Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rail-trail leader calls for action

This follow-up on yesterday's Congressional hearing in Maitland came in today from Ken Bryan, Florida field director of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy:
It is fair to say that of the seven speakers who were hand-picked to offer testimony at the formal hearing conducted by Miami native Congressman John Mica (R- FL 7th), two specifically called out pedestrian, bicycling and trail facilities as not necessary during tough financial times (which is exactly opposite of the reality).  It was most disturbing that one of them is an assistant secretary with the Department of Transportation and a finalist for the vacant position of secretary of transportation.  
We will have our work cut out for us at both the federal and state level in the coming years to convince our leaders that walking, bicycling and trails are indeed viable transportation options.  Other groups, such as the Tea Party and anti high-speed-rail folks were well-organized, motivated and turned out in force to voice their needs and vision.  We must be prepared to do the same and more if we are to continue as part of the transportation funding mechanism and be relevant as a legitimate mode.

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