Bike Walk CT and the Rails to Trails Conservancy team up to advocate for putting trails funding on the January 2016 Bond Commission agenda. click for pdf
Dear Governor Malloy:
We commend you for the leadership you’ve shown with Let’s Go CT and for seeing to it that active transportation is part of our short- and long-term transportation vision.
We think you agree: Connecticut’s longtime lack of investment in multi-modal transportation networks is a competitive disadvantage.
With that in mind, Bike Walk Connecticut and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy write jointly to ask you to ensure that the January 2016 Bond Commission Agenda include $7 million in funding for the Recreational Trails Program of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
With 88% of Connecticut’s workers driving to work alone by car, it’s no wonder that our roads are congested, costing us some $1.3 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel, according to DOT. Nor should we overlook the fact that transportation is the single biggest source of Connecticut’s greenhouse gas pollution. According to DEEP, that’s mostly from passenger cars.
We believe that multiuse trails should no longer be considered as “nice to have” amenities. For reasons of economic competitiveness, climate and health, Connecticut should view multiuse trails as critical components of our active transportation infrastructure. We would we like to see Connecticut take a holistic view of complete streets and multiuse trails as complementary parts of an overall active transportation network. We need to connect Connecticut.
Moreover, we believe Connecticut must go beyond accommodating cyclist and pedestrian travel to actually promoting it, so that we can simultaneously relieve congestion, address climate change, and attract and retain the millennials and knowledge workers that will give Connecticut's innovation economy a true competitive advantage.
We agree with other advocates that it is urgent to include trails funding on the January bond commission agenda so that work on trail projects can start as soon as possible when the field season begins in Spring 2016. More than $6 million in trails projects are reported to be shovel ready.
Thank you for considering our views.
Kelly Kennedy, Esq., Executive Director, Bike Walk Connecticut
Andrew N. Dupuy, Manager of Policy Outreach, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
cc: Ben Barnes, Secretary of OPM
Garrett Eucalitto, Under Secretary, OPM Office of Transportation Policy
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