Neighboring Landowner Attitudes Regarding A Proposed Greenway Trail: Assessing Differences Between Adjacent and Nearby Residents
Keywords:Attitudes, Beliefs, Greenways, Landowners, Trails
AbstractIn this exploratory study the beliefs of property owners in Cary, NC, were assessed regarding issues associated with a proposed greenway trail development within a quarter mile of their primary residence. Th e relationships of those beliefs to the individual’s attitude regarding proposed development near their primary residence were then evaluated. Belief dimensions investigated in this study were identified through a review of the trail and greenway literature and incorporated aff ective, behavioral, and cognitive measures consistent with tripartite attitude theory. Th is investigation of the beliefs underlying attitudes was undertaken to better understand the factors which negatively influence neighboring landowners’ perceptions of greenway trail development. Further analysis was conducted which compared adjacent (shared property boundary) to nearby (located within one quarter mile) property owner beliefs and attitudes. Consistent with previous research, all six belief dimensions (i.e., future property value, property damage, landowner liability, privacy, trespassing and crime) were signifi cantly related to neighboring landowners’ overall attitudes toward proposed greenway trail development. Additionally, adjacent landowners were less supportive in their attitudes towards the proposed greenway trail than were nearby landowners. The future property value dimension was found to explain most of the variance in global attitude toward greenway trail development. Th ese results suggest that agencies developing greenway trails should take steps to raise awareness of neighboring landowners regarding proposed projects and potential issues associated with living near greenway trails. Findings also indicate that the greenway trail planning process should include neighboring landowners so that their concerns may be voiced and properly addressed. Greenway planners may want to treat adjacent and nearby property owners as separate constituencies since attitudes varied greatly between the two groups. An educational strategy should be developed for adjacent landowners in order to raise awareness of planned development, to provide accurate information, and to address concerns. Other implications for planners and researchers are discussed.
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