People said, 'Build this [Eliza Furnace] Trail and no one will come' …Now commuters use it every day and families come on weekends to blade and bike and walk.
—Tom Murphy, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind.
—William Saroyan, Nobel Prize Winner
Bicycling unites physical harmony coupled with emotional bliss to create a sense of spiritual perfection that combines one’s body, mind and spirit into a single moving entity. Bicycling allows a person to mesh with the sun, sky and road as if nothing else mattered in the world. In fact, all your worries, cares and troubles vanish in the rear view mirror while you bicycle along the byways of the world: you pedal as one with the universe.
Let us bequeath our children more than the gadgets that surround us. If bicycling can be restored to the daily life of all Americans, it can be a vital step toward rebuilding health and vigor in all of us.
—Dr. Paul Dudley White, US cardiologist, 1886—1973
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
Rivers, lakes, and other waterways are the lifeblood of our communities, connecting us to our environment, our culture, our economy, and our way of life. The new National Water Trails System will help fulfill President Obama’s vision for healthy and accessible rivers as we work to restore and conserve our nation’s treasured waterways.
—Kenneth Lee Salazar, Secretary of the Interior