RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh police are expanding their Greenway unit in hopes of improving public safety.
Raleigh’s Greenway is 117 miles long. Keeping all that space safe has been a big focus in recent years, and after police said a man assaulted someone this past April near Lake Wheeler Road.
Lisa Silverman says she walks or runs on the Greenway about five times a week. She said she generally feels safe, but not when it’s dark.
“So I stay away then, and I try to make sure I’m in an area where there are people around,” she said.
Whether there are other runners or bikers, or if you’re out on the Greenway by yourself, people said they want to feel safe at every turn.
It’s why the Raleigh Police Department Foundation is funding new Enduro bikes, which help officers patrol the trails as they expand their Greenway unit.
“When a distress comes out, the police department felt that this is the best way at this point in time to get the resources, then us and all the instruments we have, to any danger and need,” explained Sgt. Jeff Burgess with the Raleigh Police Department, who oversees the Greenway unit.
The new bikes are fully electric, with zero emissions and no noise – keeping the environment peaceful.
“All natural, peace and relaxation is what people come to the Greenway for,” he said. “This is just another tool that we can use to assist people on the greenway.”
Silverman said she has already seen some of the new bikes on the Greenway, and feels safer when they’re around.
“It’s helpful, yeah. It makes you feel like someone’s watching,” she said.
“Our uniform and the bikes, we have presence. There’s no doubt about it,” Sgt. Burgess said. “I have found this is a better way of connecting with the community more than anything else.”
Raleigh police say they continue to use bicycles, ATVs, gators and foot patrols on the Greenway as well.
Officers encourage general safety and etiquette in parks and on greenways including:
- Bicyclists, skaters, and skateboarders should approach pedestrians cautiously and pass on the left and audibly call “on your left” to alert others
- All users, including pets, should remain on the right side of the trail except when passing
- Bicyclists, skaters, and skateboarders must always yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Patrons should be aware of their surroundings on the trail
- The use of headphones is discouraged
- Patrons are encouraged to walk or jog with a companion
- Hide your belongings, lock your car, and take your keys