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Feature Story

July 2016


Trail-Oriented Development Eases Congestion, Encourages Activity

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

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Research Shows Benefits of Nature for Older Adults - June 2016

Destination Play Comes to Draper, Utah - June 2016

New Report Breaks Down the Data on City Parks - June 2016

Virtual Reality, Immersion & Interaction Lead Amusement Park Trends in 2016 - June 2016

National Leaders Team Up to Promote Physical Activity Plan - May 2016

Growing Economic Confidence Means More Visitors for Attractions Industry - May 2016

SHAPE America Recognizes Just Dance School of the Year - May 2016

Surgeon General Visits Gregory Gym in Austin - May 2016

Are States Dropping the Ball on Keeping Kids Active? - April 2016

U.S. Masters Swimming Campaigns to Reduce Adult Drowning - April 2016

Grants for Urban Outdoor Recreation Available - April 2016

Physical Education Program Grant Competition Opens - April 2016

Nature Play Comes to Wildwood - March 2016

Miracle Swimming Opens First Pool Dedicated to Those With Water Fears - March 2016

Managing Concussion Risk: Communities Switch From Contact to Flag Football - March 2016

Gallup Study Looks at Long-Term Well-Being of Former Student Athletes - March 2016

Purdue University Simplifies & Boosts Security - February 2016

Fitness Fosters Better Mental Health - February 2016

Restricting Diving May Have Little to Do With Preventing Injury, Study Says - February 2016

National Parks Work to Protect Bats and Their Habitats - February 2016

USTA Helps Communities Boost Tennis Participation - February 2016

Organizations Aim to Clarify Dangers of Hypoxic Blackout - January 2016

NRPA Receives Grant to Celebrate Those Advancing Health Equity - January 2016

Expanding Education on Concussion in Sports - January 2016

Omnibus Budget Boosts Funding for National Parks, Extends LWCF - January 2016

NRPA Study Shows Local Parks Have Significant Economic Impact in All 50 States - December 2015

ACA to Launch Training for Camps Serving Youth With Chronic Illness - November 2015

ACSM, PRIVIT Aim to Promote Athlete Health & Safety - November 2015

Veterans Earn Scholarships Toward Fitness Careers - November 2015

Pediatricians Tackle Youth Football Injuries - October 2015

2015 State of Obesity Report Suggests Policies for Improving Health - October 2015

Leading Fitness Associations Study Fitness Industry Trends - September 2015

ACE Survey: How Are Wearable Activity Devices Affecting the Fitness Industry? - September 2015

U.S. Tennis Participation Up - August 2015

IHRSA Report Examines Member Retention in Detail - August 2015

Make Your Voice Heard: Drive Healthy & Safe Swimming - July 2015

2015's Best & Worst Cities for Recreation - July 2015

By David Mumpower

Urban traffic congestion is a seemingly unavoidable part of everyday living in major metropolitan areas. In collaboration with real estate developers, city planners have started implementing new solutions to this age-old problem. They've noticed a surge in commuter usage of alternative transportation methods such as biking and walking. Their data analysis has led to new innovations in city and neighborhood construction.

Trail-oriented development celebrates the myriad benefits of active commuting options in lieu of private and public transportation. Rather than build a mixed-use development that favors passive ride systems such as cars and buses, trail-oriented planners offer infrastructure that caters to cycling and walking enthusiasts. By adding nearby trails to communities, health- and budget-conscious residents can reduce their carbon footprint while burning calories and saving on the cost of fuel. Statistics indicate that millennials in particular relish this movement away from reliance on cars.

From a business perspective, trail-oriented development is a strong investment. Research about biking and walking trails underscores this notion. Well-positioned neighborhoods featuring trail-oriented development claim stronger resale value. They also sell at a dramatically faster rate than trail-less developments. According to the Urban Land Institute, homes located near the Atlanta Beltline's multi-trail "have started selling within 24 hours." Demand is that great for forward-thinking communities.

Once you decide to turn your development into a biking-friendly one, there are several considerations involving functionality. Many of the most popular trail facilities emphasize convenience for their residents. Their onsite facilities run the gamut of biking and walking needs. After all, if someone's bike tears up, they won't have the ability to use the accompanying trail.

In bike-friendly communities, a repair store and a community mechanic are recommended options. The latter person doesn't have to work full-time. Instead, you'll simply need someone who can provide such services in a timely manner. A bike cleaning station is also a must, and a bike valet, a sort of coat check for bikes, will reduce the clutter around the buildings. The professional you hire to park the bikes will transfer them to and from a less visible storage lot.

Since a strength of trail-oriented development is its communal nature, residents who don't own bikes should have options as well. A bike rental service represents a monetization opportunity for the developer while providing utility to inhabitants. Alternately, a ride-sharing service gives everyone who lives in the neighborhood the same opportunity to embrace the available trails.

The next generation of professionals isn't as attached to cars. The communities you build today can appeal to the homeowners of today and tomorrow. The key is to move away from reliance on automobiles and public transportation. The strategy to fill that void involves the addition of trails to neighborhood developments. Simply by giving residents the option, homes will sell faster and at a higher value. Trail-oriented development is the future of close-knit neighborhoods.


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