While El Cerrito officials say that safety measures like surveillance cameras and police bicycle patrols help reduce crime on the Ohlone Greenway, people using the trail in large numbers for commuting and recreation is equally important in making the corridor safe.
"The more of the right kind of people who are on the Greenway, the fewer of the wrong kind of people will be there, said Melanie Minz, the city's environmental services division manager, who helped develop the Ohlone Greenway master plan.
In 2007, consultants hired by BART counted and surveyed the people on the El Cerrito portion of the Greenway on five days at five locations. The consultants counted 2,940 people and surveyed 154 individuals. [See graphs attached to the post for results.]
At a time when the Greenway saw more violent crime than it does now, the consultants found that the pathway was well-used:
During the weekend, recreational trips made by local residents dominate usage of the greenway. Bicycles are the preferred mode of travel during this period. During the weekday, trips between home and work are the majority of trips and there is a pronounced [morning] peak between 8 am and 9 am Walking is the preferred mode of travel during this period. School field trips, including class bicycle rides, boost pathway usage during weekday afternoon.
Minz said that many safety elements of the Ohlone Greenway master plan have been put in place, including new LED lights and widening the trail, while others remain unfinished. The city has had to coordinate its work with BART's retrofitting project.
What do you think? Is the Ohlone Greenway better than it was five years ago?