Residences of many cities an counties around the country have experienced benefits associated with shared-use paths and linear park spaces. While many of the benefits associated with these types of linear spaces are intuitive, most can be difficult to quantify without extensive baseline assessments prior to their development.
Building upon work completed for the Ludlam Trail Design Guidelines and Standards, the Miami-Dade County Trail Benefits Study uses the Ludlam Trail as a case study to identify benefits associated with the development of shared-use nonmotorized paths and trails, which can be transferable to other similar corridors within Miami-Dade County.
Carlos F. Perez served as the Lead Planner and David Barth served as the Principal-In-Charge for the project and worked collaboratively with Miami-Dade County in researching and developing many of the methodologies used for the case study while working for AECOM. Based on the these methodologies, it was identified that for each mile of urban trail developed in Miami-Dade County, the surrounding community could experience the following benefits:
• Enhanced accessibility to schools, parks, transit stations and bus stops for approximately 5,000 people
• Reduction in direct medical costs for residents by as much as $365,000 annually
• Reduction in motorized vehicle trips on area streets by approximately 140,000 trips each year
• Decreased carbon dioxide emissions by 63 tons annually through fewer vehicle trips
• Saving approximately 6,000 gallons of fuel from being consumed annually per mile of trail
• $27 million in pollution control savings from new tree canopies
• Carbon sequestration of nearly 850 tons over a 50 year life span from new vegetation
• Increased property values by as much as $45 million within twenty-five years, leading to nearly $1 million in additional property tax revenues
• Increased retail sales of as much as $1.3 million for area businesses
• Additional state and local retail sales tax revenue of approximately $90,000 annually
• The creation of approximately 11 new retail jobs