Living Near Greenways: Neighboring Landowners' Experiences With and Attitudes Toward Rail-Trails


  • Roger L. Moore
  • Alan R. Graefe
  • Richard J. Gitelson


Green ways, Rail-Trails, Trails, Private Property, Landowners, Attitudes, Satisfaction.


This study examined the trail-related experiences and attitudes of landowners living near three diverse rail-trails across the U.S. A systematically selected sample of 663 owners living adjacent to or near the trails was obtained using property tax records and trail managers' records. Chi-square and one-way analysis of variance procedures revealed numerous significant differences (.05 level) among the three trails in terms of land ownership patterns, land use, and trail use. Although many sample landowners did report having experienced trail-related problems, owners were supportive of the trails overall. Few differences were found among trails in the types and rates of problems experienced, suggesting that planners might anticipate and should address a predictable set of potential problems along such green ways. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the number of trail-related problems landowners experienced and landowners' initial attitudes toward the trails were the only variables significantly related to current satisfaction with the trails. Since planners and managers generally have some control over both of these variables, it is suggested that particular emphasis be placed on developing positive relations with landowners during early stages of trail projects and promptly addressing trail-related problems experienced by adjoining landowners. More research is suggested regarding the formation of attitudes, particularly initial impressions, and the relationship between trail use and trail problems.





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