Windsor

Little River Trail GPS signs installed to improve path's safety

City officials are working to make the Little River Trail a safer place.

75-year-old woman was brutally attacked on Ganatchio trail in 2017

A biker rides down the Ganatchio Trail in Windsor. The Little River Trail system now has signs that give people directions and also GPS coordinates in case they require assistance. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

City officials are working to make the Little River and Ganatchio Trails a safer place.

Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens and Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk unveiled new signs along the east-end trail Thursday, that offer coordinates and directions in part so that first responders would be able to locate someone in need. 

The roughly seven kilometre stretch of trails in the area run through green spaces, and the city worked with EMS staff to pinpoint coordinates that could help first responders in an emergency. 

"I think it provides a level of comfort for people who are out walking here because the paths go in many different directions," said Dilkens. 

On October 8, 2017 a 75-year-old woman was viciously attacked on the Ganatchio Trail when she was out for a walk. Anne Widholm died 14 months after the attack took place, and police added a murder charge in her accused killer's case.

Dilkens said plans were already in place to add signage before that incident, but that it highlighted the need for the markers. 

"It was already on the books as a project we wanted to do, but certainly after watching that situation unfold we said this is something we really need to do in order to provide a timely response to people who need support," he said. 

The signs have GPS coordinates in the bottom left corner. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

The signs will give directions on where to go, in addition to GPS signals if needed. 

"I think it's a great idea especially considering what happened with Anne, just to be able to have people call EMS and give coordinates," said Brandon Taylor, senior pastor at Riverside Baptist Church where Widholm was an active member. 

Taylor said Anne would go on daily walks enjoying nature and pick up garbage along the way. 

"I think she would appreciate these measures put in place because it adds to safety measures and a sense of security being out in this area." 

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