Page 1

2017 Indiana Trails Study B-Line Trail

Measuring the Health, Economic, and Community Impacts of Trails in Indiana

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands 501 N. Morton St., Suite 101, Bloomington IN 47404 www.eppley.org


2017 Indiana Trails Study B-Line Trail Sponsors Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington Greenways Foundation of Indiana George and Frances Ball Foundation Completed by

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands Stephen A. Wolter Co-Principal Investigator William D. Ramos Co-Principal Investigator Project Associates/ Research Team Layne Elliott, Project Manager Abbas Smiley, Statistical Consultant Sara Suhaibani May 31, 2018

Copyright Notice This report is the property of the Trustees of Indiana University on behalf of the Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands. It may not be duplicated or used in any way without written permission of Indiana University. Š 2018, Trustees of Indiana University on behalf of the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands Cite as: Wolter, S., Elliott, L., Ramos, W., Smiley, A., Suhaibani, S. (2018). Summary report: 2017 Indiana trails study. Bloomington, IN. Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University.

B-Line Trail iii


Table of Contents Acknowledgements

vii

Background

1

B-Line Trail

2

Description of the Trail

2

Trail Map

3

Study Methods

4 4 5 6

Findings

7 7 7 11 14 16 20 27 30 31 35

Summary and Conclusions

37

References

38

iv 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Table of Figures Table 1: Study Timeline

7

Table 2: What Type of Activity do You Mostly Do on the Trail?

8

Table 3: Distance, Time, and Days per Week of Primary Activity

9

Table 4: Is There a Second Activity that You Do on the Trail?

9

Table 5: What is the Second Activity You Do on the Trail?

10

Table 6: Distance, Time, and Days per Week of Secondary Activity

10

Table 7: On Most Days, Where Do You Usually Come from to Get to the Trail?

11

Table 8: On Most Days How do You Get to the Trail?

11

Table 9: How Far do You Travel to Use the Trail?

12

Table 10: If You Were to Walk to the Trail, How Long Would It Take You?

13

Table 11: How Long Have You Been Using the Trail?

13

Table 12: While On the Trail do You Usually Use it…

14

Table 13: Who do You Usually Use the Trail With?

14

Table 14: What Time of the Day do You Usually Use the Trail?

15

Table 15: What is the Primary Reason You Use This Trail Instead of Other Facilities?

16

Table 16: Scenery (Beauty of Environment)

17

Table 17: Terrain (Flat, Paved, etc.)

17

Table 18: Access (No Cost Associated With Use)

18

Table 19: Convenience (Location)

18

Table 20: Friendly Atmosphere (Social Environment)

18

Table 21: Accessible Features (Ease of Entry/exit, Seating, Surface, etc.)

19

Table 22: Outdoor (Environment/Access to Nature)

19

Table 23: Safety

20

Table 24: Parking (Lack of, or Cost)

21

Table 25: Accessibility of the Trail

21

Table 26: Location

22

Table 27: Facilities (Restrooms, Water Fountains)

22

Table 28: Maintenance

22

Table 29: Space/Congestion on the Trail

23

Table 30: Fear of Injury

23

Table 31: Bikers/Skaters Going Too Fast

23

Table 32: Police Presence

24

Table 33: Adequate Signage

24

Table 34: Visibility of Distance / Mile Markers

24

Table 35: Unleashed Pets

25

B-Line Trail v


Table 36: Wild Animals

25

Table 37: What Concerns You Most About the Trail?

26

Table 38: Did You Exercise Regularly (Three or More Times per Week for 20 Minutes per Session) Before Using a Trail?

27

Table 39: Since Beginning to Use a Trail, Has the Amount of Exercise that You Do...

27

Table 40: Since Using the Trail, Approximately how Much has Your Exercise Level Increased?

27

Table 41: Physical Activities in the Past Month, Apart from Your Trail Activities

28

Table 42: Time Spent Doing Physical Activities Altogether

29

Table 43: For the Items Listed Below, Please Indicate Your Amount Spent on the Day You Used the Trail and also Your Estimated Annual Spending

30

Table 44: Age

31

Table 45: Gender

31

Table 46: Race/Ethnic Origin

32

Table 47: Marital Status

32

Table 48: Employment Status

33

Table 49: Employment Satisfaction

33

Table 50: Educational Attainment

34

Table 51: Household Income Level

34

Table 52: Monthly counts on the B-Line Trail

36

Table 53: Average daily counts on the B-Line Trail

36

Figure 1: Location of Indiana Trails Study Participating Trails

4

Figure 2: B-Line Trail near City Hall

5

Figure 3: Survey location at Seventh Street

6

Figure 4: Biker on the B-Line at Fourth Street

9

Figure 5: The “Diamond Bridge” over Third Street

10

Figure 6: Family and Friends on the B-Line Trail

15

Figure 7: Trail plaza near City Hall

17

Figure 8: B-Line Trail at City Hall

20

Figure 9: Interpretive panel on the B-Line

24

Figure 10: Trailside restaurant window on the B-Line Trail

30

Figure 11: B-Line Trail at Fourth Street

36 

vi 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Acknowledgements Bloomington Parks and Recreation Paula McDevitt, Director Dave Williams, Operations & Development Director Julie Ramey, Community Relations Manager Sarah Owen, Community Relations Coordinator Nikki McEachern, Community Relations Coordinator

Bloomington Planning and Transportation Department Beth Rosenbarger, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator

Trails Study Advisory Group Mitch Barloga- Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Karen Bohn- Greenways Foundation of Indiana Bob Bronson- Indiana Department of Natural Resources Angie Pool- Cardinal Greenways, Inc. Dawn Ritchie- Ft. Wayne Parks and Recreation Rory Robinson- National Park Service Yvette Rollins- Greenways Foundation of Indiana

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands Hana Cleveland Gina Depper Layne Elliott Derek Herrmann Crystal Howell Matthew Johnson Kevin Naaman Katy Patrick Elizabeth Sherrill Abbas Smiley Sara Suhaibani Stephen Wolter Stefanie Wong

B-Line Trail vii


2017 Indiana Trails Study Background

Multi-use trails are becoming a popular initiative across the country, as they provide recreational and health opportunities for users. In Indiana, a Trails Advisory Board was established by the Director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (“Indiana Trails Advisory Board” n.d.) in June 1994. An Advisory Board was formed to make recommendations regarding planning for and implementing multi-use trails and to allow Indiana to apply for funding from the federal Recreational Trails Program. The majority of Indiana trails are built with a mix of state and federal funding. This funding has resulted in more than 3,500 miles of public multipurpose trails, all of which contribute to Indiana’s State Trails Plan goal of providing a trail within five miles of every Indiana resident. The state’s commitment to reaching this goal has led to an increase in the level of trail access from 70% of residents in 2006 to 94.4% of residents in 2017 (“Indiana State Trails Plan” 2017). Due to the rapid increase of trails in the state, a thorough investigation of trail use, trends, benefits, and attitudes of trail users and trail neighbors became necessary. The Indiana Trails Study was developed to gather and better understand information on trail use and its benefits. The first Indiana Trails Study, published in 2001, described findings from a six-trail study utilizing trail traffic data, surveys of trail users, surveys of trail neighbors, and a review of other relevant studies. The 2017 Indiana Trails Study, which included three of the trails from the original study, uses the same methods, along with surveys of a control group of non-trail users, and includes information on the following: trail use levels; trail management practices; the opinions of trail users, non-users, and neighbors; and data related to trails’ impact on public health and state and local economies.

