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Thu, Jan. 28

Cycling advocates<br>donate to Greenway

The Grand Canyon National Park Foundation accepted a $10,000 grant from a cycling organization late last month for the newest section of the Greenway Trail system.

Bikes Belong Coalition, a cycling industry advocate, awarded the grant, which will provide a portion of a local match required to activate $2.7 million in funds from the federal Transportation Equity Act.

Portion of the Greenway have been completed from the Pipe Creek overlook area to Mather Point and on to Yavapai Point and from Canyon View Information Plaza into the village.

The newest portion, being referred to as the Gateway Trail by the cycling group, will connect Tusayan with CVIP.

“Thanks to the generosity of Bikes Belong Coalition, construction of this trail will begin in April of 2004,” foundation president Deborah Tuck said in a news release. “This grant is a tremendous boost to our efforts to move forward with the creation of this 73-mile system, which will generate significant bicycle tourism to the Grand Canyon. We’ve successfully advocated and secured feasibility studies and construction funds for the trail.”

Tuck said if only 1 percent of the annual estimated 4.5 million visitors ride, that’s 450,000 cyclists annually.

“The development of the trail will provide an attractive bicycle facility, resulting in increased use by tourists, recreational riders and commuter bicyclists,” said Ken Lane, owner of Absolute Bikes, a Flagstaff bike shop. “I know this project will be an enhancement to northern Arizona tourism.”

Bikes Belong has awarded more than $480,000 in facilities grants with a return of more than $250 million in funding for bicycle facilities. Bikes Belong has funded more than 694 miles and connected 3,404 miles of bike facilities projects.

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