Already a national leader in urban cycling, the Portland, Oregon, area is moving forward with an initiative formerly known as Connecting Green that will be renamed and launched to the public in September as The Intertwine. At its heart, The Intertwine is an effort by the Portland area's Metro regional government and its partners to both facilitate regional cooperation in the creation of a regional park and trail system, and to make this system easy-to-use for the public by providing information about and connections within the system. The partners behind The Intertwine understand that park and trail planning includes both transportation and recreation. From BikePortland, which covered The Intertwine's unveiling on June 30:
The Intertwine has five major focus areas...one of which is “Trails”. Don’t let that word fool you, this is not just about recreational, multi-use paths. Through this effort, Metro convened a Blue Ribbon Committee for Trails that ended up focusing more on trails as transportation corridors and building the case for an “integrated mobility strategy” (you can download a PDF of that here).
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley spoke at the June 30 event. The Oregonian has also editorialized in support of The Intertwine: "It's great to have one senator intertwined," the paper wrote. "Eventually, we could use two, or four."
The Intertwine is the type of local and regional effort that complements two of RTC's national efforts: our 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation to advocate for increased walking, biking and trails funding in the next federal transportation bill; and our new Urban Pathways Initiative, which seeks to encourage active transportation and healthy recreation on multi-use pathways in urban and metropolitan areas. It should come as no surprise, then, that in its final report the Blue Ribbon Committee for Trails identified continued work with RTC as important to advocating for federal funding to implement this regional trail vision. You can download a PDF of Portland's case statement for RTC's 2010 Campaign here.
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