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WMATA's Response to Greenbelt Metro Petition Disappoints Residents

The letter lacked the substance that many residents hoped for.

In August, more than 300 College Park residents in hopes of getting cameras installed at the exterior of the Greenbelt Metro station, following a sexual assault that happened on the path there last May. The petition, along with a letter from the city, was sent to Metro in December, urging officials to install security cameras and more effective lighting.

Metro has responded to the petition, but not in the way that many residents were hoping for.

The letter (posted as a PDF at right) stated that "MTPD [Metro Transit Police Department] supports use of cameras and additional lighting wherever necessary," however, they also noted that "Capt. Campbell did not promise that Metro would install cameras along the path or add lighting, nor did he indicate that Metro was conducting studies of adding such measures."

Fazlul Kabir, a North College Park resident who helped organize the petition, called the letter a disappointment.

"Everyone knows that place isn't safe," he said. "It's their job to make it secure, and it looks like they're not really dealing with it at this point."

Kabir said that aside from the cameras, there were other, even more cost-effective steps that Metro could take to increase safety on the long, largely poorly-lit stretch of path that leads to North College Park. He said better lighting and an increased police presence would be a good start.

"I've seen a police car sitting out there, but nobody's ever in it," Kabir said.

Despite the letter's lack of substance, residents aren't giving up. Kabir said the next step will be to discuss the issue with the County Council, as well as Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D-Dist. 21) and Sen. Jim Rosapepe (D-Dist. 21).

Councilman Patrick Wojahn (Dist. 1) said he'd like to take Metro representatives up on their offer for a meeting, and find out what they would be willing to do.

"I was hoping they would be more open to the idea and at least address public safety concerns," he said of the letter. "I guess they're not saying they won't do it, but I wish it were more positive."

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