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Countdown to TrailLink 2007:
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Welcome to the Active Transportation Newsletter! For those new to the list, this monthly publication is a component of our 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation to double federal funding for trails, walking and biking by 2010, with an emphasis on securing focused investments in active transportation in communities across America.

Through these monthly newsletters, you will:

  • stay up-to-date on campaign activities such as our national conference in Portland, August 810;
  • learn best practices from other communities (including the four non-motorized 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.

 Fact of the Month:


The Virginia Creeper Trail is credited with adding $1.59 million annually and supporting more than 27 full time jobs in surrounding Washington and Grayson counties.

Contents of this issue:

  1. Sheboygan, Wis.: The Opportunity to Dream
  2. TrailLink 2007: Panelists and Mobile Workshops
  3. Profile: Stephan Vance, Senior Regional Planner of the San Diego Association of Governments
  4. “The Best of the Worst” Photo Contest Winner



1. Sheboygan, Wis.: The Opportunity to Dream

  Children walking to school in Sheboygan
Safe Routes to School programs in Sheboygan make walking to school possible.

Prior to receiving Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) funds, Sheboygan County’s plans to install bike racks on its buses stalled for more than a decade due to fiscal shortfalls. However, NTPP funding has allowed local bicycle and pedestrian planners the opportunity to dream about this and other projects.

Along with bus bike racks, other initiatives have gathered increased momentum due to NTPP funding such as Safe Routes to School initiatives and related Bike-to-Work days. In recent discussions on suburban development, the community has recognized bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as necessary components of an integrated transportation system.

Mary Ebeling, Sheboygan NTPP manager, is impressed by the level of participation and community interest created by the NTPP. She receives calls weekly from citizens advocating for local bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and is overwhelmed by a strong level of participation in committee meetings. Referring to the infusion of funding for nonmotorized improvements, she proudly observes, “People are just grabbing hold of this and running with it!”

For more information on Sheboygan County’s NTPP efforts, contact Mary Ebeling at


2. TrailLink 2007: Panelists and Mobile Workshops

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Web site now features information on TrailLink 2007 panelists from across the country. These experts in their fields will each address one of the five program tracks (mobility, health, economy, climate, and family and community). They will impart successful strategies to make the case for active transportation in your community with cutting-edge research, experiences and new partnerships.

The list of confirmed panelists is constantly being updated, so be sure to check back often for the latest information.

Additionally, TrailLink 2007 will offer nine outstanding mobile workshops the afternoon of Friday, August 10, to showcase Portland, Ore.’s exemplary efforts to shift trips to walking, biking and public transportation. Conference attendees will “actively” explore local rail-trails, streetcars and much more, planting the seed for similar projects and ideas in their communities. Participation in a mobile workshop is included with the registration fee, so be sure to select one as you make your plans to attend.


3. Profile: Stephan Vance, Senior Regional Planner of the San Diego Association of Governments


Stephan Vance on his bicycle
Stephan Vance on his bicycle.


The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has been prioritizing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure for many years, and during this time it has significantly advanced San Diego’s active transportation system. The region can now boast 780 miles of bike lanes and 106 miles of paved trails — impressive numbers, but short of local goals given the region’s size and potential for increased active transportation. The major remaining task to elevate the active transportation system is to complete regional and local connectors to unify the entire system.

SANDAG Senior Regional Planner Stephan Vance frequently hears local planners, decision makers and elected officials asking, “Why can’t we just finish the bike and pedestrian system?” Funding is, as usual, the primary obstacle: about $116 million is required to complete major regional corridor bikeway projects. Vance is excited to participate in TrailLink 2007 because he recognizes the conference as a critical element of the local campaign to attract $50 million in federal funds. When leveraged with private investment and revenue from a local sales tax, the federal investment could enable San Diego to complete the region’s bikeway corridors.

Vance looks forward to assisting his region in elevating active transportation. He notes that the prospect of additional federal funding has generated significant local interest. “We talked to some elected officials about the program, and they are very excited about the opportunity to bring a regional approach to trail development in the San Diego area,” Vance says.


4. "The Best of the Worst" Photo Contest Winner


Shared use path on Hunter Mill Rd
Shared-use path along Hunter Mill Road in Fairfax County, Va.


The winner of last month’s Best of the Worst photo contest demonstrating a community’s need for improved bike and pedestrian infrastructure is Eric Gilliland, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The image is of a shared-use path built by the Virginia Department of Transportation along Hunter Mill Road in Fairfax County, Va. There are no signs posted at the trailhead warning trail users that there is no outlet at the end.



Dear Advocate,

We hope this newsletter was helpful. Please contact your Rails-to-Trails Conservancy community contact with any questions regarding your local 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation.

See you at TrailLink 2007 in August!


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Photo credits (top to bottom):  Mary Ebeling, Stephan Vance, Eric Gilliland

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