COLORADO SPRINGS — There is a plan in the works to add rangers along the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and the Midland Trail in Colorado Springs. It is proposed staffing addition to Colorado Springs Parks. If approved it is close to a $400,000 investment toward lessening issues and in turn raising the comfort level for trail users
Colorado Springs resident Michelle Grey comes to the Greenway Trail to run. She avoids coming alone. “I think when I'm by myself, I think it's any of the underpasses that you have to go under, I just get a little bit more nervous.”
Grey is not alone, City leaders get complaints about safety concerns along trails.
“We've heard from our public on the amount of homelessness activity along the major trail corridors and not feeling safe at times,” said Colorado Springs Parks Maintenance and Operations Manager, Eric Becker
Homeless camps and loitering are at the top of the list of issues. It also includes problems like vandalism, litter, and pets off leash,
There is a proposal to add two sets of park rangers who will patrol urban trails.
“So that could be out on foot, They could be out on their bikes, and they could be in vehicles. And they'll be working in pairs just to keep them safe and have backup when needed. And if needed,” said Becker.
The rangers will increase enforcement when necessary.
At other times they will be friendly faces acting as ambassadors.
“It's also going to be a resource for the public to be able to help guide them with directions or input around the city,” said Becker, “So I think it's as much of a presence out on our trails to make our citizens and our users our trail users feel safe is one of the main components of this new ranger team.”
The ranger program starts at the first of 2023 as long as the budget request gets final approval from Colorado Springs City Council.
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