The Surprising ROI of Trails

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in Transportation Issues Daily and is reposted with permission.

Did you know that investing in trails is good for communities, individuals AND businesses? The ROI for trails is pretty darn good. In fact, surrounding businesses often see an uptick in customers. From a traveler’s perspective, trails are an important piece of an “active transportation” network.

What is “Active transportation,” you ask?

The Partnership for Active Transportation (learn more about them) defines it as “a means of getting around that is powered by human energy, primarily walking and bicycling. Often called “non-motorized transportation,” we prefer the term “active transportation” since it is a more positive statement that expresses the key connection between healthy, active living and our transportation choices.”

Trails don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere, connecting communities. Trails can be, and often are, in the middle of communities – connecting neighborhoods, parks, business districts, and the countryside.

PTA and Rails to Trails (learn more about them) explains the benefits of investing in trails, and describes successful efforts in several cities.

And for a wonderful look at the Monon Trail from a bicyclist’s perspective, check out this blog story that’s chock full of photos.

Investing in Trails: Cost Effective, Good for Communities

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