Learning that you may be getting a greenway in your area can bring up many different questions. The first one that comes to most people’s mind, after they find out what a greenway is, is “What will this do to the area”. Some people become concerned that there will be more foot traffic, that it may encourage trespassing, that animal waste will become more prevalent, and a number of other negative occurrences. However, others seem to take a more optimistic outlook to the change.

Based upon a 2012 study done on homes near trails and other types of greenways, it turns out that almost none of the negative feared outcomes came to fruition. The main concerns were those of trespassing upon private property and excessive dog waste in the yards of those close by. It was found that this was not wide spread in the least and in fact, depending upon trail design, may be completely avoidable.

The area which this study focused on was in Indiana, however the researchers are convinced that it would be similar for most places where trails are located. Although there were a few negative reactions, the majority of those living up against the trails cited both ease of access and convenience of use as positive outcomes of the positioning of the greenway. They also found that the physical wellness that resulted from the easy exercise of the trail was most beneficial to almost all around.

Some of the people who were interviewed stated that they believed they paid a higher price to live near the trails. Those who already had homes that were close said that they believed that either the property value would go up or the greenway could be used as a good selling point. This was rather the opposite of what many had worried about beforehand.

The main problem that residents found after the trail was developed had to do with dogs that were off leashes. Unfortunately, some were not picked up after and noise was also a complaint. Thankfully, these were few and far between. If you own property in Gaston County and there is talk of having a greenway put in nearby, do not worry. Many studies have been done and they almost always prove to be a benefit to the community. You will probably enjoy the area as well.