Neighborhood Trails Good for Fairbanks, AK

16 07 2007

Neighborhood Trails Improve Our Community

Full article here:  http://newsminer.com/2007/07/15/7921

“Quite a few Fairbanks neighborhoods have the benefit of fairly quick access to one or more neighborhood trails or bike paths, though very few have networks comparable to the ones in these new subdivisions. And that’s too bad. A neighborhood trail system, especially one that allows immediate access to each homeowner, is a wonderful asset. The benefits of a good neighborhood trail system are many:

A CONVENIENT PLACE TO EXERCISE: Trails make getting exercise much easier. Fairbanks has a lot of trails, but neighborhood trails eliminate the need to get into your car and drive to a trailhead. How wonderful it is to be able to just zip out the door onto the trails. We live in a society where obesity is becoming a large health problem, so finding ways to encourage people to get some exercise benefits the whole society.

naturetrail.jpgA WAY TO ENJOY NATURE: There’s something about being outside in nature that many people find rejuvenating. Trails offer that chance to reconnect with nature and get some spiritual relaxation along with exercise.

A PLACE TO MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS: Our society is becoming increasingly insular. Many people have never met their neighbors or if they have, only briefly. Trails offer a place where neighbors can meet and connect with each other in a relaxed setting.

ENHANCED PROPERTY VALUES: Access to trails increases property values. In a recent nationwide survey by the National Association of Homebuilders walking and jogging trails were the top amenity desired by prospective homebuyers.

INCREASED SAFETY: The vast majority of people who use trails are responsible citizens. Most users of a neighborhood trail system are neighbors. The more responsible neighborhood people who are out and about, the more eyes are watching the neighborhood and can spot anything amiss.

The benefits of greenbelts and neighborhood trail systems are clear and we, as individuals and as a community, should be doing more to encourage these amenities in new developments. But how? One obvious action is to always ask about access to trails and greenbelts if you looking to buy land or a house. Buyer demand is a big motivator for developers. Another way is to encourage the local government to require trails and greenbelts in new developments or at least provide incentives for developers to include them.”

The same can be said about Duluth.  Neighborhood trails will be a benefit to all of us.

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