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Friends of the Black Butte Trail

Concerns Regarding Public Safety Near Trails

A study has been undertaken to assess the Seattle area’s 12 mile long Burke-Gilman Trail’s effect on property values and crime. The study finds that that concerns about decreased property values, increased crime, and a lower quality of life due to the construction of multi-use trails are unfounded. In fact, the report finds that the opposite is true. The study indicates that multi-use trails are an amenity that help sell homes, increase property values and improve the quality of life. The report finds that multi-use trails are tremendously popular and should continue to be built to meet the ever-growing demand for bicycle facilities. Residents adjacent to the Burke-Gilman Trail are also positive about the trail. A former opponent of the trail (her home is on the trail) stated that the “trail is much more positive than I expected. I was involved in citizens groups opposed to the trail. I now feel that the trail is very positive”. There is also a very high level of public acceptance and support for the trail. Not a single resident surveyed felt the trail should be closed. None of the residents felt that any crime or vandalism had taken place that made them consider wanting to move. Almost two-thirds of the residents felt the trail increased the quality of life in the neighborhood.

Police officers interviewed about the Burke-Gilman Trail’s stated that there is not a greater incidence of burglaries and vandalism of homes along the trail. They attribute that fact to the absence of motor vehicles. The police officers said that there would be no significant trail problems as long as bollards prevent motor vehicle use. They also recommend the development of additional trails.

 

 

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A study in six Indiana cities found that trails are very popular with residents, especially those who live closest to the trail, and the support of residents for trails can be solidified by the establishment of volunteer groups that form both patrols and look after clean-up and maintenance. The benefits of these trails can be expanded if cities are able to increase use by commuters and visitors.

Another Idiana study found that the qualitative benefits to property owners, including access to recreation and the natural world and connection to neighbors, far outweigh the negative effects of living even adjacent to a multiuse trail. The negative effects, including trespassing, less privacy, and dog waste, were not widespread across users and may be mitigated with trail design. Many respondents had concerns regarding trespassing, litter, and noise before the trails were built, but they ultimately had few problems after the trails were built. Again, keep in mind the proposed Sisters to Black Butte ranch has a separation of at least 371 feet to private homes.

In Delaware, Ohio, trails helped develop a sense of community and lowered crime.

 

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The Burke-Gillman Trail studies clearly indicate that keeping automobiles off paved trails is the effective solution for maintaining security and safety.

 

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