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Tri-State Trails Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Wade Johnston, Regional Trails Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or 513.541.1538, @TriStateTrails – www.tristatetrails.org
TRI-STATE TRAILS CONVENING COMMUNITY TO MAKE THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR TRAILS
Cincinnati, OH – Bike and pedestrian advocates, community stakeholders, and government officials will unite to celebrate trail progress and look toward the future at Green Umbrella’s 4th Annual Regional Trails Summit. This year’s theme is “Making the Economic Case for Trails” and the event, presented by Green Umbrella and Tri-State Trails with lead sponsorship support from Interact for Health and Human Nature, will take place at Cincinnati Zoo’s Frisch’s Theater from 9am to 3:30pm on Friday, August 26.
From 2015 to present, trail managers in our region constructed over 7.5 miles of new multi-use trails valued at over $5.5 million, including extensions to regional corridors such as the Little Miami Scenic Trail, Great Miami River Trail, Williamsburg to Batavia Trail, and Cincinnati Connects Urban Trail Loop. The Greater Cincinnati region now has over 320 miles of multi-use trails, over 80 miles of on-road biking facilities, around 250 miles of hiking trails, and nearly 70 miles of natural surface mountain biking trails—all of which can be found on Tri-State Trails’ interactive trail map hosted at www.MeetMeOutdoors.org.
Image: 2016 Little Miami Scenic Trail Extension, photo courtesy of Great Parks of Hamilton County
“We’ve strategically crafted this year’s Trails Summit agenda to demonstrate how critical it is that tri-state communities invest in active transportation infrastructure,” said Frank Henson, Chair of Tri-State Trails and President of Queen City Bike. “Creating walkable and bikeable communities helps us remain economically competitive with peer regions.” The first panel of the Trails Summit will feature perspectives from local developers CMC Properties and Greiwe Development in addition to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and University of Cincinnati School of Planning to highlight how trails can be used as an economic development tool. During lunch, the keynote panel will showcase Cincy Red Bike, International Mountain Biking Association, Cincinnati Connects, and Columbus’ Yay Bikes! to illustrate how trails for different users can interconnect to enhance the active transportation system of a region. Great Parks of Hamilton County, Wasson Way, Riding Forward, and Southbank Partners will close the panel presentations for the day with a discussion about building public and political support for trails.
Tri-State Trails is poised to announce several exciting trail developments to close the Trails Summit, including its plans to launch the first regional trail measurement program this fall, in partnership with Interact for Health. “Our trail measurement program will allow us to collect data on trail use and understand the demographics of trail users so we can leverage future investment in regional connectivity,” said Wade Johnston, Regional Trails Coordinator at Green Umbrella. “We will also recognize 2016’s exemplary trail advocate, project, and organization with inaugural Tri-State Trails awards.”
“Green Umbrella is committed to paving the way for improved access to active transportation options through our Tri-State Trails initiative,” said Kristin Weiss, Executive Director of Green Umbrella. “Our region has made significant progress over the past year, which is evident through OKI’s increased prioritization of bike and pedestrian projects in their 2040 Long Range Regional Transportation Plan.”
For more information about the 4th Annual Regional Trails Summit or to register, please visit www.GreenUmbrella.org/TrailsSummit. Registration will remain open through August 24, 2016. The cost is $45 for Green Umbrella members and $55 for the general public, and breakfast and lunch are included. All are welcome.
About Tri-State Trails
An initiative of Green Umbrella and funded by Interact for Health, Tri-State Trails is a coalition of trail advocates, a physical network of trails, and a vision to connect the Greater Cincinnati region. Our mission is to connect people and places via a regional trails network that promotes vibrant communities through equitable access to active transportation and outdoor recreation.
