Creating the Next Generation of Trail Planning Tools

Tools to help communities make the real case for increased investment in trails, biking, and walking infrastructure.

by Carl Knoch, Manager of Trail Development - Northeast Regional Office, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), Tracy Hadden Loh, Director of the Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC)

Presenters: Tracy Hadden Loh, Research Director; Carl Knoch, Manager of Trail Development, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

The Trail Modeling and Assessment Platform is an initiative to improve communication, forecasting, and assessment tools to help communities make the real case for increased investment in trails, biking, and walking infrastructure. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has conducted community trail audits, trail user surveys, economic impact analyses and trail user counts on over 20 trails. Case studies illustrate how this information is used to build community support for not only the development of trail networks, but to increase usage of existing trails.

About the Authors

Carl Knoch - After nearly 30 years in marketing and marketing research in such diverse industries as advertising, financial services and computer games, Carl found his passion when he joined the York County Rail Trail Authority as a volunteer director in 1998. The authority is a ten-member volunteer board charged with development of the county’s trail system. Carl has served as chairman of the Authority since 2000. He has conducted numerous trail user surveys and economic impact analysis and presented those findings at national, state, and local conferences. In April of 2006 he joined the staff of the Northeast Regional office of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy as Manger of Trail Development. Carl has a BS in Marketing and an MBA from Penn State. Carl was inducted into the Keystone Society for Tourism in 2009 in recognition of his efforts to promote trails as tourism destinations. In 2007 he was honored by the Pennsylvania Planning Association with a Distinguished Leadership Award for a Citizen Planner. American Trails awarded Carl a State Trail Worker Award in 2004.

Contact: [email protected]

Tracy Hadden Loh has long been interested in urban infrastructure and federal policy. Her background in computational math and urban studies gives her a unique set of skills as research manager for RTC, where she helps keep the organization’s studies and reports cutting edge in a complex transportation landscape. Her dual role is as director of the Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange (TrADE), a vital resource cataloguing federal investment in pedestrian and bicycle facilities, as well as other key improvements to America's transportation system. Tracy says what she finds most rewarding is collaborating with transportation planners, engineers, and local project sponsors to realize meaningful community improvements.

Contact: [email protected]

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