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Advocating for Active Transportation

Photo courtesy Getty Images

Creating vibrant trail and active transportation networks that serve neighborhoods across America requires public policies and programs that robustly fund this infrastructure. For decades, RTC, its members and partners have advocated for investments in the infrastructure communities need to safely walk and bike where they live. Together, we’re sending a clear message to the nation’s decisionmakers and elected leaders: Americans want active transportation networks where they live.

Our collective advocacy has translated into billions of dollars for trails, and innovative new policies and programs that make it easier to fund projects that connect trails and other walking and biking infrastructure. Today, our focus is on protecting and expanding those programs so that resources to connect the nation by trail are available and accessible to the entire country.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Bicyclist near Capitol Building - Photo courtesy D.C. Department of Transportation
Photo courtesy D.C. Department of Transportation

When the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (H.R.3684), otherwise known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed in November 2021, it included reauthorization of the nation’s federal surface transportation bill that more than doubled funding for trails, walking and biking. The bill bolsters long-standing federal programs for trails and active transportation and creates new funding and new opportunities to advance trail networks nationwide.

Changemakers for Trails

RTC has resources to help you join the ranks of changemakers for trails nationwide. Learn more about what advocacy involves, why it is important, what RTC is advocating for and how you can get involved.

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Stories About Trail Advocacy

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Resources

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton in Washington, D.C. | Photo by Eric Kayne/AP
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton in Washington, D.C. | Photo by Eric Kayne/AP

Advocating for Trails and Active Transportation

Advocacy is key to building connected, accessible trails across America. Learn what it takes to advocate for a nation connected by trails and get information and resources to help you become a successful changemaker for trails.

Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia | Photo by Milo Allerton
Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia | Photo by Milo Allerton

Federal Funding Tool

RTC’s new federal funding tool will help you identify funding sources that may be a good fit for your projects.

Wisconsin's Capital City State Trail | Photo by Barbara Richey
Wisconsin’s Capital City State Trail | Photo by Barbara Richey

State Policy Legislation Examples

Use RTC’s Resource Library to view sample legislation to empower transportation advocates, legislators, government officials and their staff with information and examples of effective funding models that can be replicated to secure the investments they need locally.

Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC | Photo by TrailLink user iancurcio
Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC | Photo by TrailLink user iancurcio

Resources for Local Leaders

Officials at the local, state, regional and federal levels often hold the keys to funding or policy changes to catalyze networks.

Wisconsin’s Oak Leaf Trail | Photo by Front Room Media
Wisconsin’s Oak Leaf Trail | Photo by Front Room Media

Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange

Rails to Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange (TrADE) is the nation’s go-to transportation funding data source for trails and active transportation, tracking TA spending for tens of thousands of projects.

Case Studies

RTC has compiled a collection of case studies that you can take with you to your next meeting with an influential decision maker or official. Our story bank demonstrates how trails, walking, and biking are making a real impact in communities across America—large and small, urban and rural. A simple and compelling story can make a lasting impression with a decision maker and convince them of the value of these projects.

Choose a story that highlights a project in a community near you, or bring along an example from outside your region that showcases the type of vision you want to achieve. 

Partnership For Active Transportation

The Partnership for Active Transportation is a unique collaboration of organizations working at the intersection of transportation, public health and community vitality to promote greater investment in creating safe trail, walking and bicycling networks for all, and facilitating greater physical activity through active transportation.

Photo by Adam Coppola Photography

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