Property Value/Desirability Effects of Bike Paths Adjacent to Residential Areas

Studies and surveys in other parts of the country have shown that bicycle paths (trails, greenways) can contribute to areas where they are established by providing recreation, transportation, a sense of community, increased property values, and lower crime. On the other hand, in some cases with many new initiatives for the creation of walking and biking paths there is resistance by members of the community who worry that property values may be negatively impacted, that there will be loss of privacy, and the potential for more crime in their neighborhood. Success of bike and walking trail projects depends often on planners understanding and communicating what is known about the impacts of bike and walk ways in a community. This project examined the literature and presents what is known concerning the impacts on property values with the introduction of bicycle paths and also presents some information about crime in relation to bicycle and pedestrian paths. In addition a statistical model was developed in this project using Delaware property data to examine the impact of bicycle paths on nearby housing. In addition to being used by bicycles, "bike paths" are typically designated for use also by pedestrians, skaters, and other non-motorized uses are typically referred to as paths, trails, or greenways. Bike lanes addressed in this project were from the most part, dedicated paths rather than portions of the public roadway simply striped or designated as a suggested bike way due to extra road width or shoulders. There is no information to suggest that a bike path designated as such by only the presence of a shoulder in the road would impact property values in Delaware as they are for the most part indistinguishable from the road corridor itself and are more a feature of the existing road rather than the neighboring properties.