DURHAM, N.C. – Durham residents who want to learn more about trail safety are invited to participate in a Trail Watch program scheduled for Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at 7 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers. The program kicks off the City’s “Our Trail, Our Town” information campaign to improve safety on the trail, and is being coordinated by the City’s Transportation and Police departments.
“This kind of partnership between residents and the City is more important than anything the City could do alone, and clearly demonstrates that the American Tobacco Trail is a community asset,” said City Manager Tom Bonfield, following Monday’s attempted robbery and assault on the trail. “I want to commend the community for continuing to take ownership of this historic asset.”
The two-hour Trail Watch training teaches users to be alert to possible crime situations and how to report them, similar to the Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Program. While it is targeted for members of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission and Durham Open Space and Trails, other residents interested in learning general safety and crime prevention tips are welcome to attend. Next steps are to teach potential volunteers interested in becoming trail ambassadors.
The free Trail Watch program is part of the City’s efforts over the past few weeks to improve safety on the American Tobacco Trail. The Police Department has deployed utility terrain vehicles, increased patrols on the trail, and improved their street cross-section mapping for faster response times. The City’s General Services Department has cut back vegetation to improve visibility around the trail while Durham Parks and Recreation has installed signage along the trail to help users remember to follow key personal safety tips. Also, mile markers have been installed every quarter mile to help trail users note and report their location along the trail in case of an emergency.
For more information about Trail Watch program, visit http://durhamnc.gov/ich/op/DPD/Documents/Trail%20Watch%20Program%20-%20Final%20with%20Theme%20Text.pdf.