The last week has held a slew of good and bad news for the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway.
First the good news:
Thanks to the efforts of several neighborhood associations, the Midtown Greenway Coalition and numerous community members who came out for the hearings, Xcel energy was told that they will have to bury power lines underneath 28th street instead of running them above the Greenway. This post from several weeks ago should remind you of the issues at hand. The Star Tribune reported the results last Thursday;
“The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered that the twin 115-kilovolt lines requested by Xcel Energy be deemed necessary but said they should be buried under E. 28th Street. That’s a victory for the city and a number of neighborhood representatives. They argued that an alternative route that would run lines overhead or underground along the bike-pedestrian corridor was too disruptive.”
Now the bad news:
After a relatively quite couple of months, the Greenway has seen two attacks within the last week, the latest coming on Monday night around 8:30 pm. This was posted to Bike Love yesterday [Warning: Graphic Language];
“At ~8:30 pm a guy on a bike waved me down, to warn me of some suspicious guys he felt were trying to jump him. He asked “should I call the cops?” To which I replied “HELL YES!” and pulled out my Kryptonite for the remaining block I was to be on the Greenway.
As I was preparing to turn off into the park after the Freewheel (between 10-11th), I saw what looked like a bike on its side (blinkies askew) and some shadowy figures moving clumsily, manuvering what looked like a bag or back pack. I realised I had music playing and lifted my earflap to the sound of a female voice screaming.
Krypto out, I rushed the group, yelling in my deepest, loudest voice to “GET THE FUCK OFF HER, LEAVE HER ALONE!! THE COPS HAVE ALREADY BEEN CALLED!!”. As I raced toward them, lock swinging above my head, the two attackers ran up the convienienty placed stairs to 12th Ave; leaving a bloodied, sobbing and very shaken girl.
After making sure she was not too badly ingured – her eyes tracked well, she was able to answer questions (what do you want, I’m not an EMT), covering her exposed hands and head; and sitting her down on my bag – I called 911 and did all that fun stuff.
Big TOTH [Tip O’ The Hat] to this girl – when asked by myself and the police if the thieves got anything, she blithly nodded no, and then described all the things I would freak out if I lost (keys, phone and wallet) having been in her backpack, that they took. She also *smiled* just a bit when I asked if I could take a picture. What a badass.
Huge WOTK(ryptonite) to the scumbag POS assholes that did this to her.
Please be VERY CAREFUL on the Greenway at night or early morning, people. One of the guys was wearing a t-shirt, which, to me, means they live in the immediate area. I didnt see their features well enought to make any descriptive statement about them, as I was focused on the girl, but it would seem they wear dark clothing and work in pairs, or more. If you see suspicious activity, DO NOT hesitate to stop and/or avoid that section of trail, and call 911 to report it. He should absolutely not feel guilty, but if the guy that warned me had called it in, it is possible that this girl would not have been accosted, or at very least, the aggressors might have even been cought on the bridge (wishful thinking)
Related – I woke up this morning from a restless sleep, and a dream where I U-locked one of the muggers to a fence by his neck… I think I still had some adrenaline pumping through me.”
A picture and follow-up is posted to Bike Love, but be warned it is not a pretty site. If you are curious you can always check-up on reported Greenway Incidents at the Midtown Greenway Coalition’s website. It goes without saying, but please be careful out there, this is a similar description to a mugging that took place on January 9th, always try to ride with someone at night, and if you want to do something about it, consider joining Trail Watch.