Bicycle-Pedestrian Trail Benefits

The benefits of adding well connected bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in communities has been thoroughly studied and documented. Below are a few excerpts from various studies.


A study of property values in Boulder, Colorado, noted that housing prices declined an average of $4.20 for each foot of distance from a greenbelt (trail) up to 3,200 feet. In one neighborhood, this figure was $10.20 for each foot of distance. The same study determined that, other variables being equal, the average value of property adjacent to the greenbelt would be 32% higher than those 3,200 feet away. Source

“A number of studies have now shown that urban greenway trails do not
increase crime and, in fact, are commonly regarded as improvements by
adjacent property owners. Comparisons of mugging, assault, rape, and
murder make it quite clear that rail-trail crime rates are almost non-existent
on a per capita comparison to other areas.”
Source: Bike Path Phobia: Selling Skeptics on Urban Greenway Bike Paths, Parks & Recreation 2000.ii Tod Schneider


Study shows increased property values near greenways and trails in Indianapolis.


Home Sales Near Two Massachusetts Trails

“Homes sales were examined in the seven Massachusetts towns through
which the Minuteman Bikeway and Nashua River Rail Trail run. Statistics
on list and selling prices and on days on the market were analyzed. The
analysis shows that homes near these rail trails sold at 99.3% of the list
price as compared to 98.1% of the list price for other homes sold in these
towns. The most significant feature of home sales near rail trails is that
these homes sold in an average of 29.3 days as compared to 50.4 days for
other homes.”

Economic Benefits of Trails and Greenways

“A 1998 study of property values along the Mountain Bay Trail in Brown
County, Wisconsin shows that lots adjacent to the rail sold faster and for
an average of 9 percent more than similar property not located next to
the trail.”

“Realizing the selling power of greenways, developers of the Shepherd’s
Vineyard housing development in Apex, North Carolina added $5,000 to
the price of 40 homes adjacent to the regional greenway, Those homes
were still the first to sell.”

Perceptions of How the Presence of Greenway Trails Affects the Value of
Proximate Properties.

“A comparison of the lots within the original Highridge Estates
subdivision indicated that those lots located immediately adjacent to the
trail sold for an average of nine percent higher than other lots. In
addition to selling for more, the lots along the trail also sold faster.”



Crime associated with trails

This study shows that occurrence of major crimes committed affecting the estimated 5 million trail users across the country, is vastly below national rates for those crimes. For somewhere between 10 to 15% of the trails surveyed, the types of problems that were most often associated with trails are litter, illegal motor vehicle use, and disruptive noise (almost half of the users surveyed said these were not problems at all.) Figure 1 below shows statistics for major crimes.