CONTACT: Wade Johnston, Regional Trails Coordinator, email@example.com or 513.541.1538, @TriStateTrails – www.tristatetrails.org
TRI-STATE TRAILS’ ADVOCACY SPURS PROGRESS IN OKI 2040 REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN
Cincinnati, OH – For the first time in recent history, bicyclists and pedestrians have become a priority in the Greater Cincinnati region’s transportation policy. This month, the OKI Regional Council of Governments Board of Directors unanimously approved the 4-year update to their 2040 Regional Transportation Plan. The update includes 17 prioritized bike and pedestrian related projects, worth an estimated $191 million. Previously, the 2040 Plan included only three prioritized bike and pedestrian projects equating approximately $2.5 million. The significant increase was due to a partnership between Green Umbrella’s Tri-State Trails initiative and OKI to elevate bicycle and pedestrian projects in the 2040 Plan, and an incredible request for more bike and pedestrian options during OKI’s public involvement process leading up to the June vote.
“We applaud OKI for their leadership to include the voice of bicyclists and pedestrians in the 2040 Plan update,” said Frank Henson, Chair of Tri-State Trails and President of Queen City Bike. “The tri-state needs a comprehensive active transportation network to remain economically competitive with peer regions.”
Tri-State Trails participated in OKI’s community engagement process for the 2040 Plan by providing a recommendation of prioritized multi-use trails corridors from the Green Umbrella Regional Trails Plan. “We are most appreciative of their assistance and participation in the process to help us identify the most important bike and pedestrian projects in our region,” said Bob Koehler, OKI Deputy Executive Director. “Organizations like Tri-State Trails are great advocates for people using the active transportation system.”
[Bicyclists enjoy riding on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which was recently extended 3.1 miles in Anderson Township by Great Parks of Hamilton County. A separated pedestrian/bicyclist bridge over the Little Miami River to connect this trail to the Lunken Airport Trail and Otto Armleder Trail is included in the OKI 2040 Plan Final Project List.]
Multi-use trails, on-road biking facilities like protected bike lanes, and sidewalks are a fraction of the costs of highways, and they serve a more inclusive user group, including those that do not have access to a car. “The updated 2040 Plan recognizes the growing demand we are seeing for more walkable and bike-friendly communities,” commented Kristin Weiss, Executive Director at Green Umbrella. “Our region needs more active transportation infrastructure to encourage new users to commute by walking or biking. Collectively, this can have a profound impact on air quality, congestion, and public health.”
“Physical activity is a key factor in a person’s overall health, and having access to a safe, robust trail system enables people to incorporate exercise into their daily routines, said Megan Folkerth, program officer at Interact for Health. “Incorporating the trails system into OKI’s 2040 Plan paves the way for a healthier community for all of us in the future, and will help us make Greater Cincinnati one of the healthiest regions in the country.”
[The Riverfront Commons Trail is Southbank Partners' vision to connect six Northern Kentucky River Cities with a pedestrian/bicyclist trail along the Ohio River. Depicted is the existing trail in Newport. Covington's section of Riverfront Commons is included in the OKI 2040 Plan Final Project List.]
OKI administers some of the largest transportation funding mechanisms available to local governments in the tri-state region. The 2040 Regional Transportation Plan serves as a guiding document in OKI’s project review and scoring process for federal transportation funding and is updated every four years.
CINCINNATI TO CELEBRATE "OPENING DAY ON THE TRAILS"
Cincinnati, OH – The Cincinnati Reds aren’t the only ones celebrating Opening Day this spring! Green Umbrella’s Tri-State Trails has teamed up with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) to create a fun-filled day at Sawyer Point Park on Saturday, April 16, from noon to 5 p.m., to celebrate Opening Day on the Trails 2016. (What a great way to spend the day in the great outdoors—especially at the end of tax season!)
The region's first Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will kick off during the annual Greater Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration at Sawyer Point. A group walk is scheduled for 2 p.m., which will take participants on the Purple People Bridge into Kentucky, traverse the Riverfront Commons Trail and return via the Taylor Southgate Bridge (easy route) and the Roebling Suspension Bridge (moderate route).
