Trails & Public Access
Trails provide vehicle-free access for recreation as well as commuting. More and more, public trails in urban areas are people’s primary links among home, work, shopping, parks and open space, and civic and cultural facilities. The slower pace of travel on a trail allows people to have leisurely contact with each other and with the local landscape, in contrast with auto-dependent environments.
Different users—pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians, and others—place a variety of demands and impacts on a trail. Alignments, widths, surface materials, staging areas, and access controls vary according to the needs of the individual and combined uses.
In our experience, trails that accommodate people with disabilities are usually more pleasant and comfortable for everyone, particularly when the accommodations are integral to the design. Standards for disabled access, though, have been evolving in response to different resources and recreational experiences.
John Northmore Roberts & Associates has provided planning and design services for the following:
• trail systems for entire cities or regions
• specific urban and rural trails
• trail segments within parks and other developments
• public access to specific or unique places
• access across private as well as public lands