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2004 State Trail Administrators Meeting

Questions and Answers


Eligibility of Motorcross Tracks

1. Do you have a record of a previous determination of eligibility of motocross tracks? If so, please provide the answer.

Minnesota - Tim Mitchell
No, the issue has never come up.

Mississippi - Tommy Boxx
MS feels that if Walking tracks qualify so should Motorcross tracks.

West Virginia - William C. Robinson
WV's Board has never awarded RTP funds to a motocross track. However, at one time a small nonprofit facility that was a go cart/motorcycle/ATV racing track applied for RTP funds based on the fact that they also had motorized trails in the hills behind the track (like your South Dakota reference). Our State board had awarded several projects to this facility for infrastructure (such as an ATV clean-up station, which could have been utilized by racers as well), but FHWA in our State got very concerned about facilities on private land and the nonprofit's leases were judged by DOH management not to be strong enough to support the expenditure of federal funds. When the grant sponsor couldn't rectify the leases, the projects were returned and the fund re-awarded to other motorized projects.

The bottom line is that without the trails, the track alone would have probably never been awarded funds.

California - Clark Woy
In California we recently received an application for the relocation of a motocross track within a fairgrounds. The project had a lot of merit and was selected for funding. This was a first for us. We were skeptical at first of the "slippery slope" of what gets defined as a trail and did not want to get into "track" development. This was a relocation of an existing track. We viewed the track as a "short loop trail" available for motorized recreation. The track is open to the general public.

Nevada - Brad Eckert
Nevada has not funded any sort of motocross tracks, nor has Nevada received any request to fund such projects. I guess with 87% of the land mostly open to OHV use, there is little demand (at this time) for those sort of facilities.

2. Has your State accepted RTP applications for motocross tracks?

Minnesota - Tim Mitchell
We have never received a RTP application for a project that was specifically for a motocross track. However we have funded two projects that have a motocross track component to them. In both instances the motocross tracks are relatively small and pedestrian, and actually serve the riders better as warm up areas or child scramble areas.

Also, in both instances the total project cost greatly exceeded the match requirements for the grants. So it could be argued that the RTP funds were not utilized in development of the motocross tracks anyway.

Mississippi - Tommy Boxx
MS had its first motocross application this past funding cycle.

3. If yes, was it part of a larger overall project with other recreational trails, or simply the motocross track?

Minnesota - Tim Mitchell
Answered above.

Mississippi - Tommy Boxx
The project was part of a MOTARD track (half paved and half dirt track) with potential for the development of trails.

4. Did the motocross project (or portion of the project) get selected for funding?

Minnesota - Tim Mitchell
Yes, in both instances.

Mississippi - Tommy Boxx
No, the city of Jackson, submitted a different application for a walking track, however it would have been selected for funding if they would have committed to the MOTARD project.

5. How do you guarantee having the motocross section being open for general public use?

Minnesota - Tim Mitchell
Both facilities are publicly owned parks, one by the State and one by a county.

Mississippi - Tommy Boxx
Through a Memorandum of Understanding

6. Please provide other comments and opinions, especially about the "slippery slope" of what gets defined as a trail.

Minnesota - Tim Mitchell
Minnesota benefits from a off-highway motorcycle user association that has voluntarily recognized that there are trail riders and competition riders. The members seem to understand that they require different needs and don't appear to compete with each other for opportunities.

We also benefit from a number of privately owned motocross tracks across the State that are available for those activities, as well as a number of competitive circuits that provide continual opportunities for racing. This has probably kept the demand from the competition riders for opportunities on public lands to a minimum.

There has been no cause as of yet, to blur the lines between providing trails or just