Attack Raises Questions About Safety of Popular D.C. Bike Route

An unprovoked attack on a bicycle commuter by as many as 15 youths in Washington D.C. this week is raising questions about the safety of one of the city's most popular bike routes.

"The bicyclist doesn’t remember seeing the youths run at him as he pedaled home late Tuesday afternoon on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, but he certainly recalls one knocking him off his bike and at least a dozen others piling on, punching and kicking him in the head," write Peter Hermann and Trishula Patel. "The randomness of the attack near Third and S streets NE — and near the location of a surge of violent robberies two years ago — has made him more scared and more angry and left him wondering whether it’s time to give up pedal power in his commute."

"Cmdr. Andrew Solberg, head of the 5th Police District, called the assault isolated. He said officers patrol the trail on foot, bicycle and Segway. 'I would like to reassure folks that the trail is very safe,' he said. 'It’s very unfortunate that every once in a while there are acts of violence that take place.'”

“'We encourage people to bike, but the bottom line is that we need to reclaim these areas,' said D.C. Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5) , who represents communities along the trail, including Eckington. 'We have to let these criminals, these cowards, know that we’re not going to tolerate it.'”

Full Story: ‘Violence for violence’s sake is troubling,’ says cyclist attacked by youths on D.C. trail

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