Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Iowa. Photo: Liz Zabel, courtesy GO Cedar Rapids

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy recently announced plans for a coast-to-coast bike and walking route from Washington, D.C., to Washington state. There's an interactive map for this entirely car-free way to get across the country here.

Why it matters: The Great American Rail-Trail will be the nation's first cross-country trail, linking more than 125 existing trails and 90 trail gaps over more than 3,700 miles.

  • Connecting the trails could put nearly 50 million people within 50 miles of the route.
  • The trail is mostly comprised of defunct railroads turned into walking and biking paths.
  • Finishing the trail could take a couple of decades.

The backdrop: The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy was founded in 1986 to help convert former rail corridors into public trails for bikers, strollers and other active users.

  • Co-founders David Burwell and Peter Harnik were railroad history buffs, and a coast-to-coast backbone was always part their vision, CityLab notes.

Go deeper

Transcripts show George Floyd told police "I can't breathe" over 20 times

Photo: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Newly released transcripts of bodycam footage from the Minneapolis Police Department show that George Floyd told officers he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments leading up to his death.

Why it matters: Floyd's killing sparked a national wave of Black Lives Matter protests and an ongoing reckoning over systemic racism in the United States. The transcripts "offer one the most thorough and dramatic accounts" before Floyd's death, The New York Times writes.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,921,616 — Total deaths: 546,318 — Total recoveries — 6,506,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 3,035,231 — Total deaths: 132,042 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
  3. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
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  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.
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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation has helped cripple the response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: High-powered social media accelerates the spread of lies and political polarization that motivates people to believe them. Unless the public health sphere can effectively counter misinformation, not even an effective vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic.