Most Americans are concerned about crime. Safe neighborhoods are of prime concern and priority to metro area residents. Some of the most successful deterrents to criminal activity involve increasing neighborhood awareness by citizens and participation in community watch programs. Greenways have proven to be an effective tool to encourage local residents to participate in neighborhood programs. Some greenways have been developed as part of efforts to deter criminal activity in a neighborhood. Crime statistics and reports from law enforcement officials have shown that parks and greenways are typically land uses with the lowest incidence of reported criminal activity.
As a recreation resource, alternative transportation corridor, or area where fitness activities take place, most greenways provide a safer and much more user-friendly resource than other linear corridors, such as local roads. Greenways typically attract local residents who use the facilities frequently, creating an environment that is virtually self-policing. Additionally, greenways, whether publicly or privately owned, are dedicated for multiple use and are normally designed to meet federal, state, and local standards for public safety and use.