to install lights at two of the busiest crosswalks in town, though one councillor was displeased with how the process is being handled.
The funds for the crosswalk illumination are being provided by ICBC and the Ministry of Transportation, who have provided $15,000 and $5000, respectively. The crosswalks at South Shore Road and Darnell Road, near the Royal Bank of Canada, and at Ts’uubaa-asatx Square, will both be lit up by the end of the year, but the decision to use electrical power, rather than solar, proved to be controversial.
“If we’re looking to go green, is solar not the way to go?” Councillor Tim McGonigle asked. “It’s frustrating when another government entity has power over our infrastructure.”
McGonigle also pointed out that the camera installed on Highway 18 at the top of Hill 60 is solar-powered, suggesting that the decision to light the crosswalks using electricity was not made out of necessity.
“It’s more critical to light a crosswalk than it is to operate a camera,” Nagi Rizk, the town’s superintendent of Public Works and Engineering, said. “They’ve come to the conclusion that solar is not the way to go in Lake Cowichan. We do not have the technology yet.”
Following the discussion, the motion to allocate funds was passed by town council, though McGonigle rejected the motion “out of principle.”
The crosswalk lighting is expected to be installed by the end of this year.