ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION NEWSLETTER
Welcome to the Active Transportation Newsletter! This regular publication of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a component of our 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation to double federal funding for trails, walking and biking by 2010. The emphasis is on securing focused investments in active transportation in communities across America.
Through these regular newsletters, you will:
- stay up-to-date on campaign activities such as our recent conference in Portland, Ore.;
- learn best practices from other communities (including the four Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Projects);
- have opportunities to share your experiences with others;
- hear about new research findings, and;
- receive tips about how best to conduct your local active transportation campaigns.
Please let us know if you have suggestions for a future issue.
Although funding for walking and biking comprises 1 to 2 percent of the federal transportation budget, at least 9.5 percent of all trips involve these active transportation modes.
Contents of this issue:
- Building off TrailLink 2007: Online Resources
- Call for input: "Making the Case" issue briefs
- Active Transportation under attack
- Please sign up for the Rail-Trail Network
1. Building off TrailLink 2007: Online Resources
TrailLink 2007 was a huge success, featuring break-out sessions, inspiring speakers and thought-provoking panels.
Thank you to all participants of TrailLink 2007 earlier this month in Portland, Ore. With participants from across the country and internationally, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s official kickoff to the 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation was extremely well received. Attendees departed the conference inspired to promote active transportation in their communities, armed with tools, strategies and knowledge about best practices.
As we move forward, the 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation Web site will play an ever-increasing role in our exchange of information with you. Please bookmark www.railstotrails.org/2010 to keep up-to-date on campaign progress, tools and guidelines.
In the coming weeks and months, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will make available a large amount of information pertinent to the 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation on our Web site. Be sure to check back frequently for updated resources. Specific items we will provide in the immediate future include:
- Slideshow presentations from the conference “Making the Case” sessions,
- Video clips from plenary sessions,
- “Making the Case” issue briefs (see #2 below),
- A list of next steps communities should consider undertaking for their local campaigns,
- Archive of back issues of this Active Transportation Newsletter,
- And more.
This campaign will hinge on frequent two-way communication between Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and you. Therefore, it is important that you tell us if there is anything in particular you’d like to see or tools you need from us.
2. Call for input: "Making the Case" issue briefs
Issue briefs pertaining to each of the five “Making the Case” tracks (Mobility, Family and Community, Public Health, Economy and Climate) were distributed at TrailLink 2007. An important element of our research and information gathering for these briefs is feedback from you. Whether national or local in scope, we are looking for studies that can aid in communicating the strengths of trails and active transportation in a research-dominated transportation field.
Please share such research with us. Such studies are vital for walking and biking to be taken seriously in a national transportation debate framed by hard automobile research. Please contact Kartik Srinivas, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Policy Outreach Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Active Transportation under attack
Despite recent excitement over biking and walking, several recent incidents on the national stage remind us that there are still strong and vocal opponents to active transportation. Two cases in particular are below.
On Aug. 4, U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) spoke on the House floor, ridiculing the bicycle as one of Democrats’ “19th century solutions to 21st century problems.” Rep. McHenry has posted a video of his outrageous speech on his Web page.
Further, on August 15, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters was featured on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, where she explicitly targeted bicycle paths and trails as not “transportation-related.” Contextually, Secretary Peters was implying that the diversion of funding from bridge repair to trails and bike paths partially explains the Minneapolis bridge collapse. The full transcript and video are available here.
Please go here to visit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s action center to write a letter to the editor of your paper disputing Secretary Peters’ claims. Additionally, you can contact Secretary Peters via the advocacy tool set up by our partners at the League of American Bicyclists.
4. Please sign up for the Rail-Trail Network
The Rail-Trail Network is our online communication tool with our members and supporters. Distinct from this Active Transportation Newsletter list which focuses specifically on the 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation, the Rail-Trail Network has a broader focus and audience.
The Rail-Trail Network allows us to send periodic action alerts — urgent notices on which readers can act. Some of these actions are occasionally included in these Active Transportation Newsletters (the letter-to-the-editor campaign on Secretary Peters’ comments above, for example). Because of their timely nature, however, such alerts are often not shared in this newsletter. Further, some Active Transportation Newsletter subscribers have asked to receive only campaign-specific messaging.
Please go here to sign up. Please do not sign up through the public sign-up on Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s homepage.
The Rail-Trail Network also includes the monthly eNews with updates on trail progress from our regional offices, along with store discounts, wallpaper downloads, and more.
We hope this newsletter is helpful. Please contact your Rails-to-Trails Conservancy community contact with any questions regarding your local 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation.
Be sure these messages don't get sent to your junk mail folder. Add email@example.com to your safe senders list in your address book.
Photo credit: Portland skyline with Mt. Hood in the distance. © Portland Oregon Visitors Association
National Household Travel Survey, 2001, as quoted by the Federal Highway Administration. www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pedbike/pubs/05085/chapt2.html.