TRPC conducted a communitywide online survey to collect information from trail users to help inform the update to the Thurston Regional Trails Plan. The survey ran from February 1 through March 12, 2021. The survey included 14 questions that asked about:
What people value about trails
How people use trails and their convenience of access
Peoples’ sense of safety and security using trails
Planning priorities and investments
Community engagement preferences for participating in the plan update
The survey was promoted through social media, email, and signs placed on trails. Over 1,200 people participated in the survey. This page provides a general summary of the survey results. A detailed summary of the results is contained in the Thurston Regional Trails Plan Survey Summary.
Who Responded to the Survey?
91% non-Hispanic white; 9% people of color
67% 40-69 years old
90% college educated
70% live in a city or town
94% within a local zip code
5% has a disability
71% from households earning $75K or more
19% earn $50K-$74.9K
10% earn less than $50K
What the Survey Confirmed about Trail Use
Trails are recognized as community assets that contribute to peoples’ quality of life.
Trails are principally used for recreation, wellness, and transportation activities.
Walking and bicycling are the most popular trail activities. They are also enjoyed for riding a horse, dog walking, and a variety of other activities.
Respondents report they feel safer using a trail with a companion vs. using them alone.
People desire clean and well-maintained facilities.
Survey Respondents’ Planning Priorities
Respondents’ top regional trails planning priorities include:
Maintain the existing system such as repairing trail surfaces, managing vegetation, and servicing damaged facilities
Expand trails within Thurston County – focus first on connecting to communities not linked by trails
Improve access to trails by increasing parking availability, installing more signs and maps to aid navigation, and creating new pathways to improve neighborhoods’ access to trails.
Create safer road crossings
Regular patrols to monitor safety and security on trails
Other trail related infrastructure such as restrooms/toilets
How will the survey data be used?
TRPC will use the survey results to inform the scope of the Regional Trails Plan Update. TRPC also shared the survey results with the agencies that manage the region’s trails. The project will continue to engage the community through TRPC’s website, email notifications, and social media. A future survey will solicit community feedback on the draft plan’s recommendations.