Mark Young, the assistant director for Columbus Recreation and Parks, has put out a request for help on the Columbus Greenways, namely the Olentangy, Alum Creek, and Scioto trails. I'll let his words speak for themselves:
In the July 11 Dispatch article "County exercise paths not always happy trails," Reporter Kathy Lynn Gray wrote that bike and pedestrian trails in Franklin County attract many different recreational users and have their share of user conflicts.
The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department manages 47 miles of bike and pedestrian trails. And more miles are planned as part of the Columbus Bicentennial Bikeway Plan announced by Mayor Michael B. Coleman on July 26.
As people look for ways to stay healthy and protect the environment, the demand for safe, nonmotorized trails will only increase.
A diversity of users -- bicyclists, joggers, walkers, roller bladers and dogs -- on a 10- to 12-foot-wide path requires that everyone follow the rules and be respectful of others to ensure the safest experience for all.
Columbus Community Crime Patrol cyclists monitor the Olentangy, Scioto and Alum Creek trails, but the bike patrol unit has many miles to cover with limited resources.
Recently the Community Crime Patrol, the Columbus Division of Police and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department collaborated to develop a Trail Watch program to enhance trail safety and security.
Trail Watch puts trained volunteers on bike and pedestrian trails to assist users and report hazards and other issues.
Trail Watch is seeking volunteers to join the effort to ensure a safe and healthy experience for all trail users.
Anyone interested in this valuable community service can call 645-3342 or visit the Recreation and Parks Web site http://recparks.columbus.gov for an application and more information.
MARK A. YOUNG
Columbus Recreation and Parks