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The Hinshaw Greenway links neighborhoods and parks on both sides of a freeway.
Riverpoint ParkHinshaw GreenwaySouth Creek Linear Park
Cary, North Carolina
The town of Cary, NC, greenway system links neighborhoods to parks and other important destinations. Residents report that this popular pathway system is well maintained and appreciated. The paved Hinshaw Greenway is a 1.66 mile segment that connects two parks across a busy freeway in the midst of residential neighborhoods. A group of volunteers conduct periodic user counts across the greenway system, walking the pathways and recording data such as the number, approximate age, gender, and groupings of users. Data indicates a higher proportion of child pathway users than reported elsewhere in the literature. A pilot study conducted by the Natural Learning Initiative investigated why children and families are drawn to the Hinshaw Greenway. The data gatherers also noted needed repairs and other issues requiring attention.

User counts are an excellent way to calibrate pathway use, thus building evidence to support pathway development. San Jose, CA, has successfully used volunteer trail count data to secure grants for additional trail funding.*

Access to parks with attractive, well maintained playgrounds (meaningful destinations) was a major attraction. Linkage to a neighborhood gas station where children could go for refreshments was an additional benefit. Adult users reported using the pathway for exercise, dog walking, and relaxation, (mentioned by children as well); however, the destinations were more often mentioned by children as their primary purpose for pathway use.
Kids Together Network
This family walked to the Kids Together Playground along the Hinshaw Greenway to celebrate a birthday, which are such popular events that all the usual locations are occupied. Nonetheless, the group still enjoys a gathering spot on one of the playground’s internal pathways.
Hinshaw Greenway Pilot Study
Hinshaw Greenway pilot study station where children are being asked to draw pictures of the pathway in order to understand what they found meaningful.
Hinway Greenway Bridge Artwork
The bridge and artwork is represented in nearly every child’s drawing. The bridge crossing offers children the thrill of feeling the rush of freeway traffic below.
Hinway Greenway Pedestrian Bridge
Pedestrian bridge spanning the eight-lane freeway, bejeweled with easily identifiable artwork.
Hinshaw Greenway Neighborhoods Partners
This drawing shows how the Hinshaw Greenway for children connects neighborhood to parks and playgrounds.
Program developed in partnership with:
PlayCore Natural Learning Initiative
© 2010 PlayCore, Inc. and Natural Learning Initiative,College of Design,
NC State University.
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