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Transportation Enhancements (TE) Program to Continue Through March 2012

Local Trails Funding Included

September 26, 2011
Ohio Valley Outdoors
A message from Dr. Vincent Troia, Chief Executive Chairmen of Ohio River Trail Council:

As most of you are aware federal funding for trails was under assault in the month of September. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma introduced an amendment that would eliminate the funding for the Transportation Enhancements (TE) Program in the proposed six-month extension of our Federal Surface and Air Transportation bill. The TE Program is the nation's largest funding source for trail development and maintenance.

Fortunately a nationwide effort ensued which reached out to all of the U.S. Senators to express support for greenway development. As a result, a strong vote (92 to 6) for the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011 and the TE Program, made a statement of how much Americans value trails. Trails will continue to receive a modest 1.5 percent of the total federal transportation investment.

The good news also extends to our quad-state region, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia where only one senator voted against the extension, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea;

Mikulski (D-MD), Yea

Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea;

Portman (R-OH), Yea

Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea;

Toomey (R-PA), Nay

West Virginia: Manchin (D-WV), Yea; Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

The funding of trails fosters both recreation and cultural-based economic development within Pennsylvania and our neighboring states. The enhancements from greenways extend into the realm of public health, wellness, transportation, conservation, preservation, environment, ecology and heritage. The evidence to support the development of trails is compelling, especially given the minimal government investment compared to other endeavors with comparable objectives.

Please keep in mind that the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011 will expire March 31, 2012. We all need to continue to remind congress that Greenway development is a cost-effective program that builds better communities!

Thank you,

Dr. Vincent Troia

Chief Executive Chairmen

Ohio River Trail Council

About The ORTC:

The ORTC is currently planning & developing a 41-mile bike and water trail, the Ohio River Trail (ORT), along the Ohio River, from Coraopolis, Pa (near Pittsburgh) to Ohioville, Pa. (near East Liverpool, OH). The ORT is part of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Lewis & Clark Trail and is being considered for part of the U.S Bicycle Route 50 and a portion of the Underground Railroad Trail, Pittsburgh spur. The ORT will serve as a key segment in the interconnection of existing land trails in the quad-state area (Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia). Please visit www.ohiorivertrail.org for additional information and a membership application.

Fact Box

About The ORTC:
The ORTC is currently planning & developing a 41-mile bike and water trail, the Ohio River Trail (ORT), along the Ohio River, from Coraopolis, Pa (near Pittsburgh) to Ohioville, Pa. (near East Liverpool, OH).

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