Emergency markers make Riverfront Trail system safer
By Kathleen Goddeyne -
Riverfront Trail users should feel a bit safer when using the trail system thanks to new signage provided by the City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department and the Mesa County Parks and Recreation Department. The new Emergency Service Markers contain information that could help save a life. Each marker contains which trail you are using and which road you are lined up with on the street grid.
“As we continue to build the Riverfront Trail system, we had some public meetings to make sure people feel safe,” said Mesa County Parks Manager, Greg Linza. “With the City of Grand Junction and 911 dispatch, we started the initiative of the marker posts from Palisade to Fruita.”
The Grand Junction Regional Communication Center, where 911 calls are received, has coordinated the markers with their Global Positioning System(GPS). This allows them to find people easier and the system shows dispatchers the best way to access the person in need of help.
“We’ve been working on it for the past couple of years as there has been a large increase in use of the trail system throughout the county,” said Grand Junction Regional Communication Center Manager, Monica Million.
Currently, 75 markers are placed from 33 ½ Road to the Walter Walker section of the Riverfront Trail System. When the trail is completely built from Fruita to Palisade, there will be 90 markers throughout the trail system.
“This is good news because we have a lot more users on the trail,” said Katie Steele, Riverfront Trail Commission Co-Chair. “This is a proactive initiative and when you’re using it, you can keep track of where you’re at.”
The GPS system for the markers is an in house system provided by the City of Grand Junction and the Mesa County Graphic Information System (GIS) department purchased the posts and labeled them.
While the news is exciting for trail users, the markers have been in the works for quite some time.
“I was in a trail rescue team and we tried this 10 years ago, but we didn’t give out enough information and had no media coverage, so it didn’t work out,” Linza said. “The goal today was to let the public know what the markers are for and how to use them. We want to make sure users are enjoying what we have for them.”