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Investing in Trails: Cost Effective, Good for Communities

Investing in Trails: Cost Effective, Good for Communities

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Published by Larry Ehl
Why investing in trails is cost-effective and good for communities, and personal health.
Why investing in trails is cost-effective and good for communities, and personal health.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Larry Ehl on Jun 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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Increased investment in trails, bicycling and walking means:
 More jobs
per dollar: Design, engineering and construction o walking and bicycling acilities such as trails create more jobs per dollar thanany other type o transportation inrastructure construction.
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Positive returns for the federal budget:
Te ederal government pays28 percent o all health care costs in the United States
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, while expend-ing billions annually on expensive transportation inrastructure.Investing in trails helps Americans saely incorporate exercise intotheir daily mobility, hitting the bottom line or both o these sectors.
 Greater travel choices for the American public:
A bipartisan 2010national poll
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ound that nearly three-quarters o Americans eel they “have no choice but to drive as much as” they do, and two-thirds“would like more transportation options.”In a 2009 national survey 
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,88 percent o rural Americans said “pedestrian-riendly” transporta-tion acilities were important.
 Local economies:
 Americans spend more on bicycling each year thanthey do on airline travel.
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rail-based tourism is a major economicdriver in many small communities, supporting local small businessesthrough annual revenues o millions o dollars per trail in directconsumer spending in many cases.
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 Reduced oil dependence:
ransportation is responsible or 71 percento U.S. petroleum use.
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Cutting miles driven—and reduced congestion with ewer cars on the road—is among the best ways to manage ouroil-related economic, environmental and security vulnerabilities.Shiting short trips to bicycling and walking could save our to 10billion gallons o uel each year.In tough economic times, governments haveto make the most o every tax dollar spent.Tat’s why trails stand out. With ewerederal dollars available, these projects can becompleted at a low cost and return dividendsin the orm o improved mobility or activetravelers, children, and seniors and increasedaccess to healthy recreation opportunitiesor all.rails positively address areas o nationalinterest including dependence on oreignoil, public health, air quality and saety. railinvestments are extremely cost-eective trans-portation inrastructure, especially or tripsthat are three miles or less (nearly hal o alltrips) and those one mile or less (more thanone quarter o all trips).rails are essential elements o any activetransportation system. Where trails havebeen prioritized, surrounding communitieshave benefted greatly rom economic,quality o lie, health, accessibility, andmobility improvements. In national surveys
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,consumers have repeatedly chosen trailsand walkability as desired neighborhoodamenities, boosting local real estate values.
Investing in Trails
Cost-Efective Improvements—or Everyone
For more information, contact: Tracy Hadden Loh at 202.974.5110, or tracy@railstotrails.org
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
 National Office / 2121 Ward Court, NW, 5th Floor / Washington, DC 20037tel 202.331.9696 / fax 202.223.9257 / www.railstotrails.org

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