Raleigh City Council takes up proposal to improve safety on greenways

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The Raleigh City Council was presented on Tuesday with a greenway safety report.

It talked about improvements being made to safety at trails in the Capital Area Greenway system, which includes more than 100 miles of trails in Raleigh.

The report shows that during a six-month period between September of 2020 and February of 2021, these calls for service on Raleigh greenways had the highest frequency:

  • Theft of valuables from vehicles
  • Miscellaneous calls, usually to report suspicious activity
  • Damage to property

Morgan Lipscomb, of Raleigh, has used the greenways in the city. She said she tries not to use them at night.

"I feel like because they are so open, there's potential for a lot of things to happen and I think lighting would help because you can, at least, see even though it's such a large area," Lipscomb said.

The report shows staff is working on lighting three tunnels along the Walnut Creek Trail. That's where Chauncey Depew Jr. was randomly attacked and killed almost a year ago.

Nine tunnels in the Capital Area Greenway system are currently unlit, according to the report.

In March, Raleigh launched a Safety and Etiquette Campaign with a goal of increasing awareness of greenway safety and etiquette. It included reminding folks to stay alert and a greenway alert text system. You can text RALEIGH GWAlert to 468311 to subscribe.

"I think just being a woman, I just try not to go too late at night or I make sure that there are other people around so that if something does happen, somebody can be a witness or something, so I don't know how safe I feel but I know it's not completely 100 percent," Lipscomb said.

Cambria Hunter enjoys exercising outdoors. She lives in Lillington and doesn't make it to the greenways in Raleigh.

"I would absolutely use the greenways if they were safer, and I think it is so important for all people to have access to greenery," Hunter said. "I feel like the science says that it makes people less stressed if they have access to green around them and just overall the use for leisurely activities, exercise, would make everyone a little bit happier."
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