The Answer? All of the above . . . and more. But how do you prove it?
Step One: Think Big What sectors of the local economy might a trail system impact the most? • Fiscal • Transporta%on • Environmental • Public Health
Step Two: Dig In How do those beneﬁts break down? Individual Beneﬁts Community Beneﬁts • Recrea;on Costs • Air Quality • Health Care Cost • Carbon Sequestra;on Savings • Ecosystem Services • Vehicle Opera;ng • Clean Water Cost Savings • Crash Risk Reduc;on • Property Value Premiums
Are You Sure You Can Quan%fy All These Things? Yes. And more…
The Bayou Greenway Ini%a%ve Trails Beneﬁts Model
Here’s How It Works • Most beneﬁts are derived from the number of individuals who can be expected to use the trails in some form – cyclists, hikers, runners, walkers, general recrea;onal users, and commuters • User counts are predicated on popula;on proximity to the park/trail system with 1.5 miles being the limit of inﬂuence • Using popula;on counts within 1.5 miles on either side of the park/trail created a 3 mile-‐wide band overlaying the en;re system
Basis of the Model • User predic;ons, the key to es;ma;ng impact and beneﬁts, are based on work developed in coopera;on with the Federal Highway Administra;on • Assump;ons and methodologies have been reviewed and discussed with experts at Rice University, Texas A&M, Baylor College of Medicine, Harris County Flood Control, and Houston-‐Galveston Area Council (H-‐GAC) • Data provided by H-‐GAC, HCAD, Trust for Public Lands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Census Bureau, Texas Transporta;on Ins;tute, League of American Bicyclists, Houston Parks Board
The Bayou Greenway Numbers So, It Costs $490 Million to Construct 300 Miles of Trails and You Es%mate that it Will Generate What…? Total Annual Benefits Aggregated: Recreation and Health benefit values are projectedat Low, Moderate and High levels based on the number of potential users; VehicleOperating Cost Savings, Crash Reduction, Air Quality, Carbon Sequestration, EcosystemServices, Clean Water and Property Value benefits are held constant. Low Moderate HighBrays Bayou $15,308,931 $17,199,497 $20,710,549Buffalo Bayou $13,878,209 $15,713,039 $19,120,580Clear Creek $8,392,015 $9,278,097 $10,923,679Cypress Creek $15,313,593 $16,953,254 $19,998,337Greens Bayou $9,965,658 $11,044,379 $13,047,717Halls Bayou $8,292,679 $9,156,965 $10,762,067Hunting Bayou $5,369,813 $5,884,420 $6,840,121Sims Bayou $7,546,295 $8,606,832 $10,576,401Spring Creek $12,936,962 $14,180,246 $16,489,203White Oak Bayou $14,740,296 $16,324,877 $19,267,671 $111,750,244 $124,347,400 $147,742,119
Bayou Greenway Numbers By Category Recreation Benefits $ 63,209,711Health Benefits $ 13,927,262Vehicle Operating Cost Savings / Congestion Relief $ 3,778,207Crash Reduction $ 280,336Air Quality: VOC, Nox, CO2 $ 140,690Carbon Sequestration $ 5,794EcoSystem Services $ 20,972,475Clean Water $ 390,890Property Value $ 21,642,036Estimated Annual Total (Moderate) $124,347,400
Here Are Some Factoids • The model is constructed to calculate beneﬁts for each category for each of 70 segments within the 10 Bayous allowing for more detailed future analysis as needed • It contains “hot box” cells so assump;ons can be changed for easy scenario tes;ng or to update outdated data • It is ﬂexible and can be calibrated to reﬂect condi;ons anywhere
Major Metro Commute Shares And Beneﬁts Now Just For Fun… Let’s Compare Some Ci;es Very Unscien;ﬁcally City Bicycle Commute Low Moderate High Share (12)Dallas 0.15% $103,818,083 $115,038,240 $127,302,132Houston (As Calculated Above) 0.38% $111,750,244 $124,347,400 $147,742,119Houston (2000) 0.46% $113,297,283 $126,135,230 $152,959,232Atlanta 1.10% $132,867,244 $149,045,144 $205,928,729Chicago 1.15% $135,581,198 $152,253,905 $212,328,580San Antonio / Pittsburg 1.40% $142,040,663 $159,784,167 $230,758,181Denver 1.81% $154,577,669 $174,460,831 $264,691,765Portland 5.81% $276,889,926 $317,647,797 $595,751,120(12) Commute Share Percentages are per the League of American Bicyclists (2009, 70 Largest US Cities).Each .01% (0.0001) increase in commute share generates $329,654 (moderate).
You Get The Idea The beneﬁts associated with linear parks, trails, bikeways, and greenspace are neither abstract nor rhetorical. Green infrastructure beneﬁts can be quan;ﬁed. The beneﬁts green infrastructure provides individuals and communi;es can be drama;c. And once the beneﬁts have been deﬁned, they can support green infrastructure ini;a;ves in a variety of important ways.