B-Line Trail 1


B-Line Trail Description of the Trail Opened in 2009, the B-Line was constructed on the bed of the former CSX Railroad. The trail is 3.1 miles long and stretches from Adams Street on Bloomington’s north side to Country Club Drive on Bloomington’s south side. The paved, accessible trail is 12’ wide and features easy access from any number of east-west streets along its length. The B-Line Trail connects with the Bloomington Rail Trail trailhead at Country Club Drive. Four plazas on the B-Line Trail are constructed of brick pavers and provide gathering spaces for theater, music, speeches, and other forms of public art. The Farmers’ Market Plaza at 6th and Morton Streets hosts a variety of local farm vendors every Saturday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., April Through November. At the Farmers’ Market Plaza is Plaza oneA, Bloomington’s tribute to the First Amendment. Animal Island Plaza at Fourth Street is next to the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology. Shade structures, picnic tables, and a drinking fountain are located at Animal Island Plaza. The REALTOR Plaza is located behind the Convention Center at Third Street. The Bloomington Board of REALTORS made a substantial contribution toward the development of this plaza area. Benches and human/pet drinking fountains are also located throughout the downtown section of the trail. Generous financial support from IU Health Bloomington helped provide several fitness stations along the trail. Future plans for the B-Line include the development of Switchyard Park, adjacent to the trail on the south side of downtown Bloomington. The park will be developed on property that serves as a train yard of the same CSX Railroad line that is now home to the trail. At just over 65 acres, the park will feature not only the trail but pavilions and shelters, a stage, community gardens, playgrounds, a skate park, a dog park, a splash pad, recreation facilities, restored wetlands, and open space.

2 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Trail Map

B-Line Trail 3


Study Methods The Indiana state government and local communities have made a significant commitment to build, operate, and maintain trails. The benefits of the policy and implementation of a state-wide trail system are often stated based on evaluation, comments, and research on a national level. Indiana is unique in that it began a state-wide study in 2000, the first Indiana Trails Study, which described findings from a six-trail study utilizing trail traffic data, surveys of trail users, surveys of trail neighbors, and a review of other relevant studies. The first Indiana Trails Study provided significant value and benefits to trails in Indiana and was cited frequently in the state and nationally. The 2017 Indiana Trails Study, suggested in part to replicate the 2000-2001 study by Indiana trail advocates, uses these methods along with surveys of a control group of non-trail users in order to gather updated data on the trails, including the following: trail use levels; trail management practices; the opinions of trail users, non-users, and neighbors; and data related to trails’ impact on public health and state and local economies. Specifically, the 2017 study’s methods include:

• Traffic (user) counts collected via trail counters at select trail segments • Online surveys (or paper-mail surveys upon request) of both trail users and a control group of non-users • Online surveys of trail-adjacent property owners (that is, “trail neighbors”) • Review of recent research and trail-related studies Collection of data on non-trail users and trail neighbors was not trail specific and is not included in this report. The 2017 Indiana Trails Study Summary Report contains an analysis of trail neighbor data, while the Summary Report and further published reports will reference non-trail user, or control group, data.

Selection of Participant Trails

Figure 1: Location of Indiana Trails Study Participating Trails

4 2017 Indiana Trail Study


One of the important components of the study was the selection of trails. The process used similar criteria to the study from 2001 and sought an equal mix of geographic locations and rural to urban settings. No single definition of “urban”, “suburban”, or ”rural” fit the needs of this study, so a compilation of sources including the Indiana Department of Transportation, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other anecdotal sources were used to create the following definitions. Rural areas were defined as residential areas of at least one acre on average, as well as farmland, open range, or forest. Suburban areas were defined as areas of average density of single family homes and light commercial development. Urban areas were defined as areas of dense residential, commercial, or industrial development and included medium to larger city centers. This method provided a more accurate depiction of the trails in Indiana’s trail network. Other criteria for selecting study trails included:

• The trail contributes to a statewide mix of trails • Participation in the 2001 Indiana Trails Study • The ability and willingness of the managing organization to fully participate based on:

þþ Length of time the agency has been in existence þþ Functioning Board of Directors or agency support þþ Available paid staff or the ability to generate a volunteer staff for data collection

þþ Number of volunteers available þþ Length of time volunteer network has been in existence • The agency’s access to trail counters • The agency’s ability to provide a list of neighboring properties visually abutting or within 150 feet of the trail for the trail neighbor survey

These criteria were not individually defined by a minimum standard. Each potential trail was evaluated based on its fit within the framework of the set of criteria as a whole. In addition to having the required support structure, the B-Line Trail was selected by virtue of being a representative urban trail in the Southern section of Indiana. Figure 2: B-Line Trail near City Hall

Trail Use Counts “Trail counts” refers to the number of users on a trail during a specific timeframe. For the 2017 Indiana Trails Study, each participating agency was asked to provide trail counters. Infrared counters were suggested because of their low cost, availability, and relative ease of use. Not all agencies had access to infrared counters, resulting in variation in counter type. All but two participating agencies already had counters. The remaining two agencies used counters supplied by the research team. Trail counters were placed at various locations on each participating trail from April 10 through October 15. Trail counter locations were determined in consultation with the local agency responsible for the trail. Trail segments where counters were already deployed or soon to be deployed were used. Trail counters were placed in two locations on the B-Line Trail throughout the course of the study. The trailheads where the counters were placed were at Third Street, adjacent to the Monroe County Convention Center and the Country Club Lane though this counter was removed in May due to road construction. The B-Line Trail staff and volunteers downloaded the data from the counters at the conclusion of the study and sent it to the research team in mid-October.

B-Line Trail 5


Survey Recruitment In order to recruit survey participants for the study, trained volunteers from the trail management agency were stationed at specified trailheads at specified times and days to distribute study information, including the link to the online trail survey. Note that the volunteers canvassed the survey location by giving survey information and participation request cards to all individuals at the location during the date and time specified but did not directly collect information from any survey participant. The researchers assumed that trail use levels vary by location, even for individual trails. In response, recruitments were completed during four one-week periods throughout the study in various locations and at various times of day on each trail between April and October. Popular trailheads were selected in order to intercept users when starting or ending trail use. On the B-Line, volunteers were stationed at Seventh Street and the Country Club Lane trailhead. When collecting data for the control group of non-users, sites such as grocery stores or libraries that were further away from the trail and used by a cross-section of community residents were chosen. The target number of trail user survey responses depends on the populations of the participating communities, but a 95% confidence interval was sought in this study.

