FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Alameda Community Rallies around Active Transportation
Plans for Trails and Bikeways Inspire Unprecedented Public Support
Washington, D.C.—Alameda is home to six of the most heavily congested freeway corridors in the Bay Area. This Thursday, January 15, 2009, 68:30 p.m., at the St. Leanders School (451 Davis Street, San Leandro, CA 94577) in San Leandro, Calif., community members and national experts will rally around "Active Alameda: Kids, Commuters & Community," a local active transportation initiative that aims to address that very concern. The meeting is open to the public.
Active transportation, also known as walking and bicycling, is a cost-effective and proactive method of addressing Alameda's congestion issues, particularly when combined with public transit. "Active Alameda: Kids, Commuters & Community" uses three active transportation approaches to tackle the congestion problems: promoting safe walking and biking to schools to children and their parents; encouraging access to transit that connects with employment centers for commuters; and supporting comprehensive community access to places where people live, work, play and learn.
"We are committed to expanding active transportation in Alameda County, because we see how it improves the quality of our life," says Tess Lengyel, programs and public affairs manager for the Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTIA). "Rail-trails like the Iron Horse Trail and Bay Trail projects, and programs like Safe Routes to School and Safe Routes for Seniors (known as 'travel training') are tremendously popular here, and we want to expand those great resources across the County."
In attendance will be ACTIA, United Seniors for Oakland/Alameda County, and TransForm, as well as other local leaders and grassroots organizers. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) President Keith Laughlin and Western Regional Office Director Laura Cohen will be on hand to help facilitate the meeting and rally support for active transportation infrastructure. Alameda is one of dozens of communities across the United States participating in RTC's 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation. RTC, a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., with a regional office in San Francisco, is spearheading the campaign with the goal of doubling the federal investment in walking and biking in the next transportation reauthorization.
"Alameda County's comprehensive approach to providing safe, convenient and healthy mobility for all of its residents is truly impressive," says Kevin Mills, vice-president for policy at RTC. "In these times of high congestion, an obesity crisis and concerns about climate change, Alameda County is demonstrating the local vision to address many problems with a single, cost-effective solution."
As part of the campaign, each community is advocating for $50 million in federal funds for infrastructure to shift automobile trips to walking and biking. Learn more about RTC's 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation at www.railstotrails.org/2010.
The Alameda 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation is generously supported by the San Francisco Foundation.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 members, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit www.railstotrails.org.