Advocacy and How We Got Here


The Opportunity for Visionary Change


The pace has quickened on reauthorization of the federal surface transportation bill, and all indications are that the federal government is poised to reauthorize the FAST Act before it expires in September, likely in conjunction with a bipartisan infrastructure package.

The team at RTC has been working with our partners in the trails, walking and biking movement, as well as our champions on Capitol Hill, to define the components of a visionary transportation bill. Our vision will increase funding for trails, walking and biking, while targeting investments in projects that connect people to the places they want to go and serve communities most in need.

This is a generational opportunity to invest America’s transportation dollars in ways that deliver myriad transportation, health, equity, environmental and economic outcomes, especially as COVID-19 has strained local economies and existing trail and active transportation infrastructure. There are more than 40,000 miles of multiuse trails on the ground nationwide, ready to form seamless networks that connect people and places.

Now is the time for Congress to take bold steps to transform America with safe, connected trail and active transportation networks.

RELATED:

Key elements of the Federal Agenda for Active Transportation follow, with an emphasis on strategic investments in programs that prioritize the connectivity of trails, walking and biking, which has the potential to generate an estimated $138 billion per year in economic benefit to the nation:

  • Prioritize investments that link existing trails, bikeways and sidewalks into functional networks that connect people to key destinations and communities to each other, with special attention to the needs of underserved communities. Competitive federal active transportation connectivity grants are essential to enable communities to establish low-stress routes to walk and bike.    
  • Through reauthorization of the FAST Act, double dedicated project funding for trails, walking and biking through Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program to ensure resources are available in every city and state to meet growing demand for safe places to walk, bike and move. 
  • Establish an Active Transportation Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). 
  • Pilot strategies to make transportation planning practices equitable and responsive to neighborhood priorities and revive the USDOT initiative to promote equitable outcomes.  
  • Prioritize and incentivize active transportation as a critical strategy in cutting carbon emissions from transportation.  
  • Develop regulations governing the use of electric bicycles on public lands that are consistent across federal agencies and responsive to the needs of local land managers and the public.

ORGANIZATIONAL SIGN ON  FEDERAL LEADERSHIP LETTER

Support for the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act

The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act (H.R.2991/S.684) provides creates safe, convenient walking and biking routes in our communities while addressing critical challenges to our economy, climate, health and safety.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ACT

RELATED:

These Four Bills Could Help Loosen Car Dependency’s Grip On U.S. Cities By Kea Wilson, Streetsblog USA