Figure 3: Survey location at Seventh Street

6 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Table 1 shows the overall schedule for the 2017 Indiana Trails Study. The multi-method data collection process is complex, requiring active management of deliverables and process. Table 1: Study Timeline February

March

April

Surveys

Draft survey instruments

Finalize surveys

First survey period

Trail agencies

Meet with agencies; orient them on volunteer recruitment, survey protocol, and study details

Create training material for agencies and volunteers

Complete training

Trail neighbor surveys

Complete draft trail neighbor survey

Trail counters

Data analysis

Finalize, validate trail neighbor survey

Confirm trail counter protocol with trail agencies

May

June

July

Second survey period

Compile trail neighbor mailing lists

August

September

Third survey period

Mail trail neighbor survey invitations; prelim data analysis

Complete prelim data analysis from first survey period

April 2018

May 2018

Complete data analysis

Issue final reports

Final survey period

Mail second round of trail neighbor surveys

Confirm trail counters in place at all trails Build data analysis models and protocol

OctoberDecember

Collect trail counter data from all trails Complete prelim data analysis from second survey period

Complete data analysis from third survey period

Begin final data analysis on surveys, trail neighbor surveys, counter data

B-Line Trail 7


Findings A total of 1393 trail users were surveyed throughout the eight trails in Indiana participating in the study. While the 2017 Indiana Trails Study did use a new survey instrument, many of the questions were similar to those of the 2001 survey. When possible, comparisons were made between both studies to examine changes in trail use patterns and attitudes in the intervening 16 years. The B-Line Trail did not participate in the 2001 Indiana Trail Study, therefore all comparisons between the studies in this report are study wide.

Trail Use Factors Trail Activity Table 2 shows that the primary activity of trail users on the B-Line Trail is biking (36%) followed by walking (32%), then jogging (26.5%). The B-Line Trail was similar in their order of primary activities to the majority of trails in the study which rated biking as the top activity (52%), followed by walking (29%), and jogging (19%). However, there was less disparity between those three activities on the B-Line Trail than throughout the state. Table 2: What Type of Activity Do You Mostly Do on the Trail? B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

23

45

%

32%

29%

Run/Jog

Count

19

30

%

26.5%

19%

Bike

Count

26

81

%

36%

52%

Count

1

0.25

%

1.5%

0.2%

Count

2

0.25

%

2.5%

0.2%

Bird Watching

Count

0

0.15

%

0%

0.1%

People Watching

Count

1

0.25

%

1.5%

0.2%

Walk

Skate Horseback Riding

Total

8 2017 Indiana Trail Study

72


Figure 4: Biker on the B-Line at Fourth Street In contrast, the leading statewide activity in 2001 was walking with 41% of trail users reporting it as their primary activity. In 2001, biking was the primary activity of 39% of trail users. This likely mirrors the increase in bicycling in the U.S., which has more than doubled since 2001 (“Bicycle Commuting Data” n.d.). B-Line users differed from the statewide average when asked about the distance they travel on the trail and the length of time they spend engaging in their primary trail activity but were similar to the state average on how many days per week they use the trail for their primary activity (Table 3). B-Line users report an average of 7 miles (vs. 9.5 statewide), for 58 minutes per session (vs. 72 minutes statewide) for about 3 days per week (vs. 3.5 days per week statewide). While B-Line Trail users travel a comparable distance to trail users in 2001, who also traveled 7 miles per session, trail users overall in 2017 are staying on trails longer with an average of 9.5 miles. Moreover, 17% of trail users are on the trail for more than 20 miles. This increase corresponds with the increase in the number of bikers. Table 3: Distance, Time, and Days per Week of Primary Activity B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Average Miles Performed

7

9.5

Average Minutes/Session

58

72

Average Days/Week

3

3.5

When asked if there is a second activity they use the trail for, 63% of B-Line users said “yes” compared with approximately 56% of trail users statewide (Table 4). Table 4: Is There a Second Activity that You Do on the Trail?

Yes No Total

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

46

87.5

%

63%

55.5%

Count

27

70

%

37%

44.5%

73

B-Line Trail 9


Table 5 shows that walking and biking are the second favorite trail activity of B-Line users at 39% and 32.5% respectively. Jogging came next with 19.5% of users partaking in it. Statewide, walking (40%), biking (37%), and jogging (17%) were predictably also the top three. Interestingly, B-Line users were more inclined to people watch (9%) as a secondary activity than were trail users statewide. Table 5: What is the Second Activity You Do on the Trail?

Walk Run/Jog

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

18

35

%

39%

40%

Count

9

15

%

19.5%

17.5%

Count

15

32

%

32.5%

37%

Count

0

0.5

%

0%

0.5%

Horseback Riding

Count

0

0.1

%

0%

0.1%

Bird Watching

Count

0

2

%

0%

2%

People Watching

Count

4

2.5

%

9%

2.9%

Bike Skate

Total

46

B-Line users were lower than statewide averages for miles (6.5) and time spent (52 minutes) doing their secondary activity, but matched the statewide average for the number of days per week spent doing it (2) (Table 6). Table 6: Distance, Time, and Days per Week of Secondary Activity B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Average Miles Performed

5

6.5

Average Minutes/Session

43

52

Average Days/Week

2

2

Figure 5: The “Diamond Bridge� over Third Street

10 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Access Tables 7-8 display where trail users come from, how they get to trails, and how far they travel to use them. The vast majority of people (75%) come from home to use the B-Line Trail compared with 87% statewide. Coming from work to use the trail was a distant second at 15% (vs. 11% statewide). Table 7: On Most Days, Where Do You Usually Come from to Get to the Trail?

Work Home School After a meal Another setting

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

11 15% 54 75% 2 3% 3 4% 2 3% 72

17 11% 135 87% 0.5 0.5% 1 1% 2 1.5%

Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %

Total

B-Line users are similar to users statewide in how they get to the trail. Approximately 46% of statewide users drive to their trail compared with 49% of B-Line users. Moreover, 26.5% of B-Line users bike to the trail and 24% walk while, statewide, 31% of users bike and 22.5% walk to trails to use them. In 2001, 19% of statewide trail users biked and 20% of them walked to trails to use them. The more than 10% change in those who bike to a trail reflects the significant increase in bike use on trails. This change could reflect users’ increased participation in physical activity- as seen in the increase in biking- and other forms of transportation or could be indicative of an increase in the number of trails available, reducing the need for people to drive to access them. Table 8: On Most Days How do You Get to the Trail? B-Line Trail Walk Drive Bicycle Bus/public transportation Ride with family/friends Total

Average Statewide Response

Count

17

35

%

24%

22.5%

Count

35

72

%

49%

46%

Count

19

48

%

26.5%

31%

Count

1

0.1

%

1.5%

0.1%

Count

0

0.25

%

0%

0.2%

72

B-Line Trail 11


The average distance B-Line users travel to use the trail is between one to three miles with the vast majority (70%) traveling less than three miles. Statewide, the average distance traveled to use one of the trails in the study is 2.4 miles, up from 1.5 miles in 2001, and 64% of users travel less than 3 miles. Over 14% percent of statewide users traveled more than seven miles to reach a trail, which is important to note when considering the potential of trails to draw tourists. Only 6% of B-Line Trail users traveled more than 7 miles, however this may be due to the great access to trails that those living in the Bloomington, Indiana area have. Table 9: How Far do You Travel to Use the Trail?

