Acevedo: No resources to patrol 24-hour trails
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
If you’ve ever had a hankering for a moonlit jog through Austin, you may soon have the chance.
The Austin City Council approved a motion Thursday that could soon open up a handful of Austin hike-and-bike trails to 24-hours a day.
"I think it is a little extreme, I mean you could go to the 24-hour gyms and see how many people are there," jogger Kristina Walker said.
Just after the sun sets, it gets to be pitch black at some parts of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail right off Barton Springs Road.
The darkness is a safety concern that has Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo worried. He predicts the department will need more than $3 million to ensure the safety of the trails if they're open round the clock.
"The problem is that we just don't have the resources to do it," the chief told council Thursday.
Acevedo fears his police force could not cover the dozens of miles of trail at all hours of the night. He says APD cannot guarantee "proactive police protection" and fears a delayed response time.
"We really feel that from a public safety standpoint, that in order to do it safely and to do it appropriately, you have to provide pro-active patrol from our park division, and we would need additional resources in order to do it safely," Acevedo said.
Under the measure curfew would be lifted for the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake, the Shoal Creek Greenbelt Trail and the Johnson Creek Greenbelt Trail.
Money will be the deciding factor on which parks receive extended hours. Funding for the project will be considered at the city's next budgetary hearing.