Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Farhad Atash


Since the earliest foundations of community planning and development, man has generally agreed that open space is important. Several "new t own" designs have included open space as a necessary part of developing a new community. Unfortunately, larger cities did not have any room for great amounts of open space and the urbanization of many cities continued.

During the 1960s an increased awareness of the environment brought many changes, the most important being the way we think. This attitude has given an entire generation a new perspective. Open space and its environmental significance has played a key role in the development of linear parks and bike paths. And although many of the first bike paths developed in the United States were built in rural areas, the idea to rehabilitate abandon rails into trails gives new hope for urban areas.

The national awareness of developing abandon rails into trails is increasing. Unfortunately many towns are unaware of the process in which they must follow. The methods and approaches in which communities need to follow differ among communities. Key variables that will be discussed in my study are: federal, state, and local government roles; costs; land use; population and demographics; site development; and design guidelines. The population variable will refer to the size of the community, while demographics refer to the character (age, race, sex, and religion) of the community.

Bicycle paths are the latest design for linear parks. The need for communities to develop these types of parks depends on the community. The objective of this study is to examine how to go about getting a bicycle path for your community, and the benefits that go along with developing a bike path.



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