TRAIL SAFETY: Aurora residents discuss safety along the High Line Canal Trail
AURORA, Colorado (KDVR) – The High Line Canal is one of the longest urban trails in the country, attracting nearly 500,000 people each year. But some recent violent crime on or near the canal in Aurora has raised safety concerns for some after a recent shooting nearby.
“Well, several people walking called me and texted me, ‘I’m not doing this on the channel with you anymore.’ Oh no, that’s not what I am, ”said Debbie Hunter Holen.
Hunter Holen has lived near the canal for 32 years. “It’s beautiful, by South Middle School. I walk all the time. I love it. It’s so spiritual, intimate, renewing. What worries me is the perception that it is bad. It turns out that there was a shooting near the canal last Sunday, ”she said.
“I do this almost every day, it’s part of my life,” said Lena Florio. “I have lived here for almost 50 years. I was not disturbed. I think it’s sad that we have to be locked in nature, carry guns, carry a sledgehammer, which my daughter is yelling at me. But I have my umbrella.
Hunter Holen goes this route almost every day, taking photos and sharing them on social media. She said it wasn’t bad, despite a few isolated incidents, including her own brutal attack a year ago.
“What happened to me was very random. It was totally random. I’m lucky it’s me. I was the last person this person could hurt, ”said Hunter Holen.
Aurora police arrested her suspected assailant shortly after the incident. Hunter Holen said the community has rallied around her, giving her the strength to heal and return to her daily walks along the High Line Canal. “I’m about to go out, to walk, to pick it up,” she said.
Many walkers agreed with her. “I’m an old fashioned hippie, I don’t think we care about minor things like that. I’m not going to stop living because people are weird, ”said Florio.
Security experts say you need to be aware of your surroundings, wherever you are. This includes removing your headphones so you can hear what’s going on around you.
Hunter Holen is working with the High Line Canal Conservancy to organize focus groups to find out what residents would like to see improved. In the meantime, she wants people to feel comfortable and safe here.
“Come and enjoy the canal, have fun and interact with it. I promise you will feel better when you leave, ”said Hunter Holen.
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