Safety is a common concern expressed by people who live along greenways and trails. Although no one can guarantee that the Downtown Greenway—or any place—will be crime free, local and national research shows that trails and greenways are very safe places. To learn more about trail safety across the country, click here.
- Trails and greenways can reduce crime by cleaning up abandoned rail corridors and attracting people who will use greenways for recreation and transportation.
- The City of Greensboro manages more than 80 miles of trails. Since the Parks and Recreation Trail Section began in 1997, there has been no serious crime on Greensboro’s trails.
- In a survey of 372 trails across the United States, the Rails to Trails Conservancy concluded that major crime along urban and suburban trails is much less common than in parking lots or public streets.
- The Downtown Greenway will provide increased access and visibility for the Greensboro Police Department bike patrol. Trails and greenways are a proven community development strategy, and the Greenway has the potential of enhancing downtown safety and security.
Tips for Greenway Use
Be aware of your surroundings.
While we all like to ride bicycles or walk and jog to music, wearing earphones prevents your senses from helping you hear danger. It is customary for cyclists to verbally state, “Passing on your left,” while approaching a walker or jogger. Don’t let convenience outweigh safety. Also, should someone fall or need assistance, they may be dependent on you to hear their calls for help.
You should also be familiar with your present location on the Greenway. The Greenway will be marked with mile markers and/or color-coded sections and with artwork. Should you need assistance and call for help, you should know how to direct first responders to your Greenway location.
Carry a well-charged cell phone with you while on the Greenway.
If you need to call for help, a working cell phone will enable help to arrive much quicker.
Consider pairing up with a Greenway partner.
We all need alone time, but if you can pair up with another walker, jogger, or cyclist, it is a safer option.
Report suspicious persons/activity when you see it.
The Greenway will be patrolled by local police, but they can’t always be there when something happens. Police rely on responsible citizens to use their eyes and ears to see and hear suspicious activity, and then call to report the activity. The Greenway will be a safe place to enjoy, though we all must take responsibility to keep it that way.
Cyclists should be prepared.
Cyclists should have a spare tube with them and the tools necessary for a tube change. Remember the Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.”
Stay hydrated all year round.
Dehydration can be a major problem if we do not prepare for it—and it can sneak up quickly. Carry water or other fluids with you so that you can enjoy your time on the Greenway. Dehydration can also occur in colder weather, especially if you are exercising vigorously.