“The 7-week Trails Challenge, which will end on June 4th with a National Trails Day celebration, is a great opportunity for people to explore our region’s trails. The momentum towards a connected regional trail network is strong here, which is why we decided to make our region’s first Opening Day on the Trails Challenge also the longest running event nationally of its kind. We know too that connecting people and places through active transportation and outdoor recreation amenities like trails and bike lanes will help make our region a highly desirable place to live, play, and work,” says Wade Johnston, Regional Trails Coordinator for Green Umbrella’s Tri-State Trails initiative.
“RTC’s annual Opening Day for Trails is a great way for people to enjoy the nation’s network of trails, which serve as catalysts for creating healthier places for healthier people across the country,” commented RTC President Keith Laughlin. “Engaging everyone in America to champion trail networks is at the heart of our movement. There are many ways to get involved: become a member, plug in to our social media, spread the word, or just walk or ride your local rail-trail.”
Increased mobility, improved public health, economic development, a cleaner environment and enhanced community are some of the primary benefits of active-transportation systems. A member-supported nonprofit, RTC has been advocating for the development and protection of trails throughout America since 1986.
Opening Day on the Trails events are free and open to the public, made possible by a grant from Interact for Health. Register at www.MeetMeOutdoors.com/TrailsChallenge to receive a weekly digest of area events by email and to learn how to win prizes for completing the challenge. Visit railstotrails.org/OpeningDay to take this year’s pledge to get out on a trail on Opening Day. All individuals who take the pledge will be entered for a chance to win a free bike from Fuji.
On January 25, Tri-State Trails presented a vision for a connected network of 175 miles of existing, planned, or proposed trails to the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District. This information has been assembled in collaboration with numerous community and organizational partners. Cost estimates are preliminary and planning level at this time.
TRI-STATE TRAILS LAUNCHES “OPENING DAY ON THE TRAILS CHALLENGE”
Cincinnati, OH – The Cincinnati Reds won’t be the only ones celebrating Opening Day this spring. Green Umbrella’s Tri-State Trails announced today the region’s first Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will take place on April 16, 2016. The event is part of a national kickoff to the spring outdoors season organized by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
The Trails Challenge will take place over a seven-week period overlapping with National Bike Month (May). Tri-State Trails will encourage individuals and families to explore the region’s trails by offering prizes to participants who complete the challenge. The challenge will conclude with an award ceremony on National Trails Day, June 4, 2016.
Opening Day on the Trails Challenge is fueled by a $25,000 grant from Interact for Health. “Interact’s vision is to make Cincinnati the healthiest region in the country,” said Megan Folkerth, program officer of physical activity environments at Interact for Health. “We believe the Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will motivate people to explore our region’s trails and incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.”
"Continued support from Interact for Health for this challenge represents growing momentum for Tri-State Trails and bicycling overall in Greater Cincinnati," said Frank Henson, chair of Tri-State Trails and President of Queen City Bike. “In addition to current trail users, we’re using this challenge as an opportunity to engage new users for trails.”
Tri-State Trails will publish more information, including the kickoff event details, requirements of the challenge, featured group hikes and bike rides, and an online interactive trail finder map on Green Umbrella’s MeetMeOutdoors.com in the spring.
The Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will be the first of three events in Green Umbrella’s 2016 signature outdoor recreation series. Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo will be held on July 22 at Winton Woods, and Great Outdoor Weekend will be held on September 24 and 25 at various locations around the region.
Cincinnati Connects represents a bold vision for a healthy, vibrant, and revitalized city with a robust alternative transportation system that offers enhanced mobility and connectivity for all of its citizens.
The 42-mile Cincinnati Connects Urban Loop Trail plans to link several trails that are currently being planned or implemented by separate nonprofit organizations and government agencies. This unified vision links the existing Little Miami Scenic Trail, Ohio River Trail East, Mill Creek Greenway Trail, Lunken Airport Trail, and Otto Armleder Trail to the proposed Wasson Way, Oasis Trail, Ohio River Trail West, and Little Duck Creek Trail.
Cincinnati Connects was funded by Interact for Health and managed/led by Groundwork Cincinnati Mill Creek. Many other partners were engaged to make this project possible--please see the map above for a complete listing.
Download the report here: Part 1 and Part 2.
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