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Proximity and Perceived Safety as Determinants of Urban Trail Use: Findings from a Three-City Study

Jennifer R Wolch, Zaria Tatalovich, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Jason Byrne, Michael Jerrett, Chih-Ping Chou, Susan Weaver, Lili Wang, William Fulton and Kim Reynolds
Additional contact information
Jennifer R Wolch: College Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, 230 Wurster Hall #1820, Berkeley, CA 94720-1820, USA
Zaria Tatalovich: National Institute of Health, Building 6116-6116 Exec Blvd, 504, Mail Stop: 8315, 6116 Exec Blvd, Rockville, MD 20892, USA
Donna Spruijt-Metz: Institute for Prevention Research, Health Sciences Campus, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
Jason Byrne: Griffith School of Environment, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, QLD 4222, Australia
Michael Jerrett: School of Public Health, University of California, 50 University Hall #7360, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, USA
Chih-Ping Chou: Institute for Prevention Research, Health Sciences Campus, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
Susan Weaver: Sohmar Research Group, PO Box 24618, Ventura, CA 93002, USA
Lili Wang: School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University, 411 N. Central Avenue, Suite 550, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
William Fulton: Sohmar Research Group, PO Box 24618, Ventura, CA 93002, USA
Kim Reynolds: School of community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, 180E Via Verde St, Suite 100, San Dirnas, CA 91773, USA

Environment and Planning A, 2010, vol. 42, issue 1, 57-79

Abstract: In this study we focus on individual and environmental determinants of urban trail use in three diverse urban settings: Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Explanatory factors include individual psychosocial and health characteristics, distance between home and trail, and land-use and social characteristics of trailside neighborhoods. Model results suggest that intrinsic motivation, general health status, perceived trail safety, perceived miles between home and trail, and neighborhood connectivity were significantly related to probability of trail use and extent of trail use, while working-class status, commuting distance, and physical barriers to the trail were negatively related. Efforts to increase perceived trail safety, accessibility, and awareness about trails thus may result in a higher rate of trail use and more time spent on urban trails.

Date: 2010
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