A Detailed Analysis of the Influence of Urban Trail System on Travel Behavior

Transportation specialists, urban planners, and public health officials are steadfast in encouraging active modes of transportation over the past few decades. Conventional thinking, however, suggests that providing infrastructure for cycling and walking in the form of off-street trails is critically important. An outstanding question in the literature, however, is how such facilities relate to larger issues of travel behavior. This research describes a highly detailed analysis of use along a primarily off-street trail in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The core questions addressed in this investigation aim to understand relationships between: (1) the propensity of trail use and distance from residence, and (2) how far out of their way do trail users appear to travel for the benefit of using the trail. The data source used in the analysis for this research was collected as a human intercept survey along a section of an off-street facility. Trail users seem to travel significantly out of their way (14.6 percent longer) in order to include a trail facility on their route. The effect is heightened on weekends and on longer trips. The results and analysis in this study may be used to guide planning, maintenance, and programming of Hennepin County’s trail system in upcoming years. The distance decay and shortest path versus taken path analysis offer insight into how far bicyclists are willing to travel in order to use a trail facility. This information can be used to guide the spacing of new trails to maximize levels of use.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01047123
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-3262
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 7:57PM