Active Transportation and the Charisma of Place         Keith Laughlin  Rails-to-Trails Conservancy        February 3, 2012
RTC 101•  Founded in 1986•  150,000 Members   and supporters•  HQ in DC with 4   Regional Offices•  35 Staff
Our MissionTo create a nationwide network of trailsfrom former rail lines and connectingcorridors……to build healthier plac...
Looking BackPast success:•  1986: 250 miles•  2012: 20,000 miles
Two Keys to Our Success1) Federal Investment:  - $9.87 Billion in Transportation  Enhancements funding since 1992;  - 2/3 ...
Looking Ahead:Our Audacious Goal          By 2020, 90 percent          of Americans will live          within three miles ...
An Even More Audacious Goal        for the FutureTo create active transportation systems:…seamless networks of trails, on ...
Utopian?              NO.But to imagine what’s possible inthe future it’s useful tounderstand what has happened inthe past.
1919: Transcontinental Motor          Convoy
1919: Transcontinental Motor            Convoy•  Traveled from Washington DC to San   Francisco•  3,251 miles in 62 days• ...
1939: NY World’s Fair          General Motor’s         “Futurama” Exhibit         Caption: “Two 14-lane express         hi...
1956: The National Interstate and     Defense Highways Act
1982: Transit Investment•  Transit capital investments become   eligible for highway trust fund monies.
1991: A Major Shift Begins•  Eisenhower Interstate System is   completed; 46,000 miles at a cost of $425   billion (2006 d...
1994: The “Information   Superhighway”              “The Greatest             Social Revolution                Since the  ...
2003: Attack on Transportation          Enhancements•  Petri Amendment (R-WI) to restore   funding was approved by a bipar...
2005: Passage of SAFETEALUThree major accomplishments:•  Transportation Enhancements   preserved•  Safe Routes to Schools ...
2005: Beyond TE;The NMPP$25 Million each to:•  Columbia, MO•  Marin Co, CA•  Minneapolis, MN•  Sheboygan Co, WI
2009: A New Day at USDOT“We have a window ofopportunity to thinkdifferently abouttransportation andpropose bold, newapproa...
2010: The Bike Lash Begins“…"Strategic Plan 2010-2015" reachesnew depths of incoherence andsloganeering on behalf of an ex...
2010: Earth Day         “You must be a            bicyclist.”        Pres. Barack Obama        April 22, 2010
2011: It works!   % Increase   2007 – 2010:     Cyclists   WalkersColumbia, MO………     +26%       +14%Marin Co, CA……….    +...
It Pays   Active   Transportation   For America   The Case for Increased   Federal Investment in   Bicycling and Walking  ...
It’s Popular    HowRespondents   Would  AllocatedTransportation  Funding                   37%            41%            2...
2011: Something is happening     among the young…
2012: … A Cultural Shift•  It works!•  It pays!•  It’s popular!•  It’s in the streets!•  It’s in advertising…•  People wan...
2012: Yesterday The American Energy and Infrastructure   Jobs Act:•  Eliminates guaranteed funding for   Transportation En...
2012: Yesterday•  The Petri-Johnson-Lipinski Amendment   was defeated 27-29.•  Thanks: Rep. Bernice-Johnson•  Spanks: Rep....
2012: Next WeekOn to the Senate….
2012: The Great Paradox•  Trails and active transportation have never   been more popular or in greater demand•  But power...
2012: Dueling Visions We are witnessing a clash of twovery different visions of transportationin America.
Dueling Visions of the Future: This?
Or This?
This?
Or This?
Where Do We Go From Here?•    Four part strategy:-    Making Our Case-    Organize, Organize, Organize-    Raising Our Voi...
Expanding Our MovementPrimary Targets:•  Local elected officials, particularly   Republicans•  Health care advocates & ind...
A Large Employer•  Lexis-Nexis•  Information/Technolgy Firm•  Dayton, OH•  Has the ear of its governor
“We need to make Ohio      COOL.”
The Charisma of Place “The new sort of competition is all about charisma. It’s about gathering talent in one spot...”David...
A Dictionary DefinitionCharisma - a special magnetic charm or appeal
What Makes a Place Charismatic?•  “Community quality of life…”•  “Nearby active outdoor recreation…”•  “Hot companies in c...
Does this havespecial magnetic appeal?
Is This An Extreme Green Agenda?
Conclusion•  We are in for a major fight.•  There will be setbacks.•  But we will ultimately prevail.•  The tired 1939 vis...
Keith Laughlin keynote
Keith Laughlin keynote
Keith Laughlin keynote
Keith Laughlin keynote
Keith Laughlin keynote
Keith Laughlin keynote
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Keith Laughlin keynote

  1. 1. Active Transportation and the Charisma of Place Keith Laughlin Rails-to-Trails Conservancy February 3, 2012
  2. 2. RTC 101•  Founded in 1986•  150,000 Members and supporters•  HQ in DC with 4 Regional Offices•  35 Staff
  3. 3. Our MissionTo create a nationwide network of trailsfrom former rail lines and connectingcorridors……to build healthier places for healthierpeople.
  4. 4. Looking BackPast success:•  1986: 250 miles•  2012: 20,000 miles
  5. 5. Two Keys to Our Success1) Federal Investment: - $9.87 Billion in Transportation Enhancements funding since 1992; - 2/3 of $$ for trails, walking and biking2) Local Partnerships
  6. 6. Looking Ahead:Our Audacious Goal By 2020, 90 percent of Americans will live within three miles of a local trail system.
