OUTCOMES - WHAT COMES OUT FROM A BUILT TRAIL

Constituents:

Individual users and groups of individuals use many types of trails in the United States. Some of the users are walkers (hikers), dog walkers, strollers, wheelchair users, joggers, runners, bicyclists, in-line skates, horseback riders, nature lovers, and  photographers, to name a few. While all users are individuals, some are members of local, state, and/or national groups which promote one or a combination of uses. Some of these groups are linked here: Indianapolis Hiking Club, American Hiking Society, Central Indiana Bicycling Association, Indiana Horse Council, Hoosier Rails to Trails Council (representing walkers, runners, bicyclists, and others).

Benefits:   

Trails offer many benefits for users, constituents, communities, and…(in no particular order)…

Individual economic savings – For persons who are able to walk or bicycle to their job, school, or errands, they will be able to save both the cost of not using gasoline, but also not using automobile depreciation and operating costs beyond gasoline.   

Community economic savings – If a large number of people in a community walk and bicycle to jobs, schools, errands, etc., then the community will not have to rely upon building more and more, wider and wider streets and roads. Thus, not only will the community be able to save building costly roads, but (because land use follows transportation) communities will also be able
to save money by building fewer streets and roads in more dense neighborhoods, rather than building increasing lenghths and widths of streets and roads, paticularly per population. This increase of street and road lenghts and widths per population can be described in the one word phrase "sprawl," which creates a philosophy and practice of' a car-dependent society.                                                         

Individual health – The more those persons who walk or bicycle do take advantage of trails, whether for health, recreation, or transportation, will not only tend to forestall health ailments, but will likely improve their health and overall bodily functions from eating to sleeping.

Improve community health – The more persons within a society are active (walk, bike, etc.) and healthy (eating, sleeping, thinking, and living a more balanced life), the more health the overall society and community will be.

Environmental – The more trails are used in a community (for walking, bicycling, etc.) the less car exhaust and the more trees and green scape (bio-mass) will tend to keep air clean, to name just one example.  A row of trees, hedges, etc, can and will provide.   

Community development – Trails in urban, suburban, and ex-urb areas, can connect neighborhoods and nodes, the more likely real estate buildings will tend to enhance dense development and therefore spur more community neighborhoods development.  Real estate development is precisely one of the outcomes of the Monon Indianapolis, and Monon Carmel segments.
Under used land along these segments have spurred. 
   

Individual social health – Portland, Oregon exemplifies a community which has such a large number of daily hikers, walkers, and  bicyclists, that at any one time or another many types of people will meet, either by chance or by plan, in using trails and corridors. Some of these will be children, singles, young parents, middle agers, and seniors.   

Individual mental health – Ever been frustrated with a challenge, then taken a walk, and soon enough thought of a way to solve the challenge? Going for a walk – especially on a trail – is a wonderful way to accentuate the positive perceptions and dispel the negatives in one’s life.