If members of the running community on Saipan will have a list of what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving, having the lights back at the Gov. Froilan C. Tenorio Beach Road Pathway will be on it.
“I’m glad and very thankful that the Governor’s Office and their team were able to bring the lights at the pathway back on,” said Edward Dela Cruz Jr, who includes the pathway in his regular running routes.
Since late last month, lights have been re-installed along the pathway with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and his office coordinating the project through the help of the Office of the Grants Management, Department of Public Works, and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. The lights reinstalled and relit are from the Gilbert C. Ada Gym up to where the Gov. Froilan C. Tenorio Beach Road Pathway signage is located (across the JP Center Building), while the fixtures will be stretched to the Garapan Fishing Base. Overall, 250 lights will be relit and the project also includes the Bank of Guam-DFS intersection on Beach Road to Chalan Pale Arnold (Middle Road).
Dela Cruz said the relighting of the pathway is good news not only for runners, but as well as bikers and walkers.
“The Beach Road pathway is a path of travel for people especially for those who have no transportation. It’s safer to walk or bike Beach Road versus taking Middle Road. Having the lights make people feel safe and comfortable traveling especially when it’s dark and there’s no moon illumination nights. I’m very sure that there are many people due to their schedule can only work out before sunrise or after sunset and their preferred area to do their workout is on the pathway,” said Dela Cruz, who is logging mileage at the pathway as he is now competing in a virtual race.
When the pathway has yet to be relit Dela Cruz said blind corners in the tree line near the tank monument are a challenge for competitive runners like him.
Jessica Ortizo, another pathway regular, said now that the lights are back on, she can start running along Beach Road with her kids even at night and do some chores first in the afternoon.
Rommel Buenaflor, who usually does his run early morning, said having the pathway as a venue for exercise like walking and running is good for one’s physical and mental being, especially at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that those who are pressed for time in the morning now have the opportunity to go out and do their activities along Beach Road at night with the lights relit.
“Having the lights on at night will encourage people to still go out and walk/run for their physical and mental health,” Buenaflor said.
Dela Cruz shared Buenaflor’s sentiments saying that the it’s much harder for people to go out and do their activities in daylight hours.
The firefighter also has an appeal to the community.
“Please help take care of these lights. Please do not damage or break apart the lights to steal parts,” Dela Cruz said.
Meanwhile, business owners along the Bank of Guam-DFS intersection also welcomed the relighting in their area.
“It makes us, as well as our customers feel safer,” said Windy Fernandez, who operates a restaurant in Garapan.
Cecille Camama, a general merchandize store owner in Garapan, said the relighting somehow provided them a sense of hope at this time of the pandemic.
“When you are used to Garapan being the life of Saipan, it’s kind of odd not to see many people going here because of the pandemic and limited hours of business operation. We felt the partial desolation, but with this relighting project, at least it has lifted our spirit as we look forward for our recovery from this crisis,” Camama said.