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American Trails national book launch event

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American Trails is proud to present this webinar and book launch as a part of the American Trails "Advancing Trails Webinar Series"


Photo of bike crossing railroad

The Third Mode:
Connecting Greenways, Trails and Active Mobility

This webinar, held September 12, 2012, covers the latest issues and policies in planning and designing urban mobility networks, and how to integrate transportation with greenways and trails to create seamless metro-wide systems. See our Blog on The Third Mode...


arrow Archived version of this webinar available in the American Trails Online Store!

arrow Jeff Olson’s new book, The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society is now available

arrow QUESTIONS & ANSWERS from the webinar are available

Jeff Olson, a partner with Alta Planning + Design, launched his new book called The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society at the webinar hosted by American trails. See news release about "The Third Mode"...

The webinar connects to the book's theme with simultaneous presentations by three of America's leaders in active mobility joining in from three different places:  

photo of bridges crossing over bikeway

Minneapolis' Midtown Greenway functions as a grade-
separated, non-motorized route for cyclists and walkers

Communities around the globe are looking for better solutions that engage more people in traveling by bike, on foot, and other human powered modes for both transportation and recreation. In the face of an epidemic of physical inactivity, climate change, and rising energy costs, this know-how is becoming increasingly important for public health and quality of life. These improvements are increasingly recognized as essential for communities to be competitive as places to live and to attract new businesses.

This session will look at the latest issues and policies in the planning and design of urban mobility networks and how these can best integrate with greenway and trail networks to create seamless metro-wide systems. The webinar will provide participants with a chance to see how the trails and active transportation movement can be seen as part of larger cultural trends. We will also look at the current funding environment in the face of the new MAP-21 federal legislation and how to best navigate change. A free e-book copy of the The Third Mode will be provided to the first 100 people who register for the webinar. Proceeds from this webinar and national book launch event will benefit American Trails.


photo of bridges crossing over bikeway

About The Third Mode, by Jeff Olson

Walking and bicycling are metaphors. While they are unique forms of mobility, they can also be thought of together to represent a “third mode” of transportation that is as important as highways and mass transit. This mode of transport, and the kind of change that is required to integrate it into our modern world, symbolizes a different perspective on our way of thinking.

If you can understand why non-motorized mobility is important for transportation, you can also see how other problems could be resolved with similar thinking. This thought process is called the Third Mode, and this book describes how it can lead to a more connected, healthy, and sustainable society.

Sam Piper, an intern with Alta Planning + Design is assisting author Jeff Olson in promoting “The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society.” He is responsible for e-publishing the book and coordinating a social media campaign. Sam received a BA in Business from Saint Anselm College and is currently pursuing a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning at the State University of New York at Albany. "The Third Mode" is available in digital and hard copy formats at


Presenters for "The Third Mode: Connecting Greenways, Trails and Active Mobility:"

photo of smiling woman

Jeff Olson, Partner - Alta Planning + Design (Author of “The Third Mode”)
Jeff Olson is an architect and planner who has been involved in greenways, open space, active living and alternative transportation projects for more than 20 years. He has had a diverse career with experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. His unique vision and leadership ability are important assets to projects ranging from regional planning to site specific projects and programs. He is an avid bicyclist and skier who has the perspective of a parent with three young children.



Andy  Clarke, President, League of American Bicyclists

photo of man on bicycle

Andy Clarke, with more than 25 years of experience in cycling advocacy, is currently the president of the League of American Bicyclists. His past experience includes stints at Rails to Trails Conservancy, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the Bicycle Federation of America (now the National Center for Bicycling and Walking), and as a consultant to the Federal Highway Administration. Clarke is a 1984 graduate of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom with an undergraduate degree in law. He is a founding member of  America Bikes and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals. Clarke’s passion for cycling started when he was growing up in England, and has stayed with him through hundreds of thousands of miles of cycling on four continents. He is recognized as a policy expert on almost every aspect of bicycling, and still enjoys a tough climb on his Trek touring bike better than anything else. Clarke lives in Fairfax, Va. with his wife, Kristin, and two children Ashton and Jacqueline.


Bob Searns (moderator), Owner of The Greenway Team and Chair of American Trails Board

photo of smiling woman


Bob is the current Chair of the American Trails Board of Directors. He is the founding owner of The Greenway Team, a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO that has specialized for three decades in greenways, trails, and conservation. He was Project Director of Denver's Platte River Greenway, one of the nation's benchmark urban trail projects, and produced 10,000 Trees, an eight-mile river corridor restoration project involving 3,000 volunteers. He has authored a greenways and trails plan for the 43-square-mile area west of Denver International Airport, as well as trail and greenway projects across the nation including Chicago, Dallas, Memphis, Louisville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Portland. He was a development consultant for the Grand Canyon Greenway, a precedent-setting 72-mile system of multi-use trails along the canyon rim. Bob has conducted workshops throughout North America, China and Europe. He co-authored Greenways: A Guide to Planning, Design, and Development (published in the U.S. and. China), Trails for the 21st Century, and contributed to Greenways, The Beginning of an International Movement.



The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society (Purchase the book via this website!)
American Trails new “Resources for Trail Professionals” web portal
NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) ~ Urban Bikeway Design Guide
MAP 21 – Advocacy Advance
AASHTO (American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials) ~ BOOKSTORE
MUTCD (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices – Chapter 9 Addresses Bikes)
PBIC (Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center)

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