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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

As gasoline prices rise, so does push for bicycle trails [USA TODAY]



  • Fans in Indianapolis use bicycles to get around the streets near Super Bowl Village in January.
    By Joe Vitti,, The Indianapolis Star
    Fans in Indianapolis use bicycles to get around the streets near Super Bowl Village in January.

By Joe Vitti,, The Indianapolis Star
Fans in Indianapolis use bicycles to get around the streets near Super Bowl Village in January.
SMYRNA, Ga. – The Silver Comet Trail, a 61-mile converted railroad track that slices through northwest Georgia to the Alabama border, teems with traffic this time of year from bicyclists, walkers, joggers, inline skaters and parents pushing baby carriages.
Out here, thoughts of the gasoline pump are far away — but this popular trail, which opened in 1998 and is part of the nation's longest paved recreational trail, was developed with the help of more than $3.7 million in federal matching funds that came from the federal gasoline tax.
Now, as many Americans consider bicycles in place of cars in the face of soaring gasoline prices, cyclists and nature lovers are fighting to make sure funds for trails such as this are available. And they're enjoying a growth in political clout and becoming a viable force in the national conversation on transportation.

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