Impacts of adjacent land use on Blue Ridge Parkway costs

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Impacts from urban development on the cost of providing recreation services on the Blue Ridge Parkway were modeled using cross-sectional linear regression techniques. Twelve Parkway segments and corresponding adjacent counties provided the study sample. Total and per visit annual costs were expressed as a function of segment variables and external variables representing adjacent county development. No correlation between operating cost and external variables was found. Total operating costs are positively correlated with visitor center capacity and camp and picnic sites. Cost per visit is positively correlated with the presence of concessions and recreation acreage, and negatively correlated with the number of camp and picnic sites, suggesting economies of scale. Non-operating costs in developed and undeveloped sections were compared. Costs associated with access control, land acquisition, and landscape screening, were higher in areas with a greater percentage of private ownership.