  7. 7. An Even More Audacious Goal for the FutureTo create active transportation systems:…seamless networks of trails, on roadcycling facilities, and sidewalks – allconnected to public transportation – thatwill give people the choice of mobilitywithout an automobile.
  8. 8. Utopian? NO.But to imagine what’s possible inthe future it’s useful tounderstand what has happened inthe past.
  9. 9. 1919: Transcontinental Motor Convoy
  10. 10. 1919: Transcontinental Motor Convoy•  Traveled from Washington DC to San Francisco•  3,251 miles in 62 days•  Averaged 52 miles per day
  11. 11. 1939: NY World’s Fair General Motor’s “Futurama” Exhibit Caption: “Two 14-lane express highways cross in 1960”
  12. 12. 1956: The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act
  13. 13. 1982: Transit Investment•  Transit capital investments become eligible for highway trust fund monies.
  14. 14. 1991: A Major Shift Begins•  Eisenhower Interstate System is completed; 46,000 miles at a cost of $425 billion (2006 dollars)•  ISTEA passed and Transportation Enhancements created; has provided over $6 billion for trails/bike/ped since 1992
  15. 15. 1994: The “Information Superhighway” “The Greatest Social Revolution Since the Automobile” - January 1994
  16. 16. 2003: Attack on Transportation Enhancements•  Petri Amendment (R-WI) to restore funding was approved by a bipartisan vote of 320-90.•  Inoculated us from additional attacks
  17. 17. 2005: Passage of SAFETEALUThree major accomplishments:•  Transportation Enhancements preserved•  Safe Routes to Schools created•  Non-Motorized Pilot Project created
  18. 18. 2005: Beyond TE;The NMPP$25 Million each to:•  Columbia, MO•  Marin Co, CA•  Minneapolis, MN•  Sheboygan Co, WI
  19. 19. 2009: A New Day at USDOT“We have a window ofopportunity to thinkdifferently abouttransportation andpropose bold, newapproaches to improvethe livability of ournation’s communities.”Secretary LaHoodJune 2009
  20. 20. 2010: The Bike Lash Begins“…"Strategic Plan 2010-2015" reachesnew depths of incoherence andsloganeering on behalf of an extremegreen agenda…”Tollroad NewsMay 2010
  21. 21. 2010: Earth Day “You must be a bicyclist.” Pres. Barack Obama April 22, 2010
  22. 22. 2011: It works! % Increase 2007 – 2010: Cyclists WalkersColumbia, MO……… +26% +14%Marin Co, CA………. +68% +24%Minneapolis, MN…… +32% +17%Sheboygan Co, WI… +23% +12%
  23. 23. It Pays Active Transportation For America The Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking www.railstotrails.org/atfa
  24. 24. It’s Popular HowRespondents Would AllocatedTransportation Funding 37% 41% 22% Roads Public Transportation Bicycling & Walking HowTransportation Funding is Allocated in Reality 79% 20% 1%
  25. 25. 2011: Something is happening among the young…
  26. 26. 2012: … A Cultural Shift•  It works!•  It pays!•  It’s popular!•  It’s in the streets!•  It’s in advertising…•  People want it!•  And it’s COOL!
  27. 27. 2012: Yesterday The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act:•  Eliminates guaranteed funding for Transportation Enhancements•  Makes rail-trail conversions ineligible for federal funding•  Eliminates Safe Routes to School•  Eliminates trust fund revenues for transit
  28. 28. 2012: Yesterday•  The Petri-Johnson-Lipinski Amendment was defeated 27-29.•  Thanks: Rep. Bernice-Johnson•  Spanks: Rep. Farenthold
  29. 29. 2012: Next WeekOn to the Senate….
  30. 30. 2012: The Great Paradox•  Trails and active transportation have never been more popular or in greater demand•  But powerful forces want to turn back the clock to 1956: no transit, no trails, no bike/ ped•  Highways only: “Drive, Baby, Drive!”
  31. 31. 2012: Dueling Visions We are witnessing a clash of twovery different visions of transportationin America.
  32. 32. Dueling Visions of the Future: This?
  33. 33. Or This?
  34. 34. This?
  35. 35. Or This?
  36. 36. Where Do We Go From Here?•  Four part strategy:-  Making Our Case-  Organize, Organize, Organize-  Raising Our Voices-  Expanding Our Movement
  37. 37. Expanding Our MovementPrimary Targets:•  Local elected officials, particularly Republicans•  Health care advocates & industry•  Economic and community development specialists•  Large employers looking for talented young workers
  38. 38. A Large Employer•  Lexis-Nexis•  Information/Technolgy Firm•  Dayton, OH•  Has the ear of its governor
  39. 39. “We need to make Ohio COOL.”
  40. 40. The Charisma of Place “The new sort of competition is all about charisma. It’s about gathering talent in one spot...”David Brooks“The Talent Magnet”New York TimesJanuary 24, 2011
  41. 41. A Dictionary DefinitionCharisma - a special magnetic charm or appeal
  42. 42. What Makes a Place Charismatic?•  “Community quality of life…”•  “Nearby active outdoor recreation…”•  “Hot companies in cool places…”
  43. 43. Does this havespecial magnetic appeal?
  44. 44. Is This An Extreme Green Agenda?
  45. 45. Conclusion•  We are in for a major fight.•  There will be setbacks.•  But we will ultimately prevail.•  The tired 1939 vision of GM’s Futurama exhibit has passed its shelf life.•  We are redefining what it means to be a healthy community in the 21st century.•  Trails and bikes will be at the center.
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