Designed to Move: Active Cities. A Guide for City Leaders (2015). A highly readable report prepared by public and private sector actors on the economic, health, social, environmental, and safety benefits of creating active cities. While this report is focused on cities, the cited research is very relevant to the question of the U&D rail trail.
Making the Case for Designing Active Cities (2015). Active Living Research. This report assesses the findings cited in the above mentioned overview. In general, the Active Living Research website is a great resource on many issues pertaining to active living, including rail trails and bike paths.
Active Transportation beyond urban Centers: walking and biking in Small towns and Rural America (2011). Rails to Trails Conservancy. This report analyzes the benefits of better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in rural areas.
Rails to Trails Conservancy. Washington, DC. This website offers an online resource library about the economic, health, community, transportation, historical, and environmental benefits of trails.
New York Statewide Trails Plan (2010) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The plan contains a description of the different types of trails (note: rail trails fall into the broad category of “Greenway Trails”) (Chapter III) as well as a description of the benefits of rail trails – economic, health, alternative transportation, etc. (chapter IV).
Headwaters Economics. Bozeman, Montana. An online collection of studies on the economic and public health impacts of trails, especially in small or medium-sized towns and rural areas.
Economic Impact (2015). Adventure Cycling Association. For a quick overview of the economic benefits of bicycle travel and tourism, see this recent compilation of international and national studies.
Backgrounder: The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation (2010). The American Public Health Association. A brief report about the numerous health costs of our current transportation system.
Walkway over the Hudson Economic Impact Update, Final report. (2012) Camoin Associates. The specific numbers from a local and recent economic success.
Economic Valuation Study for Public Lands in the Central Catskills: Economic Impact and Opportunities from Outdoor Recreational Activities (12/2012) Brian Zweig MBA Business Opportunities Management Consulting; Commissioned by: Catskill Center for Conservation & Development, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Catskill Heritage Alliance. Itemizes unrealized or undeveloped recreational opportunities in the Central Catskills including creating & expanding Ulster County’s county-wide trail network as a means of bringing more visitors to Catskill Park communities.
Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Hurley (2006). In light of the success of the O&W Rail Trail, the Town of Hurley Comprehensive Plan contains a well-articulated plea for an extension of the rail trails in the region.
Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan (2013) – Funded by Cleaner, Greener Communities Program & New York State Energy Research and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Section 4.5.4 identifies Kingston Rail Trail Hub as Example Project that “reduces fossil fuel consumption, enables freedom of mobility, encourages more physical activity, allows children to walk or bike to school, reduces traffic congestion, and encourages economic development.”
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Program of the R.W. Johnson Foundation designed to help communities determine which evidence-informed policies and system changes will improve public health. There is scientifically supported evidence that trails increase physical activity.
Live Well Kingston. Kingston, New York. A city-endorsed coalition of organizations, businesses and individuals that work together to improve the environment, culture, and opportunities in Kingston, NY for residents to lead healthier lives.
New York State Department of Transportation. Information about cycling, safety, planning (complete streets), legislation, etc.
People For Bikes. Boulder, Colorado. Statistics on bicycling and its benefits in different categories: economics, environment, facilities, health, participation, protected bike lane and safety.
The League of American Bicyclists. Washington, D.C. This website provides good examples of bicycling programs, policies and projects from around the country.
Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Victoria, British Colombia. Numerous resources to help improve transportation planning and policy analysis.
Smart Growth America. Washington, DC. Resources on Smart Growth Transportation Strategies, Complete Streets, etc.
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Washington, DC. Streamlined information to help determine the best solution for each specific situation.
American Trails. Redding, California. Online resources for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails, greenways, and blueways.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Technical support for communities as well as a library of case studies, white papers, and useful resources on planning and design.
National Park Service. Washington, DC. The NPS has a River, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program offering technical assistance to communities.
Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. Washington, DC. Factsheets about the effects of transportation on health, environment, social equity, poverty alleviation etc.
Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. Port Townsend, Washington. Technical assistance and educational materials.
Partnership for Active Transportation. Washington, D.C. A resources section that allows a quick look into the important documents of the partnership for active transportation.
Partnership For Prevention. Washington, D.C. A handbook on developing a community trail by a nonpartisan organization of business, nonprofit and government leaders working on health promotion.
Safe, Healthy, and Active Transportation Toolkit (2013). National Association of County and City Health Officials. A toolkit on health and transportation.