For school kids in Sheboygan, Wis., trails are about connections. And thanks to the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, a nearby trail, completed in the fall of 2013, provides connections of all kinds.
Christina Toms’ commute is the definition of multi-modal. From her front door in Fairfax, Calif., she hops on her bike and cruises down to the Larkspur ferry terminal. From there, she catches the ferry that brings her across the bay to the city of San Francisco. That commute is possible in large part to the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, an engineering triumph that makes the vital connection between San Rafael and Larkspur in Marin County, Calif.
On July 31, 2014 the Senate agreed to pass H.R. 5021. This bill, which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives the week before, will temporarily shore up the Highway Trust Fund and extend the current MAP-21 transportation funding bill, originally to fund transportation through Sept. 30, 2014, until May 2015.
Walking is a great (and free!) way to get outdoors and get some exercise! Walking is associated with reductions in risk of dementia, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer (breast and colon in particular) and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, being outdoors and around greenery can help with concentration and stress recovery, and sunlight on the skin leads to vitamin D production, which helps fight off cancer, osteoporosis and heart attacks.
On Monday, we asked trail users like you to support TIGER, a critical federal program that supports investments in trails, walking and biking. In just a few hours, thousands of you wrote to your representatives, and thanks to your swift action, support for TIGER has only grown.
Last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bill (S. 2322) to reauthorize MAP-21, the federal transportation legislation passed in 2012, which will expire at the end of September. The new bill seeks to fund transportation projects at status quo levels plus inflation through fiscal year 2020. The underlying premise of the bill is that transportation policies should not change substantially but should only be marginally refined, that long-term funding is critical for large infrastructure projects and that the current funding levels are acceptable.
This week, the White House and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx put forward the GROW AMERICA Act, a bill which would increase funding for transportation infrastructure in the United States. GROW AMERICA includes provisions that could support the development of active transportation networks; that is, infrastructure for human-powered modes of transportation such as walking and biking.
Last month, I had the pleasure of joining trail advocate and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis for a Saturday bike ride along San Francisco’s historic Embarcadero port area. As we road along the waterfront, Sen. Ellis and I shared ideas as well as success stories from our respective regions in hopes that we might help each other to spur innovations in active transportation, health and community revitalization.
Some wonderful breaking news out of Illinois today with the announcement that, 20 years since the dream was first dreamed, the land has been purchased for the proposed Kickapoo Rail Trail in Champaign County.
Since its creation in 1992, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has been the cornerstone of America's trails movement. Funded primarily by gas taxes paid by users of off-road vehicles, over the past 20 years the RTP has enjoyed remarkable bipartisan support and has funded nonmotorized and motorized trails in every state. It remains one of the few federal sources dedicated to the construction and maintenance of trails.
The people of Tennessee are today expressing their gratitude to Governor Bill Haslam for ensuring their state, famous for its rural and wilderness areas and open spaces, continues to take part in the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Trails projects across Tennessee last week received more than $1.6 million in RTP investment, unlocking much more in private matching funds and volunteer contributions.