Blog Post

From Wasson Way to Washington D.C.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 by Caitlin Sparks

In the last month, Tri-State Trails’ staff members have met with national, state, and local elected officials to educate them about trail and bikeway projects in our region. With a once-in-a-generation infrastructure investment looming, we’re sharing our vision for the CROWN 34-mile urban trail loop and other regional connections with legislators from all parties, and advocating for federal and state budget appropriations to be spent in the Tri-State.

National Bike Summit, Washington D.C.

In March, Tri-State Trails traveled to Washington D.C. for the League of American Bicyclists’ 23rd annual National Bike Summit. During the four day conference, we exchanged ideas with regional and national allies around topics of equity, policy, education, and youth engagement. Our staff had the opportunity to learn from active transportation leaders and explore the Capitol’s world class bikeway network. We’ve come home feeling encouraged that having a high quality bikeway network is within reach for the tri-state region in the near term, not 10 years from now.

On the final day in D.C., we joined state-specific teams to advocate for hometown trail projects with members of Congress. Over the course of a busy day, our team met with representatives from the offices of Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, Representative Warren Davidson, Representative Steve Chabot, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Representative Brad Wenstrup. A historic amount of federal funding is planned to be directed towards bicycling and walking projects, so we were eager to introduce ourselves and share our vision.

Ohio Trail Partnership Advocacy Day, Ohio State Capitol

In the first week of April, we traveled to the Ohio State Capitol and met with the Ohio Trail Partnership and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy who organized meetings with Ohio Legislators. Our team met with Representative Catherine Ingram, Representative Brigid Kelly, Speaker Bob Cupp, Senator Niraj Antani, and Representative Jean Schmidt. In our meetings we asked for more investment from the State Capital Budget to improve and build new trails – specifically sharing our plans for signalized crosswalk improvements at Montgomery Road and Dana Avenue near Xavier University for the CROWN westward expansion.

Most legislators understand the many benefits of trails and support making our streets safer. Because of our advocacy, the Ohio Trail Caucus, a group of committed legislators who meet several times a year and advocate for Ohio trails, grew by six members. The leaders of the Trails Caucus, Representative Catherine Ingram and Senator Steve Wilson are both Southwest Ohio legislators who have experienced the Wasson Way and want to see the CROWN complete.

From Wasson Way to Washington D.C. we are gaining support for the trail network we envision – where walking and biking is safe and accessible for all. Educating elected officials is one of the many ways Tri-State Trails is working to connect our regional trail and bikeway network. You can help us keep doing this work by making a tax-deductible contribution today or getting involved in one of our recently formed committees.

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