I firmly believe that turning off the trail lights at night is a dangerous and irresponsible decision. I find it to be no different than turning off the city streetlights. In the same way that car traffic is thinner on the roads at night, the bike trail traffic is thinner, too. However, it does exist and is partially comprised of bicycle commuters who are leaving their jobs around 3 a.m. Also, being a nurse myself, I know of medical professionals who ride their bikes for exercise on the trails during those “middle of the night” hours because they don’t work regular/daytime hours.
As the days get longer, the lights should be coming on later than in the winter, and I am wondering if there is some cost averaging that should be looked at to determine whether the lights are really costing us too much to keep them on.
I want to know what it will take for the city to keep those lights on. Someone being injured because they couldn’t see properly? Someone being mugged, raped, or killed because the trail is a perfect place for that to happen if you turn the lights off. The trail is already somewhat patrolled by officers, which means that the city is aware that the trails need that added element of security. I suggest you consult with the Fayetteville Police Department’s Bike Unit (479-587-3555) for an opinion before making the final decision to endanger citizen’s safety and possibly their lives.
You can be sure that if harm is done to a citizen as a result of the decreased safety and security from the lights being turned off this letter will be brought to the attention of the public. It is not my intention to make an offensive threat, only a promise.
Martha McBride, RN