For the past three years, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services of the city of San Jose, Calif., has conducted an extensive user count and survey of its major trails and greenways. This year's count, which was conducted on September 23, has resulted in some encouraging statistics:
- Usage is up: The overall number of trail users was 9.6 percent higher than a year ago
- Most use the trails for transportation: 53 percent of trail users reported their primary use of the trail was to commute or run errands
- They're using the trails more often: 68 percent reported that their usage of the trail system has increased "significantly" or "a little" in the past two years
- Trail users feel safe: 99.4 percent reported feeling "very safe" or "somewhat safe" on the city's trail system
There are even more numbers that quantify the good things happening on San Jose's trails–you can read all the details in the city's press release, fact sheet, summary report and survey questions and findings. You can also review survey results from 2007 and 2008 on the department's trail count website, as well. The city notes on its trail survey page that reliable statistics about trail usage have helped the city secure more than $1 million in trail funding.