<1 mile 1-3 miles 3.1-5 miles 5.1-7 miles >7 miles Total

12 2017 Indiana Trail Study

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

25

55

%

35%

35%

Count

25

45

%

35%

29%

Count

10

22

%

14%

14%

Count

8

12

%

11%

8%

Count

4

23

%

6%

14.5%

72


As seen in Table 10, 47.5% of users can walk to the B-Line Trail within a half hour which equates to approximately 1.5 miles and 73% can reach it within in an hour which equates to about three miles. This highlights that those heading toward the B-Line Trail have great access. This is comparable to the rest of the state in which 48.5% of users can reach a trail in 30 minutes and 70.5% can get to one in an hour by walking. Table 10: If You Were to Walk to the Trail, How Long Would It Take You?

1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 >90

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

15

37

%

21.5%

24.5%

Count

11

22

%

16%

14.5%

Count

7

14

%

10%

9.5%

Count

5

12

%

7%

8%

Count

5

8.5

%

7%

6%

Count

8

12

%

11.5%

8%

Count

3

6.5

%

4.5%

4.5%

Count

3

3

%

4.5%

2%

Count

2

4.5

%

3%

3%

Count

11

31

%

16%

21%

Total

70

As seen in Table 11, B-Line users have been using their trail an average of 8 years, compared with the statewide average of 8.5 years. Table 11: How Long Have You Been Using the Trail?

Average Time, Years

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

8

8.5

B-Line Trail 13


Social Factors In addition to trailsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; value as exercise and recreation facilities, they are frequently used for social activities. Families and friends walk together, walking clubs are more common, and benches and plazas are being constructed on trails across the nation as gathering spots in order to facilitate social activity. Tables 12-13 illustrate how frequently people use their trail with other people and when they use it. Table 12 shows that 51.5% of B-Line users are usually on the trail alone. Of the 48.5% of people who are frequently on the trail with others, 53% (Table 13) are with family members 38% use the trail with friends, exercise partners, or co-workers, and 9% are with a mix of family and friends. Table 12: While On the Trail do You Usually Use itâ&#x20AC;Ś

With others Alone

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

35

74

%

48.5%

47%

Count

37

82

%

51.5%

53%

Total

72

Table 13: Who Do You Usually Use the Trail With?

Spouse/Partner Exercise Partners Children Children Coworker Friend(s) Other family members/relatives Walk/Run club Mix of family & friends Total

14 2017 Indiana Trail Study

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

16

33

%

47%

45%

Count

8

10

%

23.5%

14%

Count

0

3

%

0%

4%

Count

0

2

%

0%

3%

Count

0

1.5

%

0%

2%

Count

5

13

%

14.5%

17.5%

Count

2

2.5

%

6%

3.5%

Count

0

1

%

0%

1%

Count

3

7.5

%

9%

10%

34


Figure 6: Family and Friends on the B-Line Trail Usage of the B-Line Trail varies throughout the day (Table 14). Trail use peaks in the morning between 8:00am and 11:00am with 32% of users and again in the late afternoon (26% of users) and evening (21% of users). This is not surprising and is reflective of the study as a whole, however middle of the day (11:00am to 2:00pm) is a more popular trail time statewide than it is on the B-Line Trail. Table 14: What Time of the Day do You Usually Use the Trail? B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

5-8 AM

Count

4

16

%

6%

10.5%

8-11 AM

Count

23

42

%

32%

27.5%

Count

11

30

%

15%

20%

Count

19

40

%

26%

26%

Count

15

25

%

21%

16%

11 AM- 2 PM 2-6 PM After 6 PM Total

72

B-Line Trail 15


Reasons for Trail Usage Table 15 illustrates trail users primary reason for using a trail. The majority of B-Line users (60%) are on the trail for physical activity. This is slightly lower than the state average of 63.5% but is similar in that it far exceeds other reasons for using the trail. Other than physical activity, people use the B-Line Trail for stress reduction (12%), aesthetics and transportation (each mentioned by 8% of users), and recreation (7%). This differs slightly from the state overall which has double the number of people who use trails for recreation and about half the number of people who use it for stress reduction. A similar question with broader answers was asked in 2001 Health/exercise was the top answer among 69% of users statewide, whereas 28% stated recreation, and 3% indicated they were commuting. Adding physical activity, stress reduction, and health issues from the 2017 study into a single category reveals that 72% of trail users statewide and 72% of B-Line users answered similarly to the 2001 studyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health/exercise response. Use for commuting has also increased with 5% now using their trail for transportation statewide and 8% using it for this on the B-Line Trail. When the recreation, walking the dog, and aesthetics categories from the 2017 study are combined, 19% of B-Line users and 23.5% of state users use trails for recreation which is slightly lower than the 2001 study in which 28% of users used trails for recreation. Table 15: What is the Primary Reason You Use This Trail Instead of Other Facilities? B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Physical Activity

Count

44

35

%

60%

40%

Recreation

Count

5

15

%

7%

17.5%

Count

6

32

%

8%

37%

Count

3

0.5

%

4%

0.5%

Stress Reduction

Count

9

0.1

%

12%

0.1%

Health Issues

Count

0

2

%

0%

2%

Count

6

2.5

%

8%

2.9%

Transportation Walk Dog

Aesthetics Total

73

Trail users were asked to rate the importance of certain characteristics of the trail they were using from least important to most important on a 5-point scale. This is helpful information for trail planners when planning new trail routes or updating existing trails. Tables 16-22 show how trail users rate different characteristics. The feature of the B-Line Trail that users appreciate the most is having access to the outdoors and nature. About 83% (Table 22) said that being outdoors on the trail was either most important or quite important, which was similar to, but less, than the statewide average. A very close second was access (Table 18) characterized by a lack of cost (82% of users rated this as most or quite important), followed by scenery- endorsed by about 78% of users as quite or most important (Table 16). Far behind was the idea that the trail had a friendly atmosphere with only 45% rating this as most or quite important. B-Line usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; responses were similar to the state averages but differed in that convenience was rated much lower. Statewide, access to the outdoors and nature rated at the top of the list of most important trail features with 88% of users rating it as most or quite important, followed by location with 79.5 and scenery with 76%.

16 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Table 16: Scenery (Beauty of Environment) Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

1

1.5

%

1.5%

1%

Count

6

7.5

%

8.5%

5%

Count

9

28

%

12.5%

18.5%

Count

26

51

%

36.5%

34%

Count

29

64

%

41%

42%

Total

71

Table 17: Terrain (Flat, Paved, etc.) B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

6

6

%

9%

4%

Somewhat Important

Count

10

13

%

15.5%

9%

Important

Count

9

27

%

13.5%

18.5%

Count

19

43.5

%

29%

30%

Count

22

56

%

33%

38.5%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

66

Figure 7: Trail plaza near City Hall

B-Line Trail 17


Table 18: Access (No Cost Associated With Use) Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

4

3

%

6%

2%

Count

3

5

%

4%

3.5%

Count

6

15

%

9%

10%

Count

18

32

%

26%

21.5%

Count

39

95

%

56%

63%

Total

70

Table 19: Convenience (Location) B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

5

2.5

%

7%

2%

Somewhat Important

Count

7

7.5

%

10%

5%

Important

Count

10

20.5

%

14.5%

13.5%

Count

11

38

%

16%

25.5%

Count

36

81

%

52.5%

54%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

69

Table 20: Friendly Atmosphere (Social Environment) B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

