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D.C. bike trail rangers will help cyclists, monitor trails

Tuesday - 6/25/2013, 5:03am  ET

WASHINGTON - Two weeks after a group of teens on a D.C. bike trail assaulted a bicyclist, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is starting a program that puts rangers on off-road biking trails.

The program, which will put four trained cyclists on the city's four biking trails, is not in response to the assault on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, coordinators say. It was in the planning stages months ago.

"The trail rangers are out there to put more eyes on the trail and to help folks with basic way-finding, emergency bike repairs, first aid and to collect data on maintenance needs for trails," says Trail Ranger Coordinator Garrett Hannigan.

The group is partnering with the Student Conservation Association, an organization with experience monitoring hiking trails. Hannigan says the students, over the age of 21, will be trained in bike maintenance and first aid.

D.C.'s Off-Road Trails:

  • Metropolitan Branch Trail
  • Anacostia River Walk Trail
  • Marvin Gaye Trail
  • Suitland Parkway Trial

D.C's four off-road bike trails will be monitored by the green and yellow outfitted rangers during the morning and evening rush -- 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as on weekends.

The trail ranger program is still looking to fill its paid positions before it plans to ask for volunteer and community help.

"We will be looking to do some trail cleanup days, looking for community involvement anyone who is interested in making these trails as good as they can be," Hannigan says.

WTOP's Darci Marchese and Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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