After a discussion at an Adrian City Commission meeting earlier this summer about resurfacing part of the Kiwanis Trail, which runs from Adrian almost all the way to Tecumseh, city resident John Kuschell started wondering what kind of use the trail gets.
But instead of just wondering, he decided to find out. He designed a survey and visited the trail 21 times during July and August, taking three hours per visit and traveling the entire length. With the help of Tom MacNaughton, Re-Bicycle Lenawee, Adrian Locksmith and Cyclery, Maple City Wheelers and the YMCA of Lenawee County, he conducted 233 face-to-face interviews along the trail and gathered offsite responses from trail users, as well as counting the number of people using the trail at different times of day.
The final tally was the result of counting 720 trail users, conducting face-to-face interviews with 233, and collecting written surveys from 71 more. We’ll post more about the findings later, but in the meantime, here’s what the survey found.
What do people use the trail for? The majority of users, 63%, were biking. Of the remaining 37%, the majority were running or walking, with only a handful of people using rollerblades, skates or other modes.
Do people use the trail alone or in groups? Of the trail users counted, 39% were individuals using the trail alone, 34% were pairs of people, and 27% were groups of three or more.
What days are the most popular? The biggest day for trail use during the survey period was Thursday, followed by Wednesday, then Saturday. The day with the least usage was Friday.
What times of day are most popular? Overall, by far the heaviest trail usage came in the early evening, from 5 to 8 p.m., with 58% of users surveyed being on the trail during that time. However, on weekends, the time period from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. was the most popular.
How often do people use the trail? Of people who said they use the Kiwanis Trail regularly, 24% said they use it once a week, 42% said two to four days per week, and 34% said five to seven days per week.
Do people drive to the trail or not? When they drive, where do they park? About 20% of Kiwanis Trail users drive to a trail entrance. Of those people, the largest number park at the Bent Oak Avenue entrance in Adrian.
What improvements would trail users like to see? A smoother surface the biggest “wish list” item, with 39% saying they’d like to see surface improvements. Next was trimming of brush and branches (23%), expanding the trail to cover more distance (20%), and better signage (10%), with miscellaneous other ideas accounting for the remaining 8%.
Where do trail users come from? Of the trail users surveyed, 42% live in the city of Adrian, while 20% live in Adrian Township, 10% live in Madison Township, 9% in Raisin Township, 5% in the city of Tecumseh, and 14% in other areas.
Do trail users know who’s responsible for it? The city of Adrian pays for maintenance of the trail’s entire length, but only 31% of the people surveyed knew it was under the city’s jurisdiction.
Kuschell presented his findings to the Adrian City Commission at Tuesday night’s meeting.