A coalition of local bicycle clubs and other concerned cyclists met on Wednesday Night with the Norristown Police Department and County Officials to discuss harrassment and assault issues in the vicinity of Haws Avenue.
The Meeting was covered in the Times Herald and cyclist Howard Hochheiser reported his observations in an email:
...one of the most important things I got out of the meeting was the value of reporting ALL incidents. I was amazed when we were told that there were very few incidents in the last 3 years, while the experiences of those in the audience painted a very different picture. It seemed like many had a story to tell, mostly of harassment, but some with violence or the threat of violence. It appeared that the scope of the problem in that area was news to many of the police/government people in attendance.
Bottom line, PLEASE report anything, regardless of how small it is, not just something that would require a 911 call. Its the only way to capture the extent problems, and where they lie.
The county and borough will step up patrols in the area. Tasks for the bicycle community resulted in these three strategies:
1. Web Based Reporting System for events that are not 911 worthy, but police should be made aware of. Complaints will be forwarded to the Norristown PD and the County Parks. There is a prototype already in development and when it is formally released it will be available through the BCGP Report a Problem page where for now you can use the generic reporting form.
2. Cameras to monitor the area where the Assault occurred, the cost will be about $2000 plus internet usage fees.
3. Trail work days to clean up the brush where the kids who are throwing rocks at the cyclists are hiding.