In 2001 Indiana University published a 51-page Summary Report on Indiana Trails. The study included six communities/trails including Greenfield, IN, and the Pennsy Trail. View the full report online.
“The Indiana Trails Study was developed to address the growing need for more information on trail use and the general attitudes of trail users and trail neighbors. Originally proposed as a summer-long research study of one trail, the study quickly became an overview, or reconnaissance level study, of six (6) different trails in Indiana.”
Another study examining a trail’s effect on property values is outlined in an evaluation of the Burke-Gilman trail’s effect on Property Values and Crime in the Seattle metropolitan area. The Burke-Gilman trail is an 8 to 10 foot wide, 12.1 mile, multipurpose trail that follows an abandoned railroad right of way and passes through residential neighborhoods. Data was collected via telephone by interviewing, residents near and adjacent to the trail, real estate agents who buy and sell homes near the trail, and police officers who patrol neighborhoods adjacent to the trail. According to real estate agents, property near but not immediately adjacent to the trail is significantly easier to sell, and on average sells for six percent or more. Property immediately adjacent to the trail, however, is only slightly easier to sell. Almost two-thirds of the residents felt the trail increased the quality of life in the neighborhood and there is a very high level of public acceptance and support for the trail. The study concluded that concerns about decreased property values, increased crime, and a lower quality of life due to the trails were unfounded, and in fact, the opposite was true, that multi-use trails are an amenity that helps sell homes, increase property values and improve the quality of life.