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Title: Multi-Use Trail Evaluation Tool for VDOT State Trails Office
Contact: Audrey K. Moruza
Project No.: 124251
Target Date: 10/31/2025
Abstract: VDOT's new State Trails Office (STO) has requested VTRC assistance with development of a prototype tool to evaluate multi-use trail projects that apply for VDOT or other trail funding.  This topic ranked first of nine in the Transportation Planning Research Advisory Committee’s spring 2023 research prioritization process. Two concerns conveyed by the STO will guide this research.  First, the STO has requested a tool capable of evaluating the benefits of completing a regional network by adding trail segments, i.e., a tool capable of describing the benefit of the segment to the whole trail system.  Second, the STO has a high interest in the incorporation of equity, which can entail strategic location of multi-use trails projects, special accessibility features, the provision of meaningful trail development roles to impacted  stakeholders, or other factors. Qualitatively, the tool should enable STO to consistently compare proposed trail projects, and it could help to establish a future funding pipeline that enables phasing of projects.  Another benefit, which may be quantifiable, is to compare the cost in person-hours of a tool-assisted comparison of trail proposals with the cost in person-hours of a manual evaluation.

     Donna Chen
     Avi Hoen
     Audrey K. Moruza