Desire Paths: Oregon Suburb Creates Organic Network of Trails

Desire Paths: Oregon Suburb Creates Organic Network of Trails
Innovation

In Tigard, Oregon Kittelson & Associates are taking a page from "desire paths" (natural trails that evolve over time) and creating a network of walking paths to connect the town.

Dan Gould
  • 13 october 2009

Suburban areas are not particularly known for their walkability. With many suburbs created with cars in mind, pedestrians have to create their own shortcuts and paths to get around.

In Tigard, Oregon transportation planning firm Kittelson & Associates are taking a page from these “desire paths” (natural trails that evolve over time) and creating a network of 42 paths connecting residents with each other, local parks and businesses.  This new system of trails works with existing behavior – Tigard citizens had been biking and walking for years, making informal paths. A special website was created to involve Tigard residents in helping to plot out routes and highlight existing ones.

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