4

8

%

6%

6%

Count

10

19.5

%

16%

14%

Count

21

37.5

%

33%

26.5%

Quite Important

Count

15

37.5

%

24%

26.5%

Most Important

Count

13

38

%

21%

27%

Least Important Somewhat Important Important

Total

18 2017 Indiana Trail Study

63


Table 21: Accessible Features (Ease of Entry/exit, Seating, Surface, etc.) Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

5

5.5

%

8%

4%

Count

5

10

%

8%

7%

Count

9

28

%

14%

19%

Count

26

45

%

41%

31%

Count

18

56.5

%

29%

39%

Total

63

Table 22: Outdoor (Environment/Access to Nature) B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

1

1.5

%

1.5%

1%

Somewhat Important

Count

5

4

%

7%

2.5%

Important

Count

6

13

%

8.5%

8.5%

Count

18

38

%

25.5%

25%

Count

40

95

%

57%

63%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

70

B-Line Trail 19


Concerns and Problems Trail users were asked about their concerns about the trail and problems they may experience while on the trail (Tables 23-36). Just as with preferred trail characteristics, trail users were asked to rate their concerns from least important to most important. This data is useful for gauging physical and safety features of trail design, construction, and maintenance and can be used to inform trail managers of particular issues that may exist on their trail. Ranking at the top for B-Line users was the safety of the trail (Table 23) with 45% of trail users rating this concern as quite important or most important. Closely following this response was the location (Table 26) and maintenance (Table 28) of the trail in which 44.5% of users rated these as most or quite important. Accessibility of the trail was also a key concern with 41% of B-Line users rating this high in Figure 8: B-Line Trail at City Hall importance. Other concerns included unleashed pets (Table 35), the availability of facilities (Table 27), and having enough space or congestion on the trail (Table 29). These concerns were rated as most or quite important by 38%, 36%, and 33% of B-Line Trail users. The concerns that rated high in importance broadly reflect the reasons for using the trail. Given that most users are focused on physical activity, a safe and well-maintained environment which includes necessary facilities is important. B-Line Trail users also clearly prefer to get right to their physical activity rather than spend time on getting there. Moreover, usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interest in the aesthetics of the trail might explain their ratings for location, maintenance, and unleashed pets. Fears of injury, wild animals, lack of a police presence, or getting lost (not having adequate signage) do not appear to rate highly as concerns (Tables 30, 35, 32, and 34). Statewide, the concerns were similar to those of B-Line Trail users. The location of the trail was the highest rated concern (noted by 59% of users), followed by maintenance (55.5%), accessibility (52.5%), and safety (51.5%). In 2001, trail users across the state said that personal safety was their most important issue followed by vandalism, safe intersections, and natural surroundings. These sentiments also correspond with those of trail users in 2017, suggesting some universalism in a need for safety and a preference for an aesthetically pleasing environment. Table 23: Safety Average Statewide Response

Least Important

Count

11

17

%

17%

12%

Somewhat Important

Count

14

21.5

%

21%

15.5%

Count

11

28.5

%

17%

21%

Count

8

25

%

12%

18%

Count

22

46

%

33%

33.5%

Important Quite Important Most Important Total

20 2017 Indiana Trail Study

B-Line Trail

66


Table 24: Parking (Lack of, or Cost) Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

18

33

%

34%

29%

Count

12

26.5

%

23%

23%

Count

7

21

%

13%

18.5%

Count

10

18

%

19%

15.5%

Count

6

16

%

11%

14%

Total

53

Table 25: Accessibility of the Trail B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

19

21.5

%

31%

17%

Somewhat Important

Count

10

16.5

%

16.5%

13%

Important

Count

7

22

%

11.5%

17.5%

Count

11

31.5

%

18%

25%

Count

14

35

%

23%

27.5%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

61

B-Line Trail 21


Table 26: Location Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

16

20

%

25.5%

15.5%

Count

6

12.5

%

9.5%

10%

Count

13

20

%

20.5%

15.5%

Count

12

32.5

%

19%

25.5%

Count

16

42.5

%

25.5%

33.5%

Total

63

Table 27: Facilities (Restrooms, Water Fountains) B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

8

14.5

%

13%

11%

Somewhat Important

Count

12

24.5

%

20%

18.5%

Important

Count

19

39.5

%

31%

30.5%

Count

12

28

%

20%

21%

Count

10

25

%

16%

19%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

61

Table 28: Maintenance B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

9

13.5

%

15%

10.5%

Count

10

15

%

16%

11.5%

Count

15

30

%

24.5%

23%

Quite Important

Count

15

36.5

%

24.5%

27.5%

Most Important

Count

12

37

%

20%

28%

Least Important Somewhat Important Important

Total

22 2017 Indiana Trail Study

61


Table 29: Space/Congestion on the Trail Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

14

18

%

24%

14%

Count

13

24.5

%

22%

19.5%

Count

12

34

%

21%

27%

Count

7

30

%

12%

23.5%

Count

12

20.5

%

21%

16%

Total

58

Table 30: Fear of Injury B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

17

33.5

%

35.5%

30%

Somewhat Important

Count

11

30.5

%

23%

27.5%

Important

Count

10

24

%

21%

22%

Count

6

13

%

12.5%

12%

Count

4

10

%

8%

9%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

48

Table 31: Bikers/Skaters Going Too Fast B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

22

33

%

47%

30%

Count

7

30

%

15%

27%

Count

6

24.5

%

13%

22.5%

Quite Important

Count

5

12.5

%

11%

11%

Most Important

Count

7

10.5

%

15%

10%

Least Important Somewhat Important Important

Total

47

B-Line Trail 23


Table 32: Police Presence Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

17

30

%

35.5%

27%

Count

10

28.5

%

21%

25.5%

Count

12

30

%

25%

27%

Count

6

12.5%

%

12.5%

11.5%

Count

3

10

%

6%

9%

Total

48 Table 33: Adequate Signage B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

21

27.5

%

43%

25.5%

Somewhat Important

Count

12

27

%

24.5%

25%

Important

Count

9

32

%

18.5%

29.5%

Count

5

15.5

%

10%

14%

Count

2

7

%

4%

6%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

49

Table 34: Visibility of Distance / Mile Markers B-Line Trail Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important Figure 9: Interpretive panel on the B-Line

24 2017 Indiana Trail Study

Total

Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %

17 32.% 12 22.5% 13 24.5% 6 11.5% 5 9.5% 53

Average Statewide Response 27 24.5% 28 25% 28 25% 16.5 15% 12 10.5%


Table 35: Unleashed Pets Least Important Somewhat Important Important Quite Important Most Important

