The men and women that ride the Greenway trail watch got your back, and you probably didn’t even know it. This group of folks, saw a need to keep this area safe and took it upon themselves to organize and protect. We have nothing but respect for this group so we are excited to be able to bring this to you from CTC supporter and one of the active members of trail watch.
Midtown Greenway Trail Watch by Lowrah from Grease Rag Ride & Wrench
Shortly after the Midtown Greenway became a popular east-west corridor of commuters and recreational trail users, there were some incidents of crime. In a grassroots movement to take back the trail, a group of cyclists organized a ride in December of 2008 on mplsbikelove.com to show that we were unafraid and we would not allow the Greenway to become place to avoid after dark. Eventually the Midtown Greenway Coalition got involved and formalized “Trail Watch.”
Trail Watch is a ride consisting of volunteers that ride or live near the trail. Some riders come for multiple rides a week, some riders come more sporadically. The goal of the Trail Watch is to observe and report any suspicious activity, and to allow trail users to feel safer by increasing the number of riders on the trail at night. You can learn more about Trail Watch on the Midtown Greenway Coalition’s website, or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Midtown Greenway’s Trail Watch program was recently nominated for a Ninth Ward Community Award recently. We did not end up winning the award, but we got a certificate of recognition from Council member Shift thanking us for the time we have volunteered.
In 2010 there were ZERO reported assaults against trail users, which has been attributed to the work that Trail Watch has done. There were issues on the Hiawatha LRT Trail, but Police have assured us that the group of individuals involved will no longer be a problem. Our goal is to have a perfect record for 2011!
I ride Trail Watch with a great group of cyclists with different backgrounds and interests. We’ve gotten to know each other over the years, and have become fast friends. I would encourage anyone out there that uses the Greenway or that lives in the area to sign up for a two-hour shift. It is really laid-back and low-commitment. Bring a friend!
This is a great example of what can happen when people get involved, they didn’t call and ask cops to patrol the area, they did it themselves. Be sure to check out Grease Rag, and thanks Lowrah!