Schuylkill River Trail | iStock

Tell Congress: Trails Transform America

Congress is working on the next major federal transportation bill, which will guide how decisions are made about transportation spending—including funding for trails, walking and biking—for years to come.

Sidewalks, bikeways, pedestrian and bicycle trails, and other active transportation projects are wise investments that cost a fraction of what it takes to build highways and roads, while providing outsized benefits to society. Our newest research shows that focused investments in connecting trails and active transportation networks—closing key gaps across urban, suburban and rural communities and state lines—will pay huge dividends in mobility, economic, health and climate benefits.

Four bills have been introduced that are part of a comprehensive funding strategy to create an active transportation system for the nation.

The “Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act” (H.R. 5696 and S. 3391) would provide $500 million annually in direct funding for a competitive grant program to help communities and regions build connected active-transportation infrastructure—trails, sidewalks, bikeways and other projects—to ensure people can get where they need to go safely by foot, bike or wheelchair.

The “Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act” (H.R. 5231) will grow Transportation Alternatives, the largest federal funding source for trails, walking and biking—and curb transfers from the program so that meaningful opportunities are provided in all states to develop safe places to walk and bike.

The “RTP Full Funding Act of 2020” (H.R. 5797) would triple funding for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the only federal funding source that supports trail maintenance, to reflect recreational fuel taxes and ensure good repair as trails age.

The “Active Transportation for Public Lands Act” (H.R. 5642) sets aside 5% of the Federal Lands Transportation Program and Federal Lands Access Program for active transportation to provide funding for construction, planning and design of walking and biking facilities to accommodate all nondrivers and provide access to points of interest in our Federal Estate.

Take action now: Tell Congress that active transportation systems matter to you. Now is the time to make wise investments in trails, walking and biking in the next transportation bill by supporting these bills and being bold in envisioning America’s transportation future. Personalized messages work best. Be sure to tell your elected officials why trail and active transportation networks are important to you.


  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative


Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]