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

18

29

%

34%

25%

Count

6

25

%

11%

22%

Count

9

24

%

17%

21%

Count

10

17

%

19%

14.5%

Count

10

20

%

19%

17.5%

Total

53

Table 36: Wild Animals B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

21

45

%

46.5%

45.5%

Somewhat Important

Count

10

27

%

22.5%

27.5%

Important

Count

7

16

%

15.5%

16.5%

Count

2

5

%

4.5%

5%

Count

5

5.5

%

11%

5.5%

Least Important

Quite Important Most Important Total

45

When asked to rate the single most important concern they had, B-Line users said that lack of safety (18.5%) was their biggest concern. This is much more than the state average of 11% and coincides with findings from the previous section where 45% of trail users said that safety was an important concern. This data suggests that some additional security measures may be well received by B-Line users. A lack of facilities was another important concern among 17% of users as was having enough space on the trail which was noted by 14.5% of users. The concern with facilities more so than space was found at the state level as well. Fewer B-Line users than on average, however, rated maintenance (10% vs. the state average of 19%) and bikers/ skaters going too fast on the trail (0% vs. the state average of 9.5%) as their most important concern. Perhaps given their affinity for physical activity, B-Line users are less concerned with others recreating on the trail. In 2001, drinking water/toilets (comparable to the category â&#x20AC;&#x153;facilitiesâ&#x20AC;? in the 2017 survey) was the area with the lowest level of satisfaction on every trail surveyed. Other concerns across the state in 2001 were adequate patrols (which corresponds to police presence) and vandalism. While facilities are still observed as a concern in the current study, lack of police presence is a mid-level concern among B-Line users and a lower level concern statewide.

B-Line Trail 25


Table 37: What Concerns You Most About the Trail? Lack of Safety Parking (Lack of, Cost) Accessibility of the Trail Location Facilities Maintenance Space/Congestion Fear of Injury Bikers/Skaters Going Fast No Police Patrols Adequate Signage Visibility of Distance Unleashed Pets Wild Animals Total

26 2017 Indiana Trail Study

Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %

B-Line Trail 13 18.5% 3 4.5% 2 3% 7 10% 12 17% 7 10% 10 14.5% 0 0% 0 0% 6 8.5% 4 5.5% 1 1.5% 3 4.5% 2 3% 73

Average Statewide Response 15.5 11% 3 2% 7 5% 8.5 6% 26 18.5% 26.5 19% 15.5 11% 2 1% 13 9.5% 7 5% 2 1.5% 2 1.5% 10 7% 3 2%


Physical Activity Factors Tables 38-40 show that access to a trail continues to have a positive impact on exercise levels not only statewide but especially on the B-Line Trail. Only 54% of B-Line users said that they exercised regularly before they started using the trail compared to the statewide average of 59.5% (Table 38). About 60% of B-Line users said that their exercise level increased since they began using the trail (Table 39), with 34% saying that their exercise level had increased at least 50% since they started to use the trail. Comparatively, 67% of statewide users said they increased their exercise level, with 36% saying that they increased their exercise level by more than 50% since they started using a trail. While impressive, this is actually a drop in the number of people who said they exercise more because of the trail since 2001 when 78% of statewide trail users reported an increase in exercise levels. It is important to note, however, that many hundreds of miles of trails have been built in the state since the 2001 study and many more Hoosiers have had access to trails for a number of years. Table 38: Did You Exercise Regularly (Three or More Times per Week for 20 Minutes per Session) Before Using a Trail? Yes No

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

39

93

%

54%

59.5%

Count

34

63

%

47%

40.5%

Total

73

Table 39: Since Beginning to Use a Trail, Has the Amount of Exercise that You Do...

Increased Decreased Do not Know Stayed the Same

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

44

105

%

60%

67%

Count

1

2

%

1.5%

1%

Count

0

3

%

0%

2%

Count

28

48

%

38.5%

30%

Total

73

Table 40: Since Using the Trail, Approximately how Much has Your Exercise Level Increased? B-Line Trail <25% 26-50% 50-75% 76-100% >100% Total

Average Statewide Response

Count

15

27

%

36%

27%

Count

13

37

%

31%

37%

Count

5

16.5

%

12%

16%

Count

2

12

%

5%

12%

Count

7

8

%

17%

8%

42

B-Line Trail 27


Trail users were also asked about other physical activities they participated in apart from trail activities (Table 41). Most common among B-Line users were walking (21%), housework (20%), bicycling (12%), strength training (12%), and jogging (12%). Statewide, housework and walking were also the top activities, each reported by 24% of users, followed by bicycling (17.5%), strength training (16.5%), and gardening (15.5%). The most common amount of time spent doing these other activities (Table 42) was more than 5 hours per week on both the B-Line Trail (32%) and statewide (34%). Table 41: Physical Activities in the Past Month, Apart from Your Trail Activities B-Line Trail Average Statewide Response Aerobic Dance Count 4 7 % 1% 1.7% Bicycling Count 36 72 % 12% 17.5% Strength Training Count 35 66 % 12% 16.5% Golf Count 6 14 % 2% 3.5% Jogging/Running Count 35 45 % 12% 11% Walking Count 57 97 % 21% 24% Gardening Count 26 62 % 9% 15.5% Swimming/Water Exercises Count 15 23 % 5% 5.7% Organized team sport Count 4 8.5 % 1% 2% Housework Count 52 6 % 20% 1.5% Yoga Count 14 2 % 4% 0.5% Martial Arts Count 2 0.1 % 0.5% 0.02% Racquet Sports Count 1 0.5 % 0.5% 0.1% Total 287

28 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Table 42: Time Spent Doing Physical Activities Altogether <30 Minutes 30-60 Minutes 1-1.5 Hours 1.5-2 Hours 2-2.5 Hours 2.5-3 Hours 3-3.5 Hours 3.5-4 Hours 4-4.5 Hours 4.5-5 Hours >5 Hours Total

Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %

B-Line Trail 1 1.5% 3 4% 5 7% 7 10% 7 10% 6 8% 3 4% 7 10% 6 8% 4 6% 23 32% 72

Average Statewide Response 5.5 3.5% 8.5 5.5% 11.5 7.5% 11 7% 12 8% 11.5 7.5% 11 7% 10 6.5% 8.5 6% 10.5 7% 51 34%

B-Line Trail 29


Economic Factors To gauge the economic impact of trails, users were asked about their spending on certain items related to trail use as well as their travel to and from the trail. Table 43 shows that trail users spent an average of $47.30 each on the day they were surveyed on trail use. B-Line users in particular, spend an average of about $88.20 per day. While daily expenditure is interesting as a snapshot, it is not as reliable for measuring economic impact as annual spending, because daily spending may be skewed by the purchases of â&#x20AC;&#x153;big ticketâ&#x20AC;? items by a relatively small number of people or may be influenced by weather or local events that encourage or discourage trail use on a given day. Annual spending is more useful as a picture of the economic impact of trails on their communities. B-Line users spend an average of $3,500 per year on trail-related expenditures including the highest level of spending on clothing, $414, of any trail in the study. B-line users also spend $1,794 on food, among the highest of any trail. These food and clothing expenditures should prove encouraging to local merchants who do business in close proximity to the trail. Spending on transportation, however, is the lowest of any trail in the study at $746. This does Figure 10: Trailside restaurant window on the B-Line Trail correspond with the shorter distances people travel to use the B-Line as seen in Table 9. Bloomington is a college town with a heavy visitor presence. It would seem that many of these visitors use the trail once they are in town but few are coming to Bloomington with the trail as a destination. Table 43: For the Items Listed Below, Please Indicate Your Amount Spent on the Day You Used the Trail and also Your Estimated Annual Spending

