Our major Public Safety Program is Trail Watch, our nightly bike patrol. We also work closely with the Minneapolis Police Department, and have recently formed a new Crime Prevention Task Force. For information about the task force, e-mail Rebecca at Rebecca@midtowngreenway.org.
We are also pleased to announce a new partnership with Krav Maga Minneapolis, which offers a self-defense class for bicyclists. Our active Trail Watch volunteers receive this training for FREE, and all Midtown Greenway Coalition members get $10 off registration.
What is Trail Watch?
Trail Watch is a nightly bike-mounted safety patrol on the Midtown Greenway and Hiawatha LRT Trail. Trail Watchers act as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement by observing and reporting suspicious behavior or unsafe conditions. Trail Watchers do not intervene in incidents they come across in the Greenway; rather they're a friendly presence on the trail and report criminal or intimidating behaviors that are noticed during the shift.
How does Trail Watch Work?
Trail Watch volunteers bike the Midtown Greenway and Hiawatha LRT trails each night for a few hours, every night of the year. Each night of the week is a little different: the group determines the pace and character of the ride, so we encourage you to test out a few and find a group you like!
Rides are currently starting at 8:00 pm from outside the Midtown Bike Center/Freewheel Bike, on the Greenway level, between 10th Avenue South and Chicago Avenue South.
Ride times can vary, though, so each night communicates via an email list. You can sign up for a few different nights, watch the emails fly, and join the groups that seem like a good fit on the nights that work for you.
There must be 3 people confirmed to ride each night or the ride will not happen. (Three riders is the minimum number for safety reasons.)
Trail Watch is flexible, and we encourage new riders to test out a few nights and to commit to a level they're comfortable at--we have volunteers that ride three times a week to those that get out only once every few months, and we love 'em all.
There are two ways to sign up to volunteer for Trail Watch:
1. E-mail Rebecca@midtowngreenway.org with the nights you are interested in volunteering. You will be subscribed to e-mail groups for the night(s) you select. You will receive an e-mail telling you that you've been subscribed to the group.
2. DIY. Send an email to the group+subscribe address for the Trail Watch night(s) you are interested in. For example, if you wish to subscribe to the Thursday Trailwatch group send an email to email@example.com
Once you are a member, you can send email to the group by addressing it to the group name @midtowngreenway.org, for example, if you are sending email to the Thursday Trailwatch group, address it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you are a member of the group, if you have a Google account you can view the group on the web through the Google Groups interface. When signed on, surf to http://groups.google.com then click the link View 1 group at midtowngreenway.org
Trail Watch Waiver (Required)
Please fill out this waiver and bring it in to the Midtown Greenway Coalition (2834 10th Avenue S, Greenway Level, Suite 2) or to your first Trail Watch ride.
How do I choose which night to ride?
Each night is unique -- we encourage you to try out several and see which one best fits your interests and needs! Leaders put out descriptions to help guide riders to choose, but the character often varies, depending who is on the ride.
Slower pace – 10-12 mph. We spend more time on the light rail end of trail, and take plenty of time to stop and talk with people.
The speed of the Tuesday ride varies a lot, depending on which riders
happen to join on us on any given night. We take a lot of breaks. :-)
I think we cover 10-15 miles per night, depending on speed, breaks,
and what we find along the way.
We talk a lot about Trail Watch, its goals, and how best to achieve
them. We make a point of greeting everyone we see. I've taken the idea
that "more eyes means more safety" as an axiom, and relied on it for a
lot of decisions. We want to be a positive presence on the trail, to
encourage more people to use it after dark.
From time to time, we're joined by a sister TCBC ride. Green Mill
treats us to dinner once a month. We could definitely use more riders;
everyone is welcome!
Moderate pace, like to ride at a pace that allows you to chat with each other. Female ride leader. Our sponsor is the Sheridan restaurant on the Greenway.
This one varies, depending who rides. A leader on hiatus describes it as: Baseball, sci-fi and music. 10-15 mph.
Friday and Saturday:
Now a no-drop ride, meaning that nobody gets left behind. We have a celebration afterwards. Mostly riders who are experienced and are willing to ride in traffic at times.
Our ride on Sunday is a “diplomacy-focused” community ride. We stop frequently to sweep glass, photograph graffiti, greet other trail users, give out lights. We also socialize quite a bit, but do try to stay focused on TW tasks.
As if keeping the Greenway safe and spending time with other awesome biking folks isn't enough to encourage you to do Trail Watch, we also offer an incentive program for our regular riders.
Most nights are sponsored by one of the following delicious restaurants, who provide free food once a month. Thank you!!
Additionally, riders who participate in six or more rides in a quarter get...
A 10% discount on in-stock parts and accessories, and a 5% discount on bikes at:
Thanks to our sponsors for their donations to the incentive program! We'd especially like to thank Wells Fargo for their $1,100 grant to continue development of our Trail Watch program.
For more information contact us.