Greenway construction

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Greenways are open space corridors that can be managed for conservation, recreation, and/or alternative modes of transportation. When used for recreation and transportation, greenways are off-road facilities that follow a linear corridor of natural or existing open space, such as stream valleys, canals, utility corridors, abandoned rail lines and others. [1] Most greenways connect recreational, natural, cultural, and/or historic areas. Greenways may be publicly or privately-owned.

Greenway construction is the planning, design, and development of greenways. Cooperative public and private partnerships, including citizen and user groups, government agencies, and private businesses, typically lead the greenway construction process. A primary federal funding source is the Transportation Alternatives Program, which requires a local match of at least 20%. [2]




A municipality identifies a corridor between a school and a nearby park in which it would like to provide a means for students and residents to walk or bike instead of driving in-between. A committee of local officials, citizens, advocates, and consultants is formed to work with property owners to acquire rights-of-way, design the greenway, apply for funding, and oversee construction.


Potential tradeoffs of implementing this policy may include:

  1. Variable federal funding and support
  2. Safety, security, and liability concerns
  3. Increased property values may reduce affordable housing options
  4. Environmental degradation in sensitive areas (e.g. riparian areas)
  5. Loss of land for other transportation uses
Compatibility Assessment

If answered yes, the following questions indicate superior conditions under which the policy is more likely to be appropriate:

  1. Is the proposed greenway part of a larger comprehensive trail or greenway plan?
  2. Is there community support for the development of the greenway?
  3. Have necessary rights-of-way been acquired (or is there willingness to acquire)?
  4. Are funds available to cover costs of planning, design, and construction (with the knowledge that up to 80% could be reimbursed through TAP)?
  5. Are there environmental and social conditions that would be improved as a result of the greenway?

The following questions should be considered when determining how to implement this policy:

  1. What is the primary purpose of the greenway – transportation, conservation, or recreation?
  2. What activities will be allowed on the greenway?
  3. Will the greenway be public or private?
  4. Who will lead the planning, design, and construction of the greenway?
  5. Who will operate and manage the greenway after construction?


  • Has adoption of: Common. Construction of greenways is increasingly popular as municipalities look for cost effective ways to provide recreational opportunities, foster alternative transportation modes, conserve environmental resources, and promote cultural amenities. [3]




  1. ""
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  3. Introduction to Special Issue Trails and Greenways: Opportunities for Planners, Managers, and Scholars. Moore, Roger L. and C. Scott Shafer. (2001). The Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration. Volume 19. Number 3.
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