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Cyclists And Community Activists Raise Awareness Of Crime On Local Bike Path

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A recent crime on the trail has provoked safety concerns along the Metropolitan Branch Trail in Northeast D.C.
D.C. Department of Transportation
A recent crime on the trail has provoked safety concerns along the Metropolitan Branch Trail in Northeast D.C.

In the wake of a brutal beating last week along a popular walking and biking trail in Northeast D.C., community activists and bicycling enthusiasts are pushing back in an effort to reclaim the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Men, women and children on bikes and on foot are gathered at the Metropolitan Branch Trail in the NE Washington neighborhood of Eckington. They're here to say "NO" to the violence that pops up periodically along this eight-mile thoroughfare that goes from Union Station to Silver Spring.

"We've got to stay engaged, and we don't want the trail to gain a bad reputation because of the crime. Today's event is the beginning of us rebranding the trail," said Silas Grant, an avid bicyclist who lives in Ward 5.

A week ago today a bicylcist commuting from work was badly beaten by more than a dozen teens not too far from here.

"What we plan to do is hopefully recruit some people that ride on the trail to become Guardian Angels, to get trained and be the eyes and ears, patrol as a team and be a deterrent," said John Ayala of the D.C. Guardian Angels.

The angels have begun patrolling the trail and handing out safety tips to its users.

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