DA I LY

Average Dollars, Spent On

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Bikes

$30.00

$18.00

Skates

$0.00

$0.10

Clothing

$13.00

$4.50

Shoes

$10.00

$7.50

Food

$31.00

$12.00

Maps

$0.00

$0.50

Transportation

$3.00

$4.50

Parking

$0.20

$0.20

$88.20

$47.30

$289

$307

Total (by Trail) Bikes

ANNUAL

Skates

$3

$5

Clothing

$414

$331

Shoes

$170

$191

Food

$1,794

$1678

Maps

$16

$42

Transportation

$746

$970

Parking

$58

$40

$3,500

$3,564

Total (by Trail)

30 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Demographic Factors Tables 44-51 display the demographic characteristics of trail users completing surveys. B-Line Trail users were more often male (59%), predominately white (95%), well educated (87% had graduated from college), and had decent household incomes. They ranged in age with about 40% of users between the ages of 46 to 65 and approximately 26% of them between 26 to 35. The slight skew toward males and the heavily white population reflects the demographics of the state as a whole. As does the higher income levels (43% of B-Line users had incomes above $91,000 compared to the statewide average of 46.5% of users above $91,000). However, education levels were higher than those of other trail users across the state (87% of B-Line users had at least a college degree compared to the 76% of statewide users who did). This may be reflective of the fact that the B-Line Trail is located in close proximity to Indiana University, Bloomington. The ages of B-Line users also differed from the state which had less users (13% compared to 25.5% on the B-Line) between 26 to 35 years of age and more users between 36 to 45 years old (16% vs. 14% of B-Line users) and over age 65 (20% vs. 17% of B-Line users). The average age of trail users has increased since the 2001 study. In 2017, 65% of trail users were 46 or older, while just 43% of respondents were in the same age range in 2001. In contrast, the number of 26 to 45 year-old users has dropped from 41% to 29%. This shift may indicate that aging populations have more access to trails and are more informed about the health benefits of exercise. Table 44: Age Years

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response 9

18-25

Count

3

%

4%

6%

26-35

Count

18

19.5

%

25.5%

13%

Count

10

24

%

14%

16%

Count

28

67

%

39.5%

45%

Count

12

31

%

17%

20%

36-45 46-65 â&#x2030;Ľ65 Total

71

Table 45: Gender

Male Female Missing Total

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

41

83

%

59%

56%

Count

29

65

%

41%

43.5%

Count

0

1

%

0%

0.5%

70

B-Line Trail 31


Table 46: Race/Ethnic Origin

White African American American Indian/ Alaska Native Asian Hispanic or Latino Declined to answer

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

66

137

%

95%

91.9%

Count

0

2

%

0%

1%

Count

0

0.25

%

0%

0.1%

Count

1

2

%

1.5%

1%

Count

2

4

%

3%

3%

Count

1

4

%

1.5%

3%

Total

70

Table 47: Marital Status B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

18

27

%

26.5%

18%

Count

45

106

%

66%

72%

Widowed

Count

1

3

%

1.5%

2%

Divorced

Count

3

11

%

4.5%

7.5%

Count

1

1

%

1.5%

0.5%

Single Married, Domestic partnership

Separated Total=1190

32 2017 Indiana Trail Study

68


Table 48: Employment Status

Homemaker Self-employed Student Employed for wages Retired Not employed Declined to answer

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

0

5

%

0%

3%

Count

12

14.5

%

17%

10%

Count

7

5.5

%

10%

4%

Count

42

84

%

59%

56.5%

Count

10

36.5

%

14%

24.5%

Count

0

2

%

0%

1%

Count

0

2

%

0%

1%

Total=1190

71

Table 49: Employment Satisfaction B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

1

5

%

2%

2%

31-60%

Count

9

10.5

%

17.5%

10.5%

61-100%

Count

42

83.5

%

80.5%

87.5%

â&#x2030;¤30%

Total

52

B-Line Trail 33


Table 50: Educational Attainment

Eighth grade or less High school or GED Technical school College graduate Graduate school Professional degree Declined to answer

B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

0

1

%

0%

1%

Count

6

22

%

9%

14.5%

Count

3

10

%

4%

6.5%

Count

32

57.5

%

46%

39%

Count

19

39

%

27%

26%

Count

10

16.5

%

14%

11%

Count

0

2.5

%

0%

2%

Total

70

Table 51: Household Income Level B-Line Trail

Average Statewide Response

Count

4

3

%

6%

2%

Count

8

14

%

12%

10%

$38,001- 91,000

Count

27

57

%

39%

41.5%

$91,001-190,000

Count

25

49

%

37%

35.5%

Count

4

15

%

6%

11%

<$10,000 $10-38,000

>$190,000 Total

34 2017 Indiana Trail Study

68


Trail Counters All trails participating in the study were asked to place counters on their trails to collect data on trail usage. The preferred counter locations were at or near the trailheads or stations where study volunteers who were recruiting trail users to take the study survey were located, in order to most closely correspond counter data with survey data. Most trails were able to place counters in these locations, but some were not. The B-Line Trail in Bloomington, for example, uses a type of counter that is embedded in the pavement of the trail and was not able to move it near volunteer stations. Trail partners were asked to supply counter data to the study team for the duration of survey recruitment, from April 3 through October 8. Not all trails, for various reasons, were able to do that. Two trails, Pumpkinvine and Nickel Plate, did not have their own counters and were not able to acquire them, so the study team installed counters at those locations in early July. Some trails have counters installed year-round and supplied counts for the complete months of April and October, while some were not able to place counters during the entire requested time frame. Other maintenance issues left gaps in the counts at various times. The data tables reflect the counter data that each trail partners was able to supply. Estimates of the number of unique users-visits to the trail are not available, but a crude approximation is that the number of user visits is approximately equal to half of the total traffic. This approximation assumes that each user passed the counter twice. Although it is likely that some users passed the counter more than twice and that other users passed it only once, information for making a better estimate of the number of different visits is not available. The number of different users would be less than the number of user-visits because many users make multiple trips during a month or week. Mechanical trail counters are also known to consistently undercount due to various types of physical challenges. Errors include people with backpacks or swinging arms being counted multiple times (Shoji, et. al., 2008), walkers in groups or closely spaced in relation to other walkers being undercounted (Turner, et. al., 2007), fast moving bicycles not being detected (Turner, et. al., 2007), and counter breakdown or malfunction. Trail counter data is being reported as shown on the counters and not adjusted for any users who may have passed multiple times or any potential counter variations. The highest counts on any trail in the study, by far, were at the 3rd Street/Convention Center location on the B-Line Trail in Bloomington, which averaged 45,540 users from April through September. The next highest trail count comes from the 91st Street Trailhead of the Monon Trail, with 17,542 from April through October. The trail with the lowest average monthly activity was the Nickel Plate, with an average of 2,312 from July through October. Both the B-Line and the Monon are urban trails, while the Nickel Plate is a rural trail. Tables 52 and 53 shows the total counts by month and daily average on the B-Line Trail. There were two counters in operation during the study, though one was removed in May due to road construction. The counter at the Third Street/Convention Center trailhead counted the entire length of the study. June and August were the busiest months, by a slight margin, on the B-Line though use is spread evenly throughout the months of the study. Given that Bloomington sees a heavy influx of students returning to town in August, then leaving for the summer in May, it is not surprising that the summer months do not have the much heavier usage seen on other trails. Saturday was the busiest day at the Convention Center trailhead while Sunday was the busiest at Country Club Lane. The typical usage pattern throughout the week on most trails is that weekend days are the busiest, followed by Monday then trailing off through the week. The Country Club counter reflects this pattern (during the limited time it was installed) but the Convention Center counter does not. At that location, Sunday was only the fifth busiest day of the week. Weekdays do exhibit the pattern of diminishing usage from Monday through Friday but not nearly as pronounced as on most other trails.

