Free grit for you to spread around

City of Vernon planning assistant Roy Nuriel demonstrates how pedestrians can “spread it around” to make Vernon sidewalks safer in icy conditions.
Image Credit: Contributed/City of Vernon

VERNON – Vernon city workers have started setting up big, yellow boxes around town as part of a do-it-yourself sidewalk and road-sanding project.

Instead of city crews spreading what they call winter grit on sidewalk in key locations, the one-year pilot program is asking residents to spread their own around.

The Municipal Insurance Association is paying for the pilot project.

“Pedestrians are encouraged to spread the grit inside the box on the slippery spots on the sidewalks to make walking safer for everyone,” the city’s Tanya Laing Gahr says in a media release.

The DYI sandboxes are in addition to the city’s regular snow removal efforts.

The boxes are mostly located around the Schubert Centre in downtown Vernon. The locations were picked based on the proximity to steep hills, areas busy with pedestrian traffic and sidewalks used by seniors and people who use mobility devices, according to the City.

All you have to do is open the lid and spread the grit over the ice with the scoop inside the box.

Vernon isn’t the first community to give the idea a try. Revelstoke just wrapped up a two-year pilot project.

“After the completion of the first year, City staff will be reviewing usage and feedback from residents,” Laing Gahr says. “If the program is successful and continued use is approved by mayor and council, more city locations could have access to yellow grit boxes to complete the program.

Image Credit: Contributed/City of Vernon

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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