As the light faded on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 27, members of the Home Park and Tech communities gathered with their bikes and gear just north of the R. Kirk Landon Learning Center on Tumlin St.
Dressed in reflective uniforms and neon safety vests, GTPD and APD officers welcomed community members as they arrived, handing out safety lights for people to attach to their legs.
In total, nearly 100 community members showed up for the Community Bike Night event to bicycle as a group through Home Park, including the public safety committee chair of the Home Park Community Improvement Association.
Before they headed out on their ride, attendees participated in a short warm-up that consisted of yoga poses and stretching. After picking up refreshments, the group began to pedal up Tumlin St. in an extended train of bicyclists and horseback riders.
The bicyclists were led by over 30 GTPD officers, and were joined by over ten APD officers, including its mounted patrol unit, which is composed of officers on horseback.
Together, participants looped through a winding four-mile route between McMillan Street and Atlantic Drive, covering nearly every block of the neighborhood adjacent to Tech’s campus.
Tuesday’s Community Bike Night was organized in response to worries surrounding the recent wave of crime in the Home Park community, including several armed robberies affecting the community in January and early February.
While no robberies have been reported in the last three weeks, GTPD and the APD are continuing their increased join effort to patrol the community and make sure that the members of the Tech community continue to stay safe.
Part of the bike ride was to assess the lighting levels throughout Home Park, which the city is in the process of improving by adding street lamps. Well-lit areas are maintained in order to deter potential criminals.
GTPD representatives said that they saw the bike ride as a success, and they hope to do similar events in the future in order to bring awareness to potential safety issues such as walking alone, poorly lit areas and walking without awareness.
“The turnout was great,” said GTPD Chief Robert Connolly in a statement to Institute Communications. “We had a great time together. I think it was important for the residents of the community to see us riding along with their neighbors. It was a great event. We’ll definitely be doing this again soon.”