Rail-Trail Safety! We need emergency phones on rail trails.

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Rail-Trail Safety! We need emergency phones on rail trails.

Postby jewsontrack » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:26 pm

In Buffalo there was a murder on one of the rail-trails up there...
If they had pole phones like you see on collage campuses maybe this would not have happened
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Postby RussNelson » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:43 pm

Ahhhh, yes, the Joan Diver murder. Not clear that emergency boxes would have helped her, given that she was bludgeoned. This newspaper article, for example, doesn't urge emergency boxes. Given the widespread penetration of cell phones, it's likely that emergency boxes (which, these days, are just fixed cellphones) aren't worth their cost.
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20 ... 050024.asp
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Postby German » Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:17 pm

There's no reason to believe that violent crimes are more likely on rail trails than any other kind of trail or public park. If the risk justified these types of phones, you would have to install them on the countless miles of all types of trails in federal, state, county and municipal parks. Add the Appalachian trail and a few others and it would seem like overkill related to the risk rather quickly. The relatively small park in New Jersey that I manage has close to 20 miles of trails itself. That's would entail alot of phones!

The majority of lost hikers I deal with have cell phones these days, and they are only getting cheaper and more widely used. I think RussNelson's post pretty much summed this potential problem up.
Last edited by German on Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:47 pm

These days for Safety one should carry a cellphone.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Postby railtrailbiker » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:44 am

It is being reported that the State of NY will equip that particular bike path with security cameras.

http://www.wben.com/news/fullstory.php?newsid=06096
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Postby Ken W2KB » Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:56 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:These days for Safety one should carry a cellphone.


Especially since one can often acquire a deactivated cell phone for free, such as from a friend who upgrades to a new model. By US law, every cellphone carrier has to accept calls to 911 for free even if the phone is not active for regular service. So everyone who wants to can have cell access to 911 without charge.
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Postby gprimr1 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:46 pm

There are also a plethora of self defense products avalible. Whenever I go out to a park or bike trail, I bring my pepper spray canister.
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Postby Malley » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:37 pm

Our particular segment of the Allegheny Highlands Trail has a long stretch starting at Garrett with no cell service at all; there isn't much 'till you get to Connellsville. While a cell would be a huge help, in a crisis, it would take an hour or more before the state police could reach you. That's not to say that there shouldn't be more cell towers to serve the trail.
This would be an easier solution than building/maintaining fixed phones.

This trail in is very remote country, with few road crossings, and the trail follows the Casselman and Yock Rivers, often deep in a canyon; it is a beautiful trail.
For trails like this, you need a reliable bike, tools and spares, a first aid kit...and a gun. Metaphorically speaking, you may well have to kill your own snakes.
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Postby Blazer » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:54 pm

I carry a cell phone but on many occasions when attempting to use it the screen reads "NO SERVICE". I also carry a GPS. On some of the rural trails I've ridden it would be nice to know my exact position if I needed to call for help. I was surprised to hear of a pair of rabid coyote attacks on and near a trail I'd ridden just days before. I like to think I'm prepared to deal with almost any vermin I might find along the trail.
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Postby Malley » Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:46 pm

Blazer, on a walkabout in Greene County, a redfox walked right up to me in broad daylight. He was almost certainly rabid. I could have driven him off with a stick, I suppose, but that would have left him a problem for someone else. Instead, I dispatched him with my pistol.
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Postby uhaul » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:05 pm

One thing with pepper spray is that you have to use it and expect the results. Chances are the person(s) attacking you will anticipate the pepper spray.
When walking in the woods I carry a wooden Tee Ball bat, but I will probably be told that it is not that great of a self defense defense object.
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Postby Blazer » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:26 pm

I had to use pepper spray once on a four-legged varmint. I had some warning in advance and had time to draw the spray and realize that the wind was at my back before discharging. The results were satisfactory. I believe this thread started regarding emergency phones being located along trails. The phone is great to report a mishap has already occurred but preventing the mishap to begin with would be even better.
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Postby Malley » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:16 pm

Blazer wrote: I believe this thread started regarding emergency phones being located along trails. The phone is great to report a mishap has already occurred but preventing the mishap to begin with would be even better.


A point well taken.

BTW, some pepper sprays now shoot out a gooey glob rather than a spray per se; less problem with prevailing wind.
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Postby krupa1020 » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:42 pm

The emergency phones are, in my opinion, better then cell phones. They are like mile markers on a railroad or highway. Rescue workers will know where you are at, versus having to guess and hunt for someone who may be hurt or disoriented.

I work at a 911 center in Pennsylvania. Unless they have Enhanced 911, cell phones are useless unless you know where you are at on the trail. "I'm standing around trees" doesn't help. You have to know where you are in order for people to find you. I have had people in our local state park call and have no clue where in the park they are. There are no markers or land marks they can use.
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Postby icgsteve » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:48 pm

and who would pay for emergency phones? They can't be cheap, especially in areas that are prone to vandalism. Almost everyone has cell now, and they are not going away in our lifetimes. Much better would be to set up emergency phones in areas that don't have cell coverage, even better would be to take that same money and use it to try to convince a cell company to set up towers in areas that currently lack coverage. 911 cell is a known problem, but providers are moving to make cells more 911 capable by being able to get a location fix on the caller and passing that info to emergency workers.
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