B-Line Trail 35


Table 52: Monthly counts on the B-Line Trail Trailhead

April

May

June

July

August

Sept

Oct

Total

3rd Street- Convention Center

40331 (4/3-4/30)

41195

49933

40959

48405

43947

14469 (10/1-10/12)

273239

Country Club Ln. (Counter removed on 5/10)

17440 (4/3-4/30)

4019

21459

Table 53: Average daily counts on the B-Line Trail Trailhead

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

3rd Street- Convention Center

1350

1429

1464

1375

1247

1274

1776

Country Club Ln. (Counter removed on 5/10)

808

506

625

447

338

350

617

Figure 11: B-Line Trail at Fourth Street

36 2017 Indiana Trail Study


Summary and Conclusions The findings in the report summarize data collected on the B-Line Trail throughout the duration of the 2017 Indiana Trails Study and analyzed by the research team. The study was intended to take a broad look at trail use patterns, physical activity on trails, and attitudes of trail users toward trail management issues, trail quality, and trailsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; impacts on personal health and wellness. This study was a follow-up to the acclaimed 2001 Indiana Trails Study, and documents changes in the behavior and attitudes of trail users and trail neighbors while also collecting critical data regarding health behaviors and a deeper look at economic impacts of trails. While the B-Line Trail was not studied in the 2001 Study, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inclusion in 2017 adds to a growing body of knowledge about the significant impacts trails have on individual and public health, physical activity, and exercise habits, as well as the many ways that trails add value to the communities that build them. While the trails in the study show many similarities across much of the data collected, there are differences that illustrate the unique characteristics of each community and trail. As such, the conclusions drawn from this study should be viewed in a broad context. This study was constructed not only to build on the 2001 Indiana Trails Study but to facilitate further research that continues to track the changes and impacts made by the development of trail networks well into the future. This research was also conducted to continue to inform trail planners and managers about the most important issues that they should be considering. Based on the data analysis presented in this report, the following conclusions about the B-Line Trail can be drawn: 1) Overall trail use peaks in the summer months of June and August. and the weekends throughout the week, just as it does throughout all the trails in the study. Individual parts of the trail see a widely varying use pattern throughout the day. Comparing actual data with the researchers expected findings we see that:

â&#x20AC;˘ Average weekend use does exceed weekday use at both counter locations 2) Trail users are predominately male, white, college educated, and have a close to average income. This pattern is common throughout the state and the nation, based on the data collected in many other studies. 3) The most popular activity on the trail is biking with 36% of trail users reporting biking as their primary activity. Walking is the next most popular at 32%, and jogging/running at 26.5%. To a lesser extent, B-Line users participate in horseback riding (2.5%), skating (1.5%), and people watching (1.5%). Biking is also the most popular activity statewide, a significant shift from the 2001 study when walking was the primary activity. 4) Having access to the trail increases the level of activity by trail users. A total of 47% of trail users exercised fewer than 3 times per week before using the trail. Approximately 60% of B-Line users said that their exercise level increased since they started using the trail. Of those who said they exercise more, 31% said that their exercise level has increased by at least 50%. 5) The vast majority of trail users (75%) come from home to use the trail. Most drive (49%) or bike or walk in almost equal numbers (26.5% and 24%) to get to the trail. The distance traveled to use the trail is short, 70% of B-Line users travel no more than 3 miles to use it. 6) A sizeable number of trail users are on the trail to improve their health, with 72% of users reporting that their primary reason for trail use was either physical activity or stress reduction. Transportation and aesthetics are the next most common reasons for using the trail at 8% and 8%. 7) B-Line users appreciate the opportunity to be outdoors, rating access to nature as their favorite characteristic of the trail instead of other features. Access and scenery also rate highly. 8) Safety of the trail may need to be addressed as it was the most prevalent answer when trail users were asked what issue or problem concerned them the most. Education on the facts of trail safety may help alleviate the safety concern among trail users. Alternatively, increased lighting could help. 9) Other important concerns among B-Line users and across the state are location, maintenance, and accessibility. This suggests a need for managing agencies to actively monitor and address maintenance needs on trails and ensure they are made available to diverse audiences of varying abilities. 10) Trails have a growing and significant economic impact on their communities and the B-Line is no different. Trail users report spending an average of $3,500 each per year on trail-related expenses including $1,794 annually on food and $746 on transportation (including lodging).

B-Line Trail 37


References American League of Bicyclists. (2015). Bicycle commuting data. Retrieved from http://www.bikeleague.org/commutingdata Indiana Department of Natural Resources. (n.d.). Indiana Trails Advisory Board. Retrieved from http://www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/4094.htm Indiana Department of Natural Resources. (2017). Indiana State Trails Plan Progress Report. Retrieved from https://www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/files/or-TrailsProgress.pdf Shoji, Y., Yamaguchi, K, & Yamaki, K. (2008) Estimating annual visitors flow in Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan: combining self-registration books and infrared trail traffic counters. J For Res 13, 286–295. DOI 10.1007/s10310-008-0085-5 “Number of Participants in Skateboarding in the United States from 2006 to 2016 (in Millions).” Statista: The Statistics Portal. Accessed May 29, 2018. https://www.statista.com/statistics/191308/participants-in-skateboarding-in-the-us-since-2006/ Turner, S., Middleton, D., Longmire, R., Brewer, M., & Eurek, R. (2007) Testing and evaluation of pedestrian sensors. College Station, TX. The Texas A&M University System. Retrieved from: http://d2dtl5nnlpfr0r.cloudfront.net/swutc.tamu.edu/publications/technicalreports/167762-1.pdf

38 2017 Indiana Trail Study


2017 Indiana Trails Study Summary Report

Measuring the Health, Economic, and Community Impacts of Trails in Indiana

2017 Indiana Trails Study Summary Report

Measuring the Health, Economic, and Community Impacts of Trails in Indiana

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands 501 N. Morton St., Suite 101, Bloomington 501 N. Morton St., SuiteIN 101,47404 Bloomington IN 47404 www.eppley.org www.eppley.org

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands 501 N. Morton St., Suite 101, Bloomington IN 47404 www.eppley.org

2017 Indiana Trails Study - B-Line Trail in Bloomington, Indiana  

Measuring Health, Economic, and Community Impacts of the City of Bloomington, Indiana Parks and Recreation Department's B-Line Trail. Study...

2017 Indiana Trails Study - B-Line Trail in Bloomington, Indiana  

Measuring Health, Economic, and Community Impacts of the City of Bloomington, Indiana Parks and Recreation Department's B-Line Trail. Study...