Trails Benefits Library

This Trails Benefits Library is a collection of studies on the positive impacts of trails on businesses, public health, and quality of life. Use this form to search by type of benefit, use, year, and region.

Find trails studies by:

Benefit

Use

Year

Region

Studies found (7) for California:

Association Between User-Generated Commuting Data and Population-Representative Active Commuting Surveillance Data—Four Cities, 2014-2015

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
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Uses studied:
Overview: One of the primary concerns about data from GPS tracking apps is that the users tend to be more frequent recreators or commuters and therefore do not accurately represent the actual population. This paper shows that there is a strong correlation between the reported share of people in a neighborhood commuting by active transportation between the American Community Survey (a nationally representative survey) and Strava (a GPS tracking app).
Region: ,
Place: Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; and San Francisco, California
Citation: Whitfield, G.P. 2016. Association Between User-Generated Commuting Data and Population-Representative Active Commuting Surveillance Data—Four Cities, 2014–2015. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 65(36): 959-962.

Neighborhood Income Matters: Disparities in Community Recreation Facilities, Amenities, and Programs

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: At a sample of recreation centers in southern California, researchers find that several measures of facility condition and amenities are better in high-income neighborhoods relative to low-income neighborhoods. The likelihood that a child uses the recreation center increases 23 percent for each $10,000 increase in neighborhood income, but the authors do not find a relationship between the quality of the facility and participation rates.
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Place: San Diego County
Citation: McKenzie, T.L., Moody, J.S., Carlson, J.A., Lopez, N.V. and Elder, J.P., 2013. Neighborhood income matters: disparities in community recreation facilities, amenities, and programs. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 31(4): 12.

Neighborhood Poverty, Park Use, and Park-Based Physical Activity in a Southern California City

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: A large study of 50 urban parks in Southern California measures park use by nearby residents and other users across high-, medium-, and low-poverty areas, finding that parks are used less in high-poverty areas. Those who do use parks in high-poverty areas, however, on average use the parks more per week, are more likely to see familiar people in the parks, and use the parks more when there are more staff present.
Region:
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Place: Large southern California city
Citation: Cohen, D.A., Han, B., Derose, K.P., Williamson, S., Marsh, T., Rudick, J. and McKenzie, T.L., 2012. Neighborhood poverty, park use, and park-based physical activity in a Southern California city. Social Science & Medicine 75(12): 2317-2325.

Childhood Obesity and Proximity to Urban Parks and Recreational Resources: A Longitudinal Cohort Study

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: By following a large sample of children over time, this study demonstrates that children who participate in recreation programs, or who live a walkable distance from parks, are much less likely to be obese or overweight. These benefits can be achieved through formal parks and programs, but also through accessible green space or other small, informal places that encourage informal play.
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Place: Los Angeles County
Citation: Wolch, J., Jerrett, M., Reynolds, K., McConnell, R., Chang, R., Dahmann, N., Brady, K., Gilliland, F., Su, J.G. and Berhane, K., 2011. Childhood obesity and proximity to urban parks and recreational resources: a longitudinal cohort study. Health & Place 17(1): 207-214.

Economic Benefits of Mountain Bike Tourism for Santa Cruz County

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: This report on the potential for mountain bike tourism in Santa Cruz County, California demonstrates how trail advocates can use existing research studies to help make a case for trail development in their community. The authors argue that the presence of significant bike industry companies, a large existing social trail network, and appealing climate and terrain create a strong potential for mountain bike tourism.
Region:
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Place: Santa Cruz County
Citation: Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. 2007. Economic Benefits of Mountain Bike Tourism for Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz, CA: Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz.

Parks and Park Funding in Los Angeles: An Equity-Mapping Analysis

→Summary & Interpretation

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Overview: In Los Angeles, historic land use policies that emphasized low-density housing and did not prioritize public park spaces have led to significant inequities of park access across race, ethnicity, and income. A fund designed to improve access to public parks could exacerbate this problem unless it considers proposals for nontraditional public spaces such as schoolyards and vacant lots, because there is very little available park space in the most underserved neighborhoods.
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Place: City of Los Angeles
Citation: Wolch, J., Wilson, J.P. and Fehrenbach, J., 2005. Parks and park funding in Los Angeles: An equity-mapping analysis. Urban Geography 26(1): 4-35.

Outdoor Recreation Net Benefits of Rail-Trails

→Summary & Interpretation

Year:
Uses studied: ,
Overview: This study found that trail users are willing to incur greater expenses and travel further to use rural trails, and spend more time on those trails while they are there, indicating these trails are enjoyed by both locals and non-locals. Urban trails, on the other hand, are mainly a resource for local residents, and are used much more frequently and for shorter periods of times.
Region: , ,
Place: Dubuque County (IA), Tallahassee (FL), Oakland (CA)
Citation: Siderelis, C. and R. Moore. 1995. “Outdoor recreation net benefits of rail-trails.” Journal of Leisure Research 27(4): 344-359.