NJ Club Joins Rails With Trails Effort

Rails With Trails riders

Support continues to grow for rails with trails as the Morris Area Freewheelers, a northern New Jersey bike club, has signed on to support the  VBF’s Rails With Trails resolution and efforts to require inclusion of bike and pedestrian facilities in government-funded rail enhancement projects.

With the addition of the Morris Area Freewheelers, there are now 34 national, statewide and local organizations supporting the RWT effort.

“We recognize the physical health, mental health, energy savings, and global warming implications of increasing the national bike-friendly infrastructure,” said said Jay Marowitz, President of the club.  “We feel that rails plus trails is a key component of this infrastructure and support this great project.”

Morris Area Freewheelers has over 650 members ranging in age from 18 to 84.  Most members   reside in   Morris,  Sussex, Hunterdon, Essex, Somerset, Warren, Union, and Passaic in northern New Jersey.

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3 comments… add one
  • The additional construction has an environmental impact: Cutting down more trees, manufacturing asphalt, transporting asphalt, construction vehicles emitting diesel fumes.

    How many people would need to give up their cars and for how long before the environmental impact breaks even? I suspect we are barking up the wrong tree. ten percent of the world’s CO2 comes from manufacturing concrete. Electricity production via burning coal emits more particulate, CO2, Sulfur, and CO than any other source.
    Methane contributes 12 times the global warming effect at CO2. Cattle grazing is the single largest source of methane production. The second largest is from our garbage landfills.

    The stated reasoning behind their construction is that it will reduce green house gasses has not been supported. I believe that the dollars would be better spent fighting the major sources of greenhouse gasses and not on a project that a minuscule percentage of commuters would use.

    I love rails for trails and use them with my family. I object to building them under false pretenses of helping the environment

  • David,

    Building more highways to accomodate more cars and then filling them to capacity with more traffic certainly has a much larger impact than a bike trail. It’s called sprawl…

    Let’s look at other benefits these RWT facilities provide:

    – health benefits – over 30 percent of Americans are obese. Let’s get them out riding and walking and off the couch;

    – decreased use of oil to – approximately 50% of all trips taken by Americans are under 3 miles. Riding a bike or walking for these trips saves a lot of gas (and doesn’t generate the emissions a car does.);

    – quality of life benefits?

    There are a lot of reasons to add these bikeways to the rails corridors. Rather than a handout to the railroads, let’s insure that all Americans can benefit from these expenditures and build projects that do something good for every citizen, our country and our environment at the same time.

  • “I believe that the dollars would be better spent fighting the major sources of greenhouse gasses and not on a project that a minuscule percentage of commuters would use.”

    The cost of construction of a bike trail is about 1/20th the cost of constructing a road (at the same width), so roughly $250,000 per mile for a 12-foot width, compared to a road which is about $5.5 million per mile at the same width.

    So if 1/20th of drivers were to get on a bike instead of in their car, the cost would break even instantly. Furthermore, bike trails last longer than auto roads, they don’t need to be paved as often. It’s a lot to think about, but in the long run, if only a fraction of the population switched over to bikes, it’s definitely worth it to build bike infrastructure.

    As far as the environmental benefit, there are figures on carbon dioxide per car trip. That could all be calculated, but I would figure within 5 years, the environmental impact would break even. I think we can all agree the trail will last much longer than 5 years.

    In my opinion, it’s worth it, from both a cost analysis and environmental analysis standpoint. There are already over 120 rails-with-trails projects in the US, and that number is growing every year.

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