The cyclist creates everything from almost nothing, becoming the most energy-efficient of all... animals and machines and, as such, has a [genuine] ability to challenge the entire value system of a society.... The bicycle may be too cheap, too available, too healthy, too independent and too equitable for its own good. In an age of excess, it is minimal and has the subversive potential to make people happy in an economy fuelled by consumer discontent.
Trails have multiple values and their benefits reach far beyond recreation. Trails can enrich the quality of life for individuals, make communities more livable, and protect, nurture, and showcase America’s grandeur by traversing areas of natural beauty, distinctive geography, historic significance, and ecological diversity. Trails are important for the nation’s health, economy, resource protection and education.
—American Trails, Trails for All Americans report, 1990
Greenways can draw people together in their communities to provide open spaces for all close to their own homes. They have the potential to be this country's most important land-based effort for conservation and recreation in the next several decades. They can draw private and local entities into lead roles in provision of recreation opportunities. They can capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans and give pride of accomplishment and responsibility to millions of people in every community. They can protect vital water, fish, wildlife, and recreation resources as integral parts of the growth of cities and communities. And, if greenways truly capture the imagination and boldness of the American spirit, they could eventually form the corridors that connect open spaces, parks, forests, and deserts— and Americans— from sea to shining sea.
—President Reagan’s Commission on American Outdoors, Americans and the Outdoors, 1986
You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bicycle and that’s pretty close.
I have too many bikes. Said no cyclist, ever.
The [Great Allegheny Passage] Trail is already attracting a lot of people, and were just starting to market it. It’s a major asset for our region, not only because of the tourist dollars it’s attracting, but also because it’s a piece of our economic rebuilding efforts.
—John P. Murtha, U.S. Congressman (D-Penn)