NC DOT Study Shows the Economic and Health Benefits of Shared Use Paths

A new study released by the NC Department of Transportation shows the positive local benefits that shared use paths (SUPs) provide. The Duck Trail, along with The American Tobacco Trail (Durham), the Little Sugar Creek Greenway (Charlotte), and the Brevard Greenway (Brevard), was investigated as part of the state-wide economic impact study. In the spring of 2016 a pedestrian/bicycle counter was installed at the southern end of the village near Four Seasons Lane. Over the course of a weekend surveys were conducted on trail users at both the southern and northern end of the Village. Based on survey data, approximately 145,700 pedestrians and bicyclists enjoy the trail each year.

Overall, local economies associated with the four study areas showed a positive return on investment (ROI) with every $1.00 of trail construction supporting $1.72 annually from local business revenue, sales tax revenue, and benefits to health and air quality. Locally, the estimated contribution to economic activity by Duck Trail users was the largest of the four paths studied.  Researchers calculate that the Duck Trail supports nearly $7 million annually in local sales revenue, 89 jobs, and $232,000 in local and state tax collections.

For more information, visit the NC Department of Transportation or the NC State University Institute for Transportation Research and Education.