Title

Evaluating the Impact of Rail-Trails: A Methodology for Assessing Travel Demand and Economic Impacts

Publication Date

2015

Journal

International Journal of Sustainable Transportation

Volume

9

Issue

7

First Page

505

Last Page

519

Abstract

As interest in sustainable transportation options rises, rail-trailsmultiuse paths created from former railroad corridorsare in demand. Rail-trail development projects promote sustainability through environmental, economic, and social benefits such as enhancing public health, reducing vehicular travel, and promoting local economic development. This study explores methods to measure the travel demand and economic impact of developing a rail-trail. A methodology, the Rail-Trail Impact Assessment Method (RTIAM), is proposed and is applied to the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail (BVRT), in Pennsylvania. An agency or committee could follow the method with the goals of (1) identifying trail demand through survey methods, manual counts, and automatic counts, (2) exploring the economic impacts as well as benefits to trail users, and (3) evaluating the need for possible trail expansion. The BVRT case study suggests the applicability of the method to a real-world trail project and exemplifies how local communities can begin to measure and promote the benefits of rail-trail development.

DOI

10.1080/15568318.2013.825035

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS