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pbic currents


Issue 7 (2-18-02)
Recreational Facilities for Walking and Bicycling —
Information Resources for Everyone


In this issue of PBIC Currents, we focus on Internet-based information resources for users of recreational trails, for advocates of recreational trail facilities and services, and for those who build, design and plan these facilities. We point to trail guide sites that let users plan trips by selecting features that they want to explore. Some featured sites provide nationwide coverage, along with some carefully selected sites from outside the United States that offer some food for thought. Many of these sites have extensive link sections that enable users to find information on local trails.

advocacy - resources for trail users
trail directories and reviews
resources for trail builders, designers, and planners
coming events

Bonus! Go here to link to searchable databases for access to transportation literature, with tips on searching for pedestrian and bicycle information.





Advocacy - Resources for Trail Users:


American Trails, http://www.AmericanTrails.org/resources/advocacy/index.html, maintains a web site that offers help for trail advocates to develop promotion activities, create effective publicity and events, develop organizations and partnerships, and how to work with the system to promote recreational trail facilities and services.

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The League of American Bicyclists, http://www.bikeleague.org/educenter/index.html, maintains a bicycle advocacy and education center web site with extensive resources.

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The Walkability Checklist, http://www.walkinginfo.org/walkingchecklist.htm - How walkable is your community? This useful tool can help you find the answer. Take a walk and use this checklist to decide if your neighborhood is a friendly place to walk. Take heart if you find problems, there are ways you can make things better.

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The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, http://www.railtrails.org/rtc_active_pages/home/main.asp, provides many resources for development and improvement of recreational trails.

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The Ramblers' Association, http://www.ramblers.org.uk/index.html - In the United Kingdom, walking for recreation has long been encouraged by an extensive and well-maintained network of walking trails. Those who live in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are passionate in their efforts to maintain and improve this network. The Ramblers' Association is a membership organization devoted to encouraging walking, protecting footpath rights-of-way, defending the beauty of the countryside, and campaigning for freedom to roam over uncultivated open country. Their web site is a treat to explore, with much useful information, spiced with a refreshing sense of humor.

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The Countryside Agency, http://www.countryside.gov.uk/index.htm - The Countryside Agency is a partnership of over 40 organizations representing government, agencies, businesses and people with the common aim of promoting what is truly great about the countryside in the United Kingdom and to encouraging people to visit and enjoy it.

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Trail Directories and Reviews:


The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's home page provides extensive information resources. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is the nation's largest trails organization, whose mission is building and maintaining a nationwide network of multiuse rail- trails. Rail-trails are public trails created from former rail lines and connecting corridors. RTC Traillink, http://www.traillink.com/, is a Rails-to-Trails Conservancy initiative that provides detailed, up to date information on where trails are, their amenities and condition, and other topics that are useful for trip planning.

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The web site of American Trails, http://www.AmericanTrails.org, provides a state by state web site with information on trails of all kinds, including trails maintained by park systems and government agencies, general trails and greenways, bicycling and mountain biking trails, hiking and backpacking trails, long distance trails, rail trails and canal trails, equestrian trails, motorized trails, and winter trails. Other links give access to information on trails in Canada's provinces. A link to "International Trails" connects to Grandes Randonnées http://www.gr-infos.com/, a French web site that contains descriptions of long-distance hiking trails in France, with more links to trail descriptions in other countries.

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The American Discovery Trail (ADT) is the first coast to coast trail devoted to nonmotorized transportation. It stretches over 6,300 miles through the continental United States from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California. The ADT incorporates trails designed for hiking, bicycle and equestrian use. Connecting five national scenic and 10 national historic trails, 23 national recreational trails, and many other local and regional trails, it is the backbone for the United States' national trails system. Passing through metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Cincinnati, it traces numerous pioneer trails, leads to 14 national parks and 16 national forests and visits more than 10,000 sites of historic, cultural and natural significance. The main ADT web site is at http://www.discoverytrail.org/. For each of the fifteen states that the ADT passes through, there is a web site with detailed trail descriptions, including directions to and along trails, connecting/intersecting trails, type of access (ex., walking only or bicycles, horses, wheelchair access, etc.), services and amenities along trails, type of surface, and more.

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The International Mountain Bicycling Association, http://www.imba.com/index.html, promotes mountain bicycling opportunities that are environmentally sound and socially responsible. IMBA encourages low-impact riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and innovative trail management solutions. Principal projects include a trail care crew initiative, the National Mountain Bike Patrol, IMBA Trailbuilding Schools, Federal Agency Mountain Bike Partnerships, IMBA Epic Rides and educational efforts. Through a partnership with ConsumerREVIEW.com, cyclists submit reviews of trails, and share trail information with other mountain bicycling enthusiasts through an interactive forum.

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Resources for Trail Builders, Designers, and Planners:

American Trails maintains a trail building and design web site, http://www.americantrails.org/resources/trailbuilding/index.html. Find the full text of guides on design, construction, surface treatments, and trail signs and trailhead facilities for recreational trails. Their trail maintenance and management web site, http://www.americantrails.org/resources/ManageMaintain/index.html, gives guidance on trail maintenance, sharing and multiple use, use policies, and management of recreational trails.

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The International Mountain Bicycling Association provides full-text resources on environmentally responsible design, construction and maintenance of multiuse trails. IMBA and Interbike have joined to publish a newly released guide, Building Better Trails: Designing, Constructing and Maintaining Outstanding Trails. Look for the HTML text version of this and several other recent trail design guides at IMBA's Trail Building and Maintenance web site: http://www.imba.com/resources/trail_building/index.html

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Accessible Rights-of-Way: A Design Guide, http://www.access-board.gov/publications/PROW%20Guide/PROWGuide.htm From the Access Board, offers design guidance for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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The Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, http://www.trailsandgreenways.org/, offers resources for planners, designers and builders of trails. Their Technical Assistance site contains a growing suite of resources with many full text documents. Also, see their links to many other web sites.

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Coming Events:

National Bike Summit - March 6-8, 2002 - Washington, DC. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. Issues will include a national Safe Routes to School program and reauthorization of TEA-21. For details, go to: http://www.bikeleague.org/educenter/nationalsummit.htm

Bike to Work Week runs from May 13 - 17th and Bike-to-Work Day is on Friday, May 17th. For more, go to http://www.bikeleague.org/educenter/bikemonth.htm

National Trails Day - June 1, 2002, "Hike Two Miles and Call Me In the Morning" This year's theme emphasizes the healthful benefits of walking. For more on this event, visit the American Hiking Society's web site at http://www.AmericanHiking.org/events/ntd/index.html

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Credits:

Content for PBIC Currents is selected, edited and compiled by Mary Ellen Tucker, M.L.S., Librarian at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, and reviewed by Charles Zegeer, P.E., Director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). Copy editing responsibilities and web site design are managed by Katherine Hanburger.

Special thanks to Darren Smith, Coordinator of the Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse of the Rail-to-Trails Conservancy, for help with this issue of PBIC Currents!

Selection and Contents Notes: We do not list commercial, for-profit sites. Content is selected and evaluated according to the following criteria: relevance to subject area, technical accuracy of content and accompanying graphical material, and ease of use to a wide variety of readers.

What is PBIC Currents? PBIC Currents is a current awareness service of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Each month's issue focuses on a specially chosen topic, and presents the newest and most useful material from around the world.

Who is it for? PBIC Currents is for all members of the bicycling and walking community - users, advocates, educators, technical specialists, health care providers, planners, and anyone else who has an interest in promoting a safe and healthy environment for bicyclists and pedestrians. Enjoy!

Let us hear from you! Send comments to us at: pbic@pedbikeinfo.org