rail-trail report
Trail builders and bike/ped planners
fromacross America gathered in
Greenville, S.C., in July for the
Transportation Alternatives Professionals Seminar
The Transportation Alternatives (TA) program is the largest federal funding source for
trails and biking andwalking infrastructure.
A little over a year since the new federal transportation bill (MAP-21) made significant
changes toTA (formerly Transportation Enhancements), this year’s seminar focused on
helping local and state planners understand how those changes would impact their
ability to build active transportation infrastructure in their communities.
Amidst all the technical conversation, attendees also checked out Greenville’s grow-
ing trail system, including the popular
funded in part by TA and the
Recreational Trails Program, and heraldedwith spurring development and commercial
growth in the area.
RTC Highlights
Western Region Office program
assistant Rayna Gordon-Hellman is
continuing RTC’s efforts to boost trail
use—and physical activity—among
young students. In early October,
Gordon-Hellman coordinated
Walk to School Day activities
in the
Los Angeles County city of Compton,
encouraging students from five area
schools to use the
and their own two feet, to get to school.
This summer, Akram Abed, RTC
Manager of the Camden Region, also
helped young people stay active and
mobile. Abed held two
pop-up” bike
clinics in Camden, N.J.
teaching more
than 35 locals how to make simple
but crucial repairs to their bikes, and
sharing other tips for keeping the two
wheels rolling. The bike clinics comple-
CYCLE) program, which over the
past few years has taught dozens of
young locals how to ride, and provided
them with bikes and safety equipment.
In August, RTC Florida State Director
Ken Bryan joined St. Johns and Putnam
counties in celebrating the
opening of
a new section of the burgeoning Lake
City to St. Augustine Rail Trail
and local partners in Florida are working
hard to complete this impressive trail
network. Bryan also spent much of the
past few months gathering local support
for a rail-with-trail alongside the pro-
posed inter-city passenger line between
Miami and Orlando, known as All
Aboard Florida.
RTC’s national office has been
working with
partners in Texas,
Tennessee, and Maryland this fall
on community-based trails initia-
Supported by funding from REI,
Jim Brown, RTC Manager of Trail
Development, helped Greenways for
Nashville in volunteer outreach efforts,
and assisted Friends of Herring Run
Parks in Baltimore improve their vol-
unteer engagement. Also in Baltimore,
Brown worked with Bike Maryland to
provide safe riding instruction and com-
munity service opportunities for school
students. Thanks to this program, the
students earned bikes of their own to ride
along the Herring Run Trail. Continuing
the nonprofit Workshop Houston pro-
vide bike repair training to middle and
high school students, and got them rid-
ing regularly on the city’s Columbia Tap
In October, RTC staff played a key
role in the
Mid-America Trails and
Greenways Conference in Matteson,
A conference highlight was the pre-
sentation by Kelly Pack, Director of Trail
Development, and Eric Oberg, Manager
of Trail Development in the Midwest, on
RTC’s new report about the growth and
excellent safety record of rails-with-trails
across America. More info:
or Kelly@railstotrails.
Midwest Regional Office Director
Rhonda Romano continued to lead
an innovative exchange of
trails and
transportation planning ideas between
Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich.
In June, Detroit officials travelled to
Cleveland to meet with their counter-
parts to explore the successes and
challenges of building better bike/ped
networks. In September, Cleveland
returned the favor. Both Rust Belt cities
are focusing on bikeability and walk-
ability in their rejuvenation efforts.
This summer the Northeast Region
Office welcomed
riders from 25
states to the 11th annual Greenway
This year’s event traveled
the Great Allegheny Passage from
Pittsburgh, Pa., to Cumberland, Md.
The event injected $117,000 into the
economies of communities along the
route, further evidence of the commer-
cial significance of destination rail-trails.
RTC has regional offices across America.
Find contact information for staff