My Two Cents – Innovative Trail Funding Proposal for States and Localities

Lack of funding for trail design, construction, and upkeep is often a major barrier to implementation. Topics of discussion include: should this be local or state level, should it fund planning or construction, how much is enough but not too much, and how to equitably share the funding.

by Chris Gensic, Parks and Trails Planner, City of Charlottesville Parks & Recreation

Since many trail projects are grant funded or compete for funding from gas-tax revenues, there is often not a direct source of funding for trails tied to the user base.

This proposal explores the possibility of having a direct one penny per item (hence “My two cents”) tax on shoes, bike tires, and other products that directly relate to trail users and can provide some funding for such projects.

About the Author

Chris Gensic serves as a Parks and Trails Planner for the City of Charlottesville. His primary role is to coordinate the design and construction of a network of bicycle and ADA accessible trails to connect City parks, schools, and other destinations. He is also the primary planner for the department, dealing with updating park master plans and developing the larger park network according to the desires of the public and City Council.

Chris is also involved in urban forestry and wildlife planning, invasive species management, parkland acquisition, volunteer coordination, safe routes to schools, grant writing and grant project management. Chris has also worked as a regional planner at the Thomas Jefferson Planning District and as an environmental policy specialist at the Pentagon in Washington. He has served as the president of Bike/Walk Virginia, a state advocacy group, and locally as president of the Belmont-Carlton Neighborhood Association.

He has lived in Charlottesville since attending the University of Virginia in 1991 to obtain a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Master of Urban and Environmental Planning.

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