FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 30, 2020
Patricia Brooks, Patricia@matchmapmedia.com, 202.351.1757
Capital Trails Coalition Celebrates Approval of National Capital Trail Network As Major Step Forward for Trails, Walking and Biking Across Region
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board Action Significant for Coalition’s Vision to Improve Regional Connectivity By 2045
WASHINGTON—The Capital Trails Coalition, and its founding members the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), are celebrating a major step forward in the vision to connect the region by trails—creating equitable, accessible spaces for walking and biking across D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board (TPB) passage in July of the National Capital Trail Network—a concept for a 1,400-mile, continuous network of off-street trails—expands upon the Coalition’s vision to increase multi-use trail connectivity across the region. The passage of the network enables specified trail projects to be prioritized for funding from the Transportation Alternatives Program and the Transportation Land-Use Connections Program.
“The Capital Trails Coalition is thrilled with the unanimous decision to adopt the National Capital Trail Network. For several years we’ve been working in lockstep with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to make this network a reality. Having the Transportation Planning Board adopt the network will be instrumental in elevating the status of trail projects in the region,” said Stephanie Piperno, trails coalition manager for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
The National Capital Trail Network details 1,400 miles of connected off-street trails, of which 645 miles already exist, that would significantly increase the number of people who have access to trails in the region. The network was a priority for the Capital Trails Coalition, which is working to advance completion of an interconnected network of multi-use trails serving D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and is part of RTC’s TrailNation™ portfolio, regional trail-network-building projects being implemented across the country.
“We live in a region that has a large demand for trails, and even more so during this time. Yet, access to trails is uneven and often inequitable. The Transportation Planning Board’s adoption of this plan shows a major commitment to include and expand upon the Capital Trails Coalition’s vision of ensuring equitable access to trails for all people across the Washington region,” said Liz Thorstensen, vice president of trail development at RTC and chair of the Coalition. “Trail networks are a cost-effective way to bring tremendous value to the region, and this plan prioritizes this mission.”
The Capital Trails Coalition envisions a seamless regional trail network that connects the District of Columbia; City of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia; and Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland. A full map can be found on the Capital Trails Coalition’s website capitaltrailscoalition.org.
Learn more about RTC’s TrailNation program at railstotrails.org/trailnation.
The Capital Trails Coalition is a collaboration of public and private organizations, agencies and citizen volunteers working to advance completion of an interconnected network of multi-use trails for metropolitan Washington, D.C. The Coalition convenes and coordinates public and private stakeholders who are critical to accomplishing the vision of an interconnected network. Learn more about the Capital Trail Coalition at captialtrailscoalition.org. For more information on the Capital Trails Coalition, please contact Stephanie Piperno firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. Connect with RTC at railstotrails.org and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.