I equate recent attacks on and near the River Trail like the ones we have had over the last few years equivalent to terrorism. With terrorism, once you start letting it affect your freedom, they win.
It's true we have had some attacks and incidents on or near the areas we like to recreate in and use for transportation, but that shouldn't make us withdraw from these places. Warning signs indicate that people should be fearful and consider not using the trails. We should not scare people with warning signs; this will have the exact opposite effect that we want to see happen. To combat negative behaviors on the trail, we need a strong presence people using our trails positively.
What you, as an everyday trail user can do: use the trails, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, don't have valuables in clear view, carry pepper spray.
We should as a community be making our presence felt cause the only thing that stops a bad person is a good person. Together we should be looking for ways to improve perceived trail safety so people feel safer we can have more people using the trails because the presence of good people drives away the people looking to cause trouble.
To increase trail security should scope out the cost and then locate the money to implement the following:
Trail lighting, there are a ton of different ways we could tastefully light the trails, even some motion activated options that do not stay on at all times.
Cameras, once the camera was installed in the tunnel on Dana to Downtown there seemed to be way less hanging out there.
Emergency stations, these have buttons on them that alert police, make a ton of noise to alert people nearby, and many of them have cameras built in.
Electric bikes for RPD and civilian patrols. eBikes would enable RPD or civilians to cover a greater range of the trails in more diverse weather conditions, and make patrolling efficient and effective.