Access to Open Space

in New Jersey

New Jersey Access to
Open Space Report

In 2019, Charles Brown of Equitable Cities, served as a senior researcher/principal investigator with the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (NJ BPRC) in this study, which investigates how public open spaces are utilized by people in New Jersey with special attention to cities that contain large public open spaces. A pedestrian intercept survey was conducted in the summer and early fall of 2019 in nine cities containing 12 parks. The survey included questions on proximity to open space, distance, mode of access, ease of access by sidewalks and bike lanes, frequency of use, purpose of use, attractive park attributes, reasons for not using open spaces more often, specific types of barriers to using open spaces, the use of activity monitoring devices such as Fitbit, and also several questions pertaining to demographic and socioeconomic attributes of the respondents.

Much of the analysis in this report is preliminary. Rigorous statistical methods will be needed to fully comprehend the associations described in this report. Recourse will have to be taken to multivariate analysis to control for other variables when examining the relationship between park visit frequency and some of the key variables, such as walking access to parks. It may also be important to integrate secondary data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to control for variations in socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhoods surrounding the parks.

Project Details


    New Jersey Department of Transportation


    Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers University


    Selected Locations, NJ


    Open Space • Outdoor Recreation • Community Engagement

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