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arrowRead about nationwide benefits of RTP funding in the current Recreational Trails Program Annual Report

 

 

Speak Up for Trails, Walking, and Biking!

Sign the letter to Congress supporting the Transportation Alternatives Program by April 24

From the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We knew when MAP-21 combined all our programs into the Transportation Alternatives Program that we could become an easy target. We were not wrong. For 24 years federal dollars provided through the transportation law have undergirded our nation's bike/ped/trail movement. That funding is at risk as never before.

As the May 31 expiration date for MAP-21 approaches, the chorus of voices calling for the elimination of TAP and its funding for bike/ped, trail and safe routes to school facilities in the transportation bill is growing.

Now is the time to fight back! Sign the Pro-TAP Letter to Congress (see below or download Word doc). We ask our lawmakers to protect and prioritize our programs for trails, walking and biking in the current reauthorization.

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To sign, please send your contact information to to marianne@railstotrails.org:

1) Name and Position (optional)
2) Organization 3) City and State
4) High res organizational logo 5) Email address

Email addresses will not be used in the letter to Congress, but will allow us to reach you if any questions arise.

 

Threats to TAP currently looming in Congress:

 

Join us in rebutting this short-sighted, reactionary approach that limits mobility options for children, for seniors, for those without cars, for you, for me. By spurning the Recreational Trails Program, they don't even support returning the gas tax paid by trail users for trail uses.

Congress returns from Spring Recess next week. Although no grand resolution on trust fund funding has materialized, the key House and Senate committees are hard at work drafting and negotiating behind the scenes, preparing a transportation bill for pre-Memorial Day action.

Congress needs to hear from us now. Please sign the letter supporting TAP (see below or download Word doc) and then forward to your organizational affiliates and networks. National and umbrella alliances should have your local affiliates sign in addition to yourselves. Spread the word far and wide!

The deadline for signing is COB, April 24.

Let's show Congress that we're strong, united and ready for this fight. Our supporters in the House and Senate are counting on us to back them up.

 


 

Embrace Trails, Walking and Biking as Key Components of a Complete Transportation System

Dear Members of the 114th Congress:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations and the millions of Americans we represent across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we write to express strong support for continued federal investment in walking and biking networks and recreational trails as part of our nation’s transportation infrastructure.  Robust funding of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and other federal programs that ensure that Americans can safely walk or bike is critical to providing the transportation options needed by a mobile public.

Safe places to walk and bicycle are a key part of our nation’s transportation future. The number of users of trails, sidewalks, cycling “green lanes,” and bike paths grows each year as people take advantage of opportunities to safely walk and bike created by federal investments already made in such facilities. Millions of Americans are now using these pathways or trails every day for recreation or to simply get around. Many do so by choice; others from necessity. Active transportation options provide critical access to jobs, schools, and other daily destinations for those whom automobiles are beyond their means or abilities.

Investment in these assets provides hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits to Americans, much of it in the form of transportation, health and environmental savings. Shifts to walking and biking, and sustained investment in its infrastructure, will avert automobile trips that contribute to congested roads.
The Recreational Trails Program (housed within TAP) is more than paid for by users of trails themselves.  It is funded by the gas tax levied against motorized trail users, but shared by all types of trails.  The weekend ATV rider may well be a weekday bike commuter, with both activities conducted on a facility supported by RTP funding. Trail systems benefit all and contribute to a well-balanced transportation system. 

The current level of federal investment in walking and biking infrastructure and recreational trails comprises only 1.5% of federal spending on surface transportation. It is not a significant factor in our transportation funding gap and cutting it would not solve, but hamper efforts to reduce the federal deficit. Rather, the building of networks of trails and other walking and biking facilities should be prioritized in our next transportation reauthorization. It is time to embrace a balanced 21st century transportation vision for America.

 

arrow See Current legislation, issues, and action as the transportation funding reauthorization debate heats up on Capitol Hill.

arrow Read about nationwide benefits of RTP funding in the 2014 Recreational Trails Program Annual Report

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