Rails to Trails is an amazing group that works to create great places to ride and walk, from unused railways. They’ve been doing great work in the Sunshine state and have launched an effort that needs our local support.
The Florida Campaign is a dedicated Rails-to-Trails Conservancy effort to push the needle in the Sunshine State toward support for trails, biking and walking. Over the next nine months, they’re targeting seven key projects and initiatives that could make or break the future of trails in our state. Let’s get on board to make sure the voices of people who use and love trails are heard.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, whose mission it is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.
They encourage healthier, more mobile lifestyles by making possible places to walk, bike and more. They develop healthier economies by promoting tourism and local businesses, and increasing property values. They support a healthier climate and environment by making active transportation a viable alternative to the automobile. They contribute to healthier, more vibrant community interaction, connecting people to the places they live, work and play.
True to their mission, trails have transformed communities that support them. From the West Orange, Lake County and Wekiva Trails that I ride regularly to the other 324 miles of trails they’ve helped bring into existence, an ecosystem of business, recreation and life have sprung up around them.
Cycling in Metro Orlando is a dangerous from any perspective. In a community that calls itself the City Beautiful, we need to make it safer to ride. that only happens when we work together and Rails to Trails has an amazing success rate for Orlando’s benefit.
Call to Action
A Critical Time for Florida
2014 looms as a crucial fork-in-the-road moment for trails, biking and walking in the Sunshine State. Will Florida continue with the plans and policies that have made it the most dangerous state for walking and biking for much of the past decade? Or will it support the innovative and forward-thinking trails and active transportation projects that boost Florida’s tourism base and attract new businesses and residents? Will we finally see a statewide system of trails linking Florida’s city centers and beautiful open spaces?
The All Aboard Florida statewide high-speed rail project has the potential to transform Florida’s transportation system for the better—but only if it includes a pathway for walking and biking. Pathways near active rail lines are a great way to help connect our communities—and a trail alongside the All Aboard Florida rail project just makes good sense.
About Rails to Trails Conservancy
Rails-to-Trails have supported the tremendous growth and development of rail-trails since opening our doors February 1, 1986. Then, there were fewer than 200 known rail-trails. Today, there are more than 1,600 preserved pathways that form the backbone of a growing trail system that spans communities, regions, states and, indeed, the entire country.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy remains dedicated to the creation of a nationwide network of trails. Further, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is committed to enhancing the health of America’s environment, transportation, economy, neighborhoods and people—ensuring a better future made possible by trails and the connections they inspire.
For more information, visit railstotrails.org