Those bright yellow boxes that popped up overnight? They’re spread-it-yourself grit boxes

This spread-it-yourself grit box is one of several placed around town to allow residents to address the problem of slippery sidewalks themselves. David F. Rooney photo

This winter, the City is trying something new to make walking in the downtown a little easier, says Social Development Coordinator Jill Zacharias.

“Winter walking is a fact of life for Revelstoke residents,” she said in a statement. “But winter weather patterns typically present with large amounts of precipitation (both snow and rain) and temperature fluctuations, which often result in icy sidewalks.”

Under this trial program, a number of bright yellow grit boxes have been placed at key intersections in the downtown core as well areas used specifically by senior citizens. The yellow grit boxes contain the same winter grit used by the City’s snow removal staff for sidewalk sanding.

“Residents are encouraged to scoop and spread the grit on slippery spots on the sidewalk and other problem locations,” Zacharias said. “Just open the lid, scoop up some grit and spread it over the hazard. Be sure to put the scoop back in the box and close the lid firmly.”

This “do-it-yourself” approach of using grit boxes should make winter walking safer for all by having pedestrians address slipping hazards right away. The City will continue to carry out its regular sidewalk clearing and sanding in addition to this program.

The locations for the boxes include City hall, Royal Bank, CIBC, Second Chance corner of Mackenzie and Second St, MT Begbie Manor, and Seniors Centre. The boxes will be labeled here in the near future, so public can clearly identify there purpose. Boxes will be maintained by Public Works staff.

The use of grit boxes on city sidewalks was a recommendation in An Age-Friendly Plan for Revelstoke and Area (2009), and is based on a successful program in Ottawa, Ontario. This pilot project is a partnership between Public Works and the Social Development Committee.