This study analyzes data from Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram to assess visitation at 10 urban and peri-urban Swiss National Forest Inventory sites and evaluates recreational models on a national scale. Social media text was analyzed and a Flickr-based model and Twitter-based model were compared with a pre-existing potential recreation demand (PRD) model to estimate recreational […]
This study uses mobile data from the analysis platform Streetlight to estimate visitor use in four urban parks and protected areas in Orange County, California. The mobile device methods are compared to other trail counting methods to determine whether mobile device data could be a reliable measure of trailhead visitation counts and spatial distribution of […]
This study estimates the economic impact of the proposed 8.5-mile Pike2Bike trail. More than 80% of Fulton and Bedford County residents expressed support for the proposed Pike2Bike trail and 32% of current and potential business owners indicated they may invest in a new business to support the trail if it were developed. Using surveys, IMPLAN, […]
This study assesses the results from a 2008 survey administered to businesses located near the Otago Central Rail Trail (OCRT) in New Zealand and compares results to a 2005 survey. Data was collected on types of businesses, annual revenue, and business perceptions of the trail. On the OCRT, cyclists were reported to be the most […]
This study summarizes the spending patterns and travel characteristics of respondents cycling on the Murray to the Mountains trail in Australia. A comparison of results to the author’s previous 2003 study on the same trail found that the overall economic contribution per person per trip grew from AUS$203 in 2003 to AUS$483 in 2006, not […]
This report estimates the job creation resulting from the construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities such as bike paths, trails, sidewalks, and related projects. Based on data from transportation and public works departments in 11 cities with 58 projects, the author estimated that on average, these infrastructure projects create 9 in-state jobs for each $1 […]
West of Atlanta, Georgia, the Silver Comet Trail plans to double its 61 miles. This is expected to bring more than 500,000 new tourist visits and $30 million in new spending to the area, while also generating substantial new tax revenues for the state through taxes on sales, income, and newly developed residential properties near the trail.
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).
This study in Minneapolis, Minnesota, finds that commuting rates by bicycle increased substantially between 2000 and 2010 once 10 miles of paved paths separated from roadways were created. Using careful statistical methods, they show that neighborhoods closest to the new paths and with the most commuting routes crossing the paths had the greatest increases in bike commuting rates.
In northwest Arkansas, a substantial investment in paved and unpaved trails has contributed substantially to the region’s well-being (measured in improved health) and economic performance (measured in visitor spending and employee retention). Evidenced by residents’ interest in living close to trails and willingness to pay more for homes near trails, cycling is an essential part of life in this region.
This large study of U.K. residents finds that those who walk or bike to work have significantly lower incidence of and mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Those who incorporate cycling into their commute had the greatest reduction in risk of disease incidence and mortality.
In Burlington, Vermont, a lakefront trail is visited mostly by locals, who use it for both recreation and transportation. Closest to downtown Burlington, non-locals use the trail as much as locals and non-local day trips account for the greatest spending in the community.
In eastern Pennsylvania, the D&L Trail receives approximately 283,000 visits annually, nearly half of whom report using the trail at least once a week. Although the economic impact estimates likely are significantly overstated, the trail’s effect on nearby residents’ health is a substantial, valuable asset.
In rural Bonner County in northern Idaho, trails are used by three-quarters of residents an average of every day in the summer and every other day in the winter. Trail use is high for all residents, even accounting for differences in the length of residence in the county, income, and age. Business owners are more likely to identify trails as an important factor in their decision to move to the county.
In rural Nova Scotia, a proposed trail is predicted to attract 160,000 users per year. Because motorized vehicle use is expected to diminish the quality of non-motorized users’ experience, allowing all-terrain vehicles on the trail is predicted to cut the number of total visits in half.
The Erie Pittsburgh Trail, a network of six connected rail trails in rural northwest Pennsylvania, draw 158,507 users each year. Nine of ten trail users are from Pennsylvania and more than half of all users are riding bikes.
Across upstate New York, the 277-mile Erie Canalway Trail is associated with 1.6 million annual visits, only three percent of which come from outside the region. However, because those non-locals spend large amounts on lodging, the trail generates more than $55 million in spending annually.
In Durham, North Carolina, a bicycle-pedestrian bridge was built to connect two previously separate segments of a regional trail, leading to a 133 percent increase in trail use after its construction. This new connection allows the researchers to demonstrate a substantial increase in physical activity attributable to the bridge, with significant public health benefits for trail users.
This thorough study of a 111-mile regional trail network around Columbus, Ohio found that trail users travelled roughly 11.9 million miles in 2014, mostly by bicycle. Higher population density, easy access from neighborhoods, connection to other trails, and longer trails are associated with greater use.
Non-motorized trail users in Oregon account for 162.3 million user days per year, and the vast majority of these days are spent walking or hiking. While these recreation days are associated with substantial expenditures, the amount spent per person per day and the total economic impact vary greatly within the state.