When Is A Bike Path More Than A Bike Path?

It may seem simple. A relatively narrow stretch of pavement, perhaps 5-6 feet wide that spans a few miles.  It’s a bike path, a running trail, a walking trail, nothing out of the ordinary right? In a new neighborhood it’s a lot more than a simple running trail.  It’s a carefully designed connection between neighbors, community events, parks and pools.  All designed to help make a development more appealing to homebuyers.

A Path to Connect

These paths that meander through neighborhoods, across open fields are a connection to neighbors. A good trail system helps a community bond together, neighbors can create friendships as they meet each other on their daily runs, walks. As neighbors walk their dogs they can bond as many pet lovers do. A community will also bond over the status of their beloved trails, they’ll help maintain them, keep them clean and safe.

A Path to Good Community

Something about a simple trail is that it also generates a “small town” atmosphere that we all love and want to grow old in. The idea of a simple walk, or bike ride to another location gives the sense that the community is a small, tight-knit community away from the hustle and bustle of the it’s surrounding city. With a small town feeling comes the sense that the community is good, it promotes recreation, it encourages its neighbors coming together. In even a bigger picture a path or trail system offers a breath of fresh air.

A Path to Friendships Young and Old

The most obvious use of the trail system is connecting amenities within the community.  A trail system connects neighborhoods to parks, pools and schools. It makes it easy for kids to get together for a game of football at the park.  Or parents to put their toddlers on the slide or swing, with an easy connection from home to a park, it’s easy for kids to meet and families to meet and build relationships. These relationships could turn into a long-term friendships, this promotes a healthy community, attracting new homebuyers, and allowing growth.

When you really think about it, a simple path is much more than a stretch of concrete you can run, walk or ride a bike.  It’s a path that will help grow a community.

Bruce Zander writes about community development in Castle Rock, CO and has a true admiration for communities with health and fitness amenities

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