The idea of creating a multi-use trail to crisscross throughout the city came about during the Livable Cities Initiative study that took place in 2013. And when city leaders asked residents whether to incorporate multi-use trails throughout Peachtree Corners, the idea was met with an enthusiastic “yes.”
Adding community trails has become a national trend as more and more residents embrace the idea of connecting neighborhoods to neighborhoods, and more support the idea of having the option of walking or bicycling to local shops, restaurants and work.
Interestingly, studies have shown another positive affect — adding multi-use trails, also increases home property values. Like good schools or low crime, creating an amenity that commands a higher price for nearby homes is a win-win for property owners.
A 2011 study by University of Cincinnati found that housing prices went up by nine dollars for every foot closer to the trail entrance. Ultimately, the study concluded that on average home buyers were willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be located one thousand feet closer to the trail.
Redfin, a residential real estate company that provides web-based real estate database services, developed a “Walk Score” point system to measure the impact trails have on home values. On a scale of 0-100, it measures a home’s value based on walking distance to jobs, schools, shopping, parks and other community amenities.
The company studied 14 major U.S. metro areas and found that one “Walk Score” point can increase the price of a home by an average of $3,250 or 0.9 percent. Using a scale of 0-100, Redfin gave metro Atlanta a Walk Score of 48.4, which equates to a 0.94 percent bump in the value of an Atlanta area home.
Home values and connectivity are not the only benefits. Trails are also valued by those who live nearby as places to enjoy the outdoors, exercise and safe corridors for walking or cycling to work or school.
In Atlanta, when fully completed, the Beltline will be a 26-mile loop of walking and biking trails around the city. The few finished segments are already making a notable difference in property values of homes and businesses that surround it.
And now we have the same opportunity. Our proposed 11 miles of trails will connect Technology Park, retail centers, the town center and neighborhoods. The city’s plans to add street lights and additional sidewalks around town is also part of the plan to make Peachtree Corners a walkable city.
The benefits, increased home values, recreation and connectivity, will make our community a top spot for residents to enjoy for years to come.
Mayor Mike Mason