This past year, Friends of the Riverfront completed a baseline economic study for the north shore of the Allegheny Valley. This portion of the valley is currently under development for a major extension of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail; developing trail from Millvale, PA to Freeport, PA will connect to the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail.
The purpose of this study was to establish a baseline of the economic activity in the valley around existing conditions. Much of the Trail in the Allegheny Valley is still under development, and some new sections are moving into the early stages of construction. We will be able to use the information gathered here to gage how further Trail development is impacting local businesses.
Unlike other traditional trail surveys, we asked businesses to share their knowledge of the current recreational assets in their communities and what is currently being developed.
61% of respondents said that they had a general idea or greater understanding of the trail systems in their area. Roughly 73% had knowledge of the developing Three Rivers Heritage Trail in the Allegheny Valley. 88% said they did not attribute their location to the Trail or River, but 42% would consider trail expansion as a factor in future business expansions.
As trail continues to develop in the Allegheny Valley, this study should be replicated to compare the impact as connections are built. We are excited to continue tracking the economic impact of the trail in Allegheny Valley.