On behalf of Bike Delaware, our constituent organizations, and bicyclists all over Delaware, we write this letter in thanks for your hard work and dedication in the protection of TE funding. It recently came to our attention that over $580M was cut nationally, with many states forfeiting a grossly disproportionate share. At only .4% of total funds rescinded, Delaware was not among them.
The economic impacts of bicycling, walking, and other forms of non-motorized transportation and recreation is enormous. Knowing you understand the benefits, including those for the environment, healthcare costs, obesity rates, and a host of other issues is what keeps us moving forward with confidence, and for that we are grateful.
If there is ever a doubt about the decisions you’ve made, we’ll leave you with a story about the Schuylkill River Trail from Manayunk to Valley Forge, PA. The “Manayunk Survey” revealed the spending amounts, as well as the percentage of trail users who spend money. It was found most trail users (53.3%) spend money “frequently” when they use the Schuylkill River Trail. Most trail users (73.4%) spend thirty dollars or less per visit. Studies show the number of trail users at approximately 250,000 visits per year. It is estimated that the trail impact in Manayunk generates business revenue in excess of $2.5 million dollars annually. This represents an average of $15.05 per trail user within the 73.4% spending range, or an average of $10.30 per trail user. Without it being the original intent, the Schuylkill River Trail has generated substantial revenue for neighboring businesses, even with a lack of serious promotion. This success ultimately lead to its extension to Oaks, PA (via the Perkiomen Trail) and beyond, with over 100 more miles currently under construction that will link Reading, PA.
With this study, there is no reason the upcoming Industrial Track Rail Trail between Old New Castle and Wilmington’s Waterfront won’t mirror this success, validating the preservation and (hopefully) future increase of TE and other sources of bike/ped funding. ~ Frank Warnock