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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

AAA lobbys to divert trail funds to highways


One of the pleasures of camping, boondocking, and the RV lifestyle is discovering new trails to hike and bike, whether in our own neighborhood or as we travel across the country.

But the American Automobile Association (AAA) is lobbying to have government funds that are allocated to trail, hiking, and biking programs be diverted to the highway system.

The Rails to Trails Conservancy, which converts and maintains thousands of miles of former railroad beds into multi-use trails, and several other similar organizations that maintain the trails we use need these funds.

If you care what happens to these trail funds, you can go to the Rails to Trails website and sign a petition asking the AAA to remember that people who drive also like to hike and bike for the exercise value, to get around, and to save fuel and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Your voice may make a difference on the future quality of our favorite trails.

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3 comments:

  1. Hello!
    I am from AAA National Member Relations. AAA’s positions on a federal transportation program and funding reforms are clear. AAA seeks support for a transportation system that:
    •provides choices and multi-modal opportunities
    •is affordable and accessible for all users
    •facilitates personal travel needs
    •preserves and maximizes the utility of the current system
    •increases capacity to address growing congestion

    AAA respects the work of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, but its current petition campaign -- a reaction to recent commentary published by AAA Mid-Atlantic in its AAA World magazine – mischaracterizes AAA Mid-Atlantic’s position. http://bit.ly/9VWDfc

    AAA is and always has been in favor of a safe, efficient, multi-modal transportation system. For more information on AAA’s efforts in this regard, see www.AAAmakingamericastronger.com.

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  2. The word "bicycle" appears no where in AAA.

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  3. Greetings,

    Kartik Sribarra here from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC). Thank you for the article, and thanks to JustinGAAAnatl for the comments.

    I encourage readers to see our web page on which we explain in greater detail some key points on this issue:

    www.railstotrails.org/ourWork/whereWeWork/national/news/AAA.html

    As we note on that page: "Ultimately, if AAA Mid-Atlantic's position on federal transportation funding were implemented, it would be devastating to trails, walking and bicycling because effective programs would be orphaned from the rest of transportation, denying them resources and well-established implementation channels."

    For AAA to suggest that the established and primary sources of funding for trails, walking and bicycling all over the country to be simply shifted to the general fund is disingenuous. Trail, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure must be part of a balanced transportation system, as AAA acknowledges, and as such must be part of our nation's transportation funding system.

    I encourage anyone with more questions to see the above web page or to email me directly with more questions, thoughts or comments at kartik@railstotrails.org.

    Thank you.

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