What Actually Makes Our Greenway Safe?
December 11, 2008
Recent incidents of crime on the Midtown Greenway have led to the Minneapolis Police Department advising cyclists to “avoid the greenway after dark, if that's possible." Is this a white flag we are waving to criminals? It is amazing that we are throwing our hands into the air in such haste, creating a self-imposed curfew on a critical transportation facility.
Truth is, this advice puts those who will still use the Greenway at night at even greater risk. These crimes are those of opportunistic thugs who see easy pickings when they can isolate an individual for assault without fear being arrested or interfered with by a passer-by. The solution to this menace is the opposite of what the police are advising. We need to take to the Greenway in numbers and show that this marvelous facility belongs to the people and cannot be wrested away by anti-social elements.
Criminals are seeking opportunities to isolate victims and commit crimes when nobody can see them. Every person who can be out and about, increases the eyes on the Greenway and reduces the invitation to criminal activity. This includes law enforcement. I imagine that if these same rogues were in automobiles terrorizing motorists on I35W with acts of road rage that law enforcement officials would make it a top priority to bring them to justice. Or perhaps they would advise people to stop driving on the freeway at night? If that’s possible...