Troy proposes plan to make city bike trail safer


TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s supposed to be a trail that makes it easier to get around, but after suspicious activity and one horrific crime, neighbors said they don’t feel safe near it.

Terri Williams enjoys the peace and quiet. She used to use the Uncle Sam Bikeway, but that changed nine years ago.

Another woman, who was riding her bike on the trail, was attacked and sexually assaulted. Since then, Williams won’t go near it.

“Once that happened, I didn’t want to take the chance,” she said. “So close to home. It’s not a good feeling to have.”

She’s far from alone. Jack Moran walks the trail every day. He constantly looks over his shoulder.

“It’s always in the back of your mind,” he said. “You’re always wondering ‘who’s in the bushes?’”

He said he’s seen some suspicious activity.

“It’s pretty much closed in, and it’s really sketchy,” he said.

Barb Nelson is the co-chair of Transport Troy. She offered one solution.

“The way to make it safer is to make it more useful and more effective,” she said.

A public meeting in Troy on Wednesday aimed to do that.

Greg Francese helped author a Troy bicycle plan that would connect many street routes and trails in the city. It would make it easier for bikes to get around and encourage others to get back on the trails, including the Uncle Sam.

“One of the things that this plan can do is it can get more people out on bikes; it can raise the visibility,” he said.

“If a place is welcoming to people for recreation or transportation then it’s going to be less of a hangout for bad actors who are looking for a place where perhaps nobody else is.”

The proposed plan includes more than the Uncle Sam Bikeway. It’s currently in the early stages, but organizers said they are getting public feedback, and when it’s time, they’ll officially present it to the city.

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