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May 21, 2021

Rep. Bourdeaux Introduces Legislation To Fund Construction Of Greenways

WASHINGTON — Today, United States Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Congressman Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Congressman David Scott (GA-13), Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06), Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) introduced the National and Regional Greenways Act, which would create a grant program for the improvement or construction of regionally or nationally significant greenway paths. Greenways are environmentally friendly bike and pedestrian paths connecting disparate communities, parks, and neighborhoods. 

This program is intended to support projects such as the visionary Chattahoochee River Greenway that would develop a regional pedestrian and bike path connecting communities and neighborhoods along the Chattahoochee River. 

The National and Regional Greenways Act is supported by the Trust for Public Land, Georgia Bikes, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Environment Georgia, Southern Environmental Law Center, the Atlanta Regional Commission, and Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson.

“Greenways, such as the proposed Chattahoochee River Greenway, are smart investments in our communities that provide beautiful recreational space, encourage more pedestrian and bike connectivity, and frankly, because they are such a desirable amenity for our communities, are often significant drivers of economic development, all in an environmentally-friendly way. As we continue to have a national conversation about infrastructure, it is critical that we embrace future-forward policies that do well by doing good — the same old solutions won’t do. I thank Congressman Bishop, Congressman Scott, Congresswoman McBath, Congresswoman Williams, Congressman Pappas, Chairwoman Hendrickson, and all the supporting organizations for their shared commitment to working to FutureFit the Suburbs,said Congresswoman Bourdeaux.

“Shared public greenspace expansion brings new vitality and investment to our communities, enhancing quality of life and creating new economic opportunity. With the federal grant funding outlined in the National and Regional Greenways Act for new and improved multimodal paths, communities in metro-Atlanta and across the country will be able to plan and design for investments in infrastructure that will connect us in innovative ways, foster new jobs, promote business creation and encourage healthy, active lifestyles for years to come,” said Congressman Scott.

“Connecting our communities to restaurants, small businesses, and natural areas is so critically important, and by investing in these spaces now–as neighbors, friends, and families–we can share an appreciation of the outdoors with our children and with future generations. Georgia families deserve access to recreation and travel options that reduce congestion and provide safe and secure areas to work and play, and I am proud to work with Rep. Bourdeaux on this critical effort to create and improve national and regional greenways,” said Congresswoman McBath.

“The Fifth District is home to successful multi-jurisdictional greenways that benefit our communities. Greenways increase access to equitable transportation and by getting cars off our roads, they reduce the public health concerns that disproportionately plague minority communities. I am proud to cosponsor the National and Regional Greenway Act because as a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, I am committed to creating a competitive transportation network that will benefit everyone, no matter your Zip code,” said Congresswoman Williams.

“Expanding our active transportation networks is an opportunity to knit communities together while supporting ecotourism and helping protect our environment. I am proud to help introduce this legislation, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure our larger infrastructure package includes support for active transportation networks that will improve connections and promote healthy, vibrant communities,” said Congressman Pappas.

“The National and Regional Greenways Act will provide a way for local and state governments to develop functional green corridors that will meet the mobility and recreational needs for many future generations,” said Chairwoman Hendrickson.

Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) helps to create vibrant, walkable communities across metro Atlanta that include robust greenways and trails. We are encouraged to see Congress consider a vision for regional trail systems across the country that builds upon similar investments made by many of our member counties in recent years. The benefits of continued expansion of our local trail systems on quality of life, job creation, economic development and improvements to air quality would be immeasurable. We encourage Congress to adopt this concept of vital importance to the future of our communities,” said Doug Hooker, Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission. 

“The Trust for Public Land is proud to endorse the National Regional Greenways Act. Trails and greenways are common ground for communities, connecting us to nature and each other. There could be no better example of this than the Chattahoochee Riverlands project, a bold vision of a 125-mile multi-use path along the Chattahoochee River that would transform metro Atlanta and connect over a million people. Projects of this size and scale represent transformative opportunities. The National and Regional Greenways Act would help metro Atlanta, and communities across the country, seize that opportunity while easing traffic congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening climate resilience, and improving community health. We thank Rep. Bourdeaux for her leadership and look forward to working with her and her colleagues to strengthen the federal investment in greenways in communities across America,” said Bill Lee, Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Government Relations, Trust for Public Land

“Commuting by car is a life-sucking headache. Who wants to be stuck in pollution-belching traffic that harms our health and our climate? Congresswoman Bourdeaux’s National and Regional Greenways Act would help solve that problem by funding greenway paths. With increased paths and green space we can drive less and live more. More of us could bike to work and explore nature with our kids when the day is over. This bill should be included in any infrastructure package passed by Congress this year,” said Jennette Gayer, Director, Environment Georgia. 

“The National and Regional Greenways Act will benefit communities throughout Georgia, and especially on the coast. The vision of a continuous greenway from Savannah to St. Marys has been around for decades, but not much progress has been made due to a lack of dedicated planning, design and construction funding for small cities and rural areas. This Act will directly address that need and will help create a legacy trail network for coastal residents and tourists to enjoy for years to come,” said Brent Buice, South Carolina & Georgia Coordinator, East Coast Greenway.

“Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux’s National and Regional Greenways Act could have a direct, measurable, and positive impact on people who love—or want to get to know—the Chattahoochee River.  This measure could fund walking and biking trails connecting Buford to Whitesburg, and from the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area to Chattahoochee Bend State Park,” said Jason Ulseth, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

Over the course of this week, Congresswoman Bourdeaux has focused extensively on infrastructure. On Tuesday, Bourdeaux rolled out the Build Up the Suburbs (BUS) Act as the first launch plank of her FutureFit The Suburbs initiative. Later today, the Congresswoman will meet with United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in Atlanta to discuss infrastructure priorities.

*See the National and Regional Greenways Act here*

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Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, an economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure. 

Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford.