Support for the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act

170 organizations joined Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in showing broad support to Congress for taking a visionary approach to reauthorizing the federal transportation bill. In order to provide increased investment in connected infrastructure for walking and biking within and between communities across the country, Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-2), Daniel Lipinski (IL-3) and Chris Pappas (NH-1) introduced the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act (H.R. 5696). This proposal outlined $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.

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 (Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), in the Senate, and Reps. Jared Huffman (Calif.-2), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.-3) and Chris Pappas (N.H.-1) in the House; 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

Organizations who have signed on to support the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act
  • Active Southern West Virginia
  • Alaska Trails
  • Allegheny Trail Alliance
  • Anchorage Park Foundation
  • Anchorage Trails
  • Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning
  • Bike Buckeye Lake
  • Bike to the sea
  • BikeDFW
  • Blue Ridge Bicycle Club
  • Broad Top Township
  • Centerville City Utah
  • Chenango Greenway Conservancy
  • Chesterfield Parks, Recreation & Arts
  • 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
  • East Haven Shoreline Greenway Trail
  • Edison GreenN/Aways Group
  • Elkin Valley Trails
  • Florida Bicycle Association
  • Foresthill Trails Alliance
  • Friends of Eastside Trails
  • Friends of Mariner Trail
  • Friends of Pathways
  • Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail
  • Friends of the Cumberland River Bicenten
  • Friends of the Manhan Rail Trail
  • Friends of the Yamhelas westsider Trail
  • Gateway East Trails
  • Grassroots Alexandria
  • Green Mobility Network
  • Green Party of Bay County
  • Greene County Soil & Water Conservation
  • Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc.
  • Headwaters Trail System
  • Humboldt Trails Council
  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
  • Ironton Rail-Trail
  • Kingston Land Trust
  • Live Healthy DeKalb County, Active Trans
  • Maria C. Cruz
  • Memphis Hightailers Bicycle Club
  • Mid-South Trails Association
  • Missouri Rock Island Trail
  • Montana Trails Coalition
  • Municipality of Anchorage
  • Naples Pathways Coalition
  • Nebraska Trails Foundation
  • New Covenant Church
  • Noble Trails, Inc.
  • North Florida Bicycle Club
  • Northeast Texas Trail
  • Ohio Public Health Association
  • Old Stone Arch Nature Trail
  • Park to Park Bike Path Committee
  • Parks & Trails New York
  • PedNet Coalition
  • Platte PEER Group
  • Polly Ann Trailway Management Council
  • Portland (CT) Air Line Trail Committee
  • Presumpscot Regional Land Trust
  • Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern PA, I
  • Rails to Trails of NW Montana
  • Red Line Parkway Initiative
  • Regional Trail Corporation
  • River Region Trails
  • Sandusky County Park District
  • Sebastopol TrailMakers
  • Slate Valley Trails
  • Southern Tier Bicycle Club
  • 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
  • Town of Dryden, New York
  • Wabash Trace Nature Trail
  • West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coaliti
  • Windham Area Recreation Foundation
  • Wolfe City Are Parks & Recreation
  • Wyoming Pathways