Please take a moment to read Trailnet's recent letter to Gov. Jay Nixon, advocating for funding for recreational trails in Missouri. We urge you to get involved as well.
July 26, 2012
Gov. Jay Nixon
PO Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Dear Governor Nixon,
We are writing today about the recently passed federal transportation bill (MAP-21) and important funding implications for our much-loved trail system in Missouri. Funding for walking and biking programs and infrastructure has been cut by roughly 40% under MAP-21, and there are several opportunities for state agencies to opt-out. One of these options will come to your office, funding for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).
St. Louis trails had almost one million trips taken on them in 2011 – an estimated 964,108. These trails serve a huge population of residents each year, contributing to better health through exercise. St. Louis adults experience obesity at a higher rate than the rest of the country, 34% compared to 25%. Safe and accessible places for people to walk and bike are a necessity for the health of our region, and people prove their value by using these trails every day.
Trails have economic benefits beyond the health benefits. Homes located with one-half mile of trails have an 11% higher value than those not on trail. Each year, thousands of visitors experience the beauty of our region through these recreational trails. We work with communities across the state in both rural and urban areas that are experiencing tourism growth with the addition of new trails. Lafayette County and St. Joseph in particular are working on significant improvements to their trail systems in the hopes of increasing bicycle tourism, which has provided states like Wisconsin and Oregon billions of dollars in revenue.
We are counting on you to maintain funding for these recreational trails that contribute to the economic and physical health of Missouri. Will you commit to support funding for the Recreational Trails Program?
Thank you for your time. Please let us know if we can provide you with any further information.