At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) 25th Anniversary celebration last October, we honored a group of men and women--the inaugural Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions--who have made a remarkable contribution to the rail-trail movement during the past quarter century. We will be posting a blog story on each of the honorees during the coming weeks. Today we recognize Greg Cox's enormous contribution to providing active transportation options to the people of California.
The rail-trail movement is fortunate to have a number of active supporters in positions of municipal leadership-men and women well-placed to convert an understanding of the benefits of trails and active transportation into actual projects and programs. Greg Cox is one such champion.
With a career in public service that began as a high school teacher, Cox went on to serve two terms as the mayor of Chula Vista, Calif., in the 1980s. He has served as a member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors since 1995, overseeing a regional government providing services for more than 3 million people.
Thanks in large part to Cox, Chula Vista is a community with plenty of options for getting around. During his time as mayor, Cox led a groundbreaking regional effort to build to a 24-mile, class I bike path looping around San Diego Bay. Today, the Bayshore Bikeway (left) connects five city jurisdictions and a number of parks and recreation facilities. Due to its stunning coastline setting and urban accessibility, the Bayshore Bikeway is a nationally renowned rail-trail often held up as an example of trails that serve a wide cross-section of the community. (*An update on construction of the Bayshore Bikeway and its many natural attractions)
Cox is respected by his fellow professionals and members of the public as a champion of the Safe Routes to School program. He continues to advocate for Complete Streets projects, and as president of the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities, brought together a bipartisan coalition to consider active transportation as an integral component of smart growth.
Cox selected the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC) to receive the Doppelt Family Rail Trail grant awarded in his honor. SDCBC is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the bicycling experience in San Diego. They organize educational programs, promote awareness of bicyclists and bicycling issues, review infrastructure improvements and act as a voice for bicyclists to elected officials and decision-makers throughout the region.