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Deadline Looming to Support Trails Program

Published May 3, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—The Rails to Trails Conservancy is urging cyclists to encourage their U.S. Representatives to sign a letter by Thursday supporting continued funding of the Recreational Trails Program, or RTP.

Created in 1991, RTP has funded more than 13,000 trail projects around the country, inducing significant economic development in the communities around these trails. One such project was the the Southwest Key Trail in East Austin, Texas, on land in an underserved area of Austin that was formerly an illegal dumping ground. The project won the 2009 Coalition of Recreational Trails "Accessibility Enhancement" award.

Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Mike Michaud (D-Maine) are currently circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter supporting the continuation of the RTP in the upcoming federal transportation bill. The deadline for representatives to sign on is this Thursday, May 5.

The RTP is a highly effective, low-budget program of our transportation bill that positively affects the economy by:

* Leveraging federal investments to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in other investments;
* Stimulating vital local and regional economic activity; Providing healthy outdoor recreation opportunities to millions of trail users;
* Encouraging cooperation among diverse trail users and groups to develop and maintain recreational trails throughout the country.

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