Safety is a common concern expressed by people who live along greenways and trails. Although no one can guarantee that the Downtown Greenway—or any place—will be crime free, local and national research shows that trails and greenways are very safe places. To learn more about trail safety across the country, click here. Recent studies have shown that crime has gone down in neighborhoods that are adjacent to greenways; click here to read an article on a similar study of Chicago’s 2.7 mile Bloomington Trail.
- Trails and greenways can reduce crime by cleaning up abandoned rail corridors and attracting people who will use greenways for recreation and transportation.
- The City of Greensboro manages more than 80 miles of trails. Since the Parks and Recreation Trail Section began in 1997, there has been no serious crime on Greensboro’s trails.
- In a survey of 372 trails across the United States, the Rails to Trails Conservancy concluded that major crime along urban and suburban trails is much less common than in parking lots or public streets.
- The Downtown Greenway will provide increased access and visibility for the Greensboro Police Department bike patrol. Trails and greenways are a proven community development strategy, and the Greenway has the potential of enhancing downtown safety and security.
Tips for Greenway Use
Be aware of your surroundings.
While we all like to ride bicycles or walk and jog to music, wearing earphones prevents your senses from helping you hear danger. It is customary for cyclists to verbally state, “Passing on your left,” while approaching a walker or jogger. Don’t let convenience outweigh safety. Also, should someone fall or need assistance, they may be dependent on you to hear their calls for help.
You should also be familiar with your present location on the Greenway. The Greenway will be marked with mile markers and/or color-coded sections and with artwork. Should you need assistance and call for help, you should know how to direct first responders to your Greenway location.
Carry a well-charged cell phone with you while on the Greenway.
If you need to call for help, a working cell phone will enable help to arrive much quicker.
Consider pairing up with a Greenway partner.
We all need alone time, but if you can pair up with another walker, jogger, or cyclist, it is a safer option.
Report suspicious persons/activity when you see it.
The Greenway will be patrolled by local police, but they can’t always be there when something happens. Police rely on responsible citizens to use their eyes and ears to see and hear suspicious activity, and then call to report the activity. The Greenway will be a safe place to enjoy, though we all must take responsibility to keep it that way.
Cyclists should be prepared.
Cyclists should have a spare tube with them and the tools necessary for a tube change. Remember the Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.”
Stay hydrated all year round.
Dehydration can be a major problem if we do not prepare for it—and it can sneak up quickly. Carry water or other fluids with you so that you can enjoy your time on the Greenway. Dehydration can also occur in colder weather, especially if you are exercising vigorously.
What are the rules on the Greenway?
We encourage proper Trail Etiquette
- Yield to pedestrians. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way.
- Keep right and pass on the left. The trail is like a roadway.
- Warn trail users as you approach from behind. Announce yourself; for example, “On your left!”
- If you stop, get off the trail. Always allow other trail users to pass on the left.
- Please be aware of your surroundings. For safety, always carry a cell phone.
- Watch out for maintenance and security needs while on the trail. Report crime and maintenance problems right away.
- Obey all signs and rules. Stop at intersections, travel at safe speeds, and keep to the right.
- Please keep the trail clean. Don’t litter; recycle trash on the trail.
- Please keep animals under control. Keep pets on a short leash, walk pets on the right-hand shoulder, and clean animal waste from the trail.
- Don’t use the trail at night. The trail is CLOSED from 11:00 pm–5:00 am. Do not use the trail during these hours.
Report crime to Greensboro Police Department: 911
Report maintenance problems & all other concerns to: 336-373-3816
Trail Rules & Regulations
- Posted areas of the Downtown Greenway may be closed during specific times (excludes public sidewalk). The trail is closed from 11:00 pm—5:00 am. Do not use the trail during these hours.
- No person shall cause an obstruction of the Greenway that prevents free passage by users.
- Only motor vehicles intended for emergency assistance, safety or maintenance are allowed. Individuals with mobility impairments may use medical devices. Personal transportation devices used by Law Enforcement are permitted.
- Pets and service animals are allowed if under direct control of their keepers, and the control device is not longer than six feet in length. The owner must remove all waste products left by pets. Horses are not allowed.
- No person shall build, light or maintain any fire including grills, portable stoves or heating devices.
- Destructive devices, firearms, edged weapons, and any other types of weapons, including flares or fireworks are not allowed.
- It shall be illegal to remove, deface, alter or destroy any Greenway property, equipment, signs, plants, benches, art, amenities, fences or any other object associated with the Greenway.
- Littering or disposing of any unwanted item(s) of any kind on the Greenway is prohibited.
- Open alcoholic beverages and illegal substances are prohibited. Alcoholic beverages may be allowed only through permitted special events.
- Operating a concession, peddling, soliciting or panhandling is prohibited on the Greenway. Exception: concessions may be allowed only if necessary permits are obtained and permission granted by the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department.
- Greenway users shall abide by Greensboro City Code of Ordinances in reference to noise. Loudspeakers and public address systems are prohibited unless authorized in writing by the appropriate entity.
- No loud, abusive, threatening, intrusive or disorderedly conduct is allowed on the Greenway.
- Public users of the Greenway through whatever mechanical means will maintain a speed that does not endanger other trail users or Greenway property. Bicyclists and skaters should yield to all other trail users. Bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a safety helmet. Users, including pets and service animals, should stay on the right side of the Greenway. Greenway users should respect private boundaries of adjacent landowners.
- No person or persons should travel on the Greenway in a manner that would endanger other users of the Greenway or any Greenway property.
- The City of Greensboro will not be responsible or liable for items left unattended on the Greenway or any Greenway easement. Items found unattended will be destroyed.
*These regulations supplement the following: Rules and Regulations Governing the Use of City of Greensboro Parks and Recreation Areas Within or Without the City Limits. Adopted November 20, 1967 and Amended Through 2007. Reference City Ordinance 19-1 (CO 19-1).