Support for the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act

The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act is a major leap forward for America’s transportation future. It provides $2.5 billion in direct funding over five years to help communities and regions across the country to build connected active transportation systems that ensure people can get where they want to go safely by foot, bike or wheelchair—all while reducing carbon emissions and creating new jobs. Bipartisan cosponsors Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced the Senate version of the bill on Feb. 25, 2021.

This bill calls for $500 million annually for active transportation networks, providing walking and biking infrastructure so that people can safely travel between home and the places they want to go like jobs, schools, shopping and transit within their communities; and active transportation spines, which provide walking and biking routes between communities, regions and states. This proposal, if included in the next federal transportation bill alongside increased funding for Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program, would provide the necessary resources and policy changes to deliver a 21st-century transportation system to the nation.

170 organizations have joined Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in showing broad support to Congress for taking a visionary approach to reauthorizing the federal transportation bill.

Dear Members of Congress,

On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our millions of members and supporters, we write to express support for the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act. This bill will provide direct federal competitive grants to governments to build safe and connected walking and biking routes. Just as highways and rails must be connected into functional systems to achieve their objectives, walking and biking routes provide far greater returns when we fill in the gaps between existing facilities.

The reauthorization of the FAST Act provides an opportunity to create safe and affordable routes to meet the mobility needs of all Americans while enhancing the public health and economic well-being of rural, suburban and urban communities. The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act cosponsored by Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in the Senate will provide $500 million per year of funding for active transportation networks to connect routine destinations within regions and to connect between communities and across state lines.

Nearly half of all trips Americans take are within a 20-minute bicycle ride and more than 20 percent of all trips are within a 20-minute walk. Shifting some of these short trips from driving to walking and bicycling can cost effectively reduce pollution and traffic congestion, while increasing physical activity levels and enhancing mobility for people with disabilities. The Nonmotorized Pilot Project established by Congress in SAFETEA-LU demonstrated that such mode shift occurs when active transportation facilities are connected and promoted.

The reauthorization of the FAST Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to prioritize active transportation networks to give people access to affordable, safe and healthy mobility options. Current federal programs are essential to provide resources for individual walking and biking projects, but completing America’s active transportation system will take far too many decades without supplemental federal investment focused on seeding a federal/state/local partnership to connect existing facilities within and between regions.

Congress has the opportunity now to provide strategically focused investment that will meet burgeoning demand to connect safe walking and biking routes to everyday destinations and complete the nation’s active transportation system.

Please include the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act in the transportation reauthorization bill that you are currently developing.

Organization’s Supporting the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act

  • Alaska Outdoor Alliance
  • Allegheny Trail Alliance
  • Almanor Recreation and Park Dis
  • Anchorage Park Foundation
  • ANP Lighting
  • Athens County, Ohio Planning Department
  • Athens hiking and Biking trails
  • Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning
  • Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County
  • Bike Anchorage
  • Bike Buckeye Lake
  • Bike Delaware
  • Bike Durham
  • Bike Miami Valley
  • Bike Tiverton
  • Bike to the Sea
  • Bike Walk Cleveland
  • Bike Walk Mississippi
  • BikeDFW
  • Billings TrailNet
  • Blue Ridge Bicycle Club
  • Bongorno Consulting
  • Broad Top Township
  • Building Memphis
  • Cardinal Greenway, Inc.
  • Cascade Bicycle Club
  • Centerville City Utah
  • Chenango Greenway Conservancy
  • Chesterfield Parks, Recreation & Arts
  • City of Fayetteville
  • City of Valley
  • Civil War Rail Trail-Promotion
  • Coffman Studio
  • Cowboy Trail West, Inc
  • Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail
  • Dekalb County Forest Preserve District
  • Detroit Greenways Coalition
  • E. Holdings, Inc.
  • East Haven Shoreline Greenway Trail
  • Edison Greenways Group
  • Elkin Valley Trails
  • Executive Director
  • Florida Bicycle Association
  • Foresthill Trails Alliance
  • ForeverGreen Trails
  • Friends of Dodge County Parks, Inc.
  • Friends of Eastside Trails
  • Friends of Madison County Parks and Trail
  • Friends of Mariner Trail
  • Friends of Mariner Trail
  • Friends of Pathways
  • Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail
  • Friends of the Community Path
  • Friends of the Cumberland River Bicentennial
  • Friends of the Legacy Trail
  • Friends of the Manhan Rail Trail
  • Friends of the Riverfront
  • Friends of the Yamhelas Westsider Trail
  • Gallatin Valley Land Trust
  • Gateway East Trails
  • Georgia Bikes
  • Granite State Rail Trail
  • Grassroots Alexandria
  • Greater Redmond TMA
  • Green Mobility Network
  • Green Party of Bay County
  • Greene County Soil & Water Conservation
  • Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc.
  • Headwaters Trail System
  • Hopkinton (MA) Upper Charles Trail Comm
  • Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association
  • Humboldt Trails Council
  • Indigo Rush
  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
  • Ironton Rail-Trail
  • Kingston Land Trust
  • Lackawanna River Conservation Assoc.
  • Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy
  • Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy
  • Live Healthy DeKalb County, Active Trans
  • Maria C. Cruz
  • Marin County Bicycle Coalition
  • Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
  • McHenry County Bicycle Advocates
  • Memphis Hightailers Bicycle Club
  • Michigan Central Trail Commission
  • Mid-South Trails Association
  • Missouri Rock Island Trail
  • Montana Trails Coalition
  • Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
  • Municipality of Anchorage
  • Naples Pathways Coalition
  • Naples Pathways Coalition
  • National Road Heritage Corridor
  • Nebraska Trails Foundation
  • New Covenant Church
  • NH RAIL TRAIL COALITION
  • Noble Trails, Inc.
  • North Florida Bicycle Club
  • North Kitsap Trails Association
  • Northeast Texas Trail
  • Ohio Public Health Association
  • Ohio Trails Partnership
  • Old Stone Arch Nature Trail
  • Oregon Trails Coalition
  • Oswegoland Park District
  • Palouse to Cascades Trail Coalition
  • Park to Park Bike Path Committee
  • Parks & Trails New York
  • Partners for Active Living
  • PedNet Coalition
  • Pelican Cycling Adventures
  • Peninsula Trails Coalition
  • Piedmont Legacy Trails
  • Platte PEER Group
  • Polly Ann Trailway Management Council
  • Portland (CT) Air Line Trail Committee
  • Presumpscot Regional Land Trust
  • Rails to Trails of NW Montana
  • Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern PA, I
  • Red Line Parkway Initiative
  • Regional Trail Corporation
  • River Region Trails
  • Sacramento Trailnet
  • Salida-area Parks, Open-space & Trails (
  • Sandusky County Park District
  • Save Mount Diablo
  • Schuylkill River Development Corporation
  • Sebastopol TrailMakers
  • Slate Valley Trails
  • Southern Tier Bicycle Club
  • SPATS MPO /Spartanburg Area Transp Study
  • St. John Lutheran School
  • Steffey Trail Connections
  • Summit Parkline Foundation
  • Tahoe-Pyramid Trail
  • The Buckeye Lake Region Corporation
  • The Friends of the Panhandle Pathway
  • Tidewater Trails Alliance
  • Top of Michigan Trails Council
  • Town of Dryden, New York
  • Trailsnet.com
  • TRECYCLE
  • Triangle Rail to Trails Conservancy
  • UICO LLC
  • Urbana Park District
  • Virginia Bicycling Federation
  • Wabash Trace Nature Trail
  • Washington Area Bicyclists Assoc. (WABA)
  • West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition
  • Whitehall Township
  • Windham Area Recreation Foundation
  • Wolfe City Are Parks & Recreation
  • Wyoming Pathways