Two of the biggest concerns that citizens have during the Greenway planning process are safety and economic impact. We always hear concerns from citizens that Greenways will only create a place for bad things to happen and that Greenways are a waste of the Town’s money and will reduce real estate value for adjacent property owners.
There have been numerous studies that debunk these myths. In the worst case scenario, crime rates and property values of the surrounding area remain unchanged after the development of a Greenway. But in most cases, crime rates go down and property values go up, while economic development in surrounding areas increases.
Below are several resources that speak to the economic and safety concerns related to Greenways:
- I-40 bridge a boost for health, business
- Trails and Economic Development
- What Economic Impact Do Tails Have In Our Communities
- Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails, and Greenway Corridors (National Park Service)
- Preliminary Assessment of Crime Risk along Greenways in Charlotte, North Carolina 1994-2004
- Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance
- Rails-Trails and Safe Communities
A study of the impacts of greenbelts on neighborhood property values in Boulder, Colorado, revealed the aggregate property value for one neighborhood was approximately $5.4 million greater than if there had been no greenbelt. This results in approximately $500,000 additional potential property tax revenue annually.
– Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails and Greenway Corridors, National Park Service / 1995
The proposed Carolina Thread Trail is projected to raise housing values by 4 percent along the trail’s route, for an average of $3,380 per home. Total dollar gain in the affected area running through 15 counties is projected to be $1.7 billion.
– The Potential Economic Impacts of the Proposed Carolina Thread Trail, Econsult Corporation & Greenways Inc. report to Catawba Land Conservancy / 2007
“The Mispillion River Greenway is credited with inspiring downtown investment and a net gain in new businesses with more than 250 people working in a downtown that was nearly vacant 10 years ago.”
– Economic Benefits of Trails and Greenways, published by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy 2003