CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — When the sun goes down that safe feeling on Mecklenburg County greenways quickly fades. At the entrance to the Clarks Creek Greenway in north Charlotte, there is a surveillance camera, but more lighting on these paths would be preferred by many who use it.
“When it gets darker, I’m like 5 feet tall, I’m a girl,” said Alex Espinoza, who frequents the trail. “If it gets empty out there, you just never know, so sometimes I do feel a bit unsafe.”
Friday, the county is making what they feel is a step in the right direction to keep people safe. The Park and Recreation department is installing 911 location signs on greenway mile markers. If someone does need to call police, they can give dispatchers a more accurate location.
“I think that would help,” said greenway user Morgan Moser. “I would know where I was, because that’s part of the issue is I don’t know where I am, so I was stranded in the dark the other night, and I didn’t know where to tell my friends to come get me.”
CMPD is hoping this will help improve their response times in the event of an emergency.
“I think it would be great for the community,” said Cozy Baby. “That way people will be able to feel comfortable about doing their trail walks, runs, things like that.”
The move comes after several greenway assaults throughout Charlotte over the years.
Park and Recreation has been looking for ways to improve safety on greenways. Earlier this month, the department announced there will be targeted patrols by police and park rangers in problem areas.
“It makes me feel better because I know it’s on someone’s mind, right?” said Espinoza. “People are thinking about it. Especially if they’re starting to implement something, at least. It would still be nice, personally, to have lighting.”
The installation will take place through 2024 on existing greenways.