Regional Patapsco Greenway Project
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The Regional Patapsco Greenway (RPG) project ascertains the potential economic impact of adding shared-use pathways connected to a network of shared-use pathways between the following destinations: Baltimore City’s Inner Harbor; the existing BWI Trail; Elkridge; historic Ellicott City; Catonsville; the existing Grist Mill Trail. Currently, the Grist Mill Trail, between Ellicott City and Elkridge, starts at Elkridge but does not extend into Ellicott City. Howard County’s Office of Transportation wants to extend the Grist Mill Trail into Historic Ellicott City and Catonsville, as well as extending it south to the existing BWI Trail and to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. These extensions are expected to drive tourist traffic to the connected nodes, and to improve business revenue and growth, reduce congestion, improve public health, improve air quality, and provide recreational pathways for non-motorized traffic (see Figure 1). This report researches the economic impact of similar projects on their communities, and will help evaluate the potential benefits of building the regional pathway network. This report reviews impacts on public health, property values, congestion, air quality, tourism, sales revenue and potential business accruement. The resulting compiled data shows the potential economic impact if this network of shared-use pathways were to be completed. Data was gathered from multiple sources, analyzed, and used to make projections about the potential economic impact of building the shared-use pathway. Current economic data was gathered from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Business Analysis Online. Scholarly articles and previous impact studies were used to make projections based on the ESRI data. Specifically, the ESRI data was gathered from a quarter mile on either side of the proposed RPG pathway public health, congestion, air quality, tourism, business revenue, and business accrual data (see figure 2) were compared to the economic impact studies. Based on the research, extrapolations were made to predict the impact of building the RPG project.