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Woman voices concern about bike trail safety

Published On: Jun 18 2013 07:54:05 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 18 2013 04:33:10 PM CDT

Keola Exum


A bike rider said she had concrete thrown at her under a city overpass over the weekend, and she'd like to see more safety measures put in place.

Keola Exum of Madison has never been afraid to hit the city's bike trails.

"I've ridden about 3,000 miles in a year, and I ride a lot of the trails here on the west side," said Exum.

But after a scary run-in on the southwest commuter path this weekend, she's thinking twice before biking on it again.

"I was terrified," said Exum. "I thought if a rock hit in me in the wrong place I could just be unconscious laying on the ground here."

Saturday afternoon, Exum was riding the bike path under the Verona Road overpass when she said was attacked by four young boys.

She saID they came out from behind pillars throwing chunks of concrete.

Exum said some of the blocks thrown at her were as big as her head. It's the second time she's had a frightening encounter at this overpass.

However, city officials said this incident isn't indicative of a larger crime problem on bike paths. 

"In general, my experience has been that the paths have been relatively safe," said Arthur Ross, Madison's pedestrian-bicycle coordinator.

Ross said there's no data showing the area is any more dangerous than other paths.

But Exum isn't convinced. "I don't bike to work, because I don't feel safe getting off work at 2 in the afternoon to ride my bike to my house," said Exum

And she won't be hitting this particular trail again until something changes.

"Maybe we need some patrols, maybe we need people out here making a presence, to know we're going to be here," said Exum.

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