RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – For greenway runners like Vincent Patella, it’s now a race against the clock and nightfall. Before daylight savings time, he would run on the greenway after work.
“Now trying to find a little bit of time in the day to do it while it’s still light outside,” Patella said.
This week, the City of Raleigh placed glowing tape on a small part of the Crabtree Creek Trail. The city said it’s trying to find cost-effective ways to improve visibility in low-light situations. The tape is located at the trail’s Industrial Drive entrance.
“In the winter when it’s dark, if we could be somewhat visible, and I could just kind of see where I’m going, that would certainly want to make me go out and use it more often,” Patella said.
The tape is up Nov. 7-Nov. 17. A spokesperson for the city said it’s temporary because they want to see how it works, and whether it should be put in other places.
The CBS 17 crew noticed that the tape placed along the grass ended up becoming partially covered with some grass and leaves.
Few people were out on the trail past sunset.
Marianne Bradford bikes along the greenway 2-3 times a week. She said she generally feels safe as long as people are nearby, but tape or no tape, she won’t be riding in the dark.
“It’s like, if you’re out here by yourself, especially as a woman, I just would not feel safe even with visibility indicators,” Bradford said.
Something Bradford would like to see is an emergency button system that automatically calls police, similar to ones found on college campuses.
“So, it would be nice if I was riding by if I knew, ‘Ooh back there, there was a blue light that I can press if I have a problem’,” Bradford said. “You feel like you’re on your own a lot out here, especially if you’re riding at odd times.”
A spokesperson for Raleigh Police tells CBS 17 that five officers are currently assigned to the greenway unit, and additional officers may be added in the future.
In the spring, city officials told CBS 17 that it’s working to put lights in all greenway tunnels by the fall of 2024, an effort to improve safety and visibility.
The city has an online survey asking people who come across the glowing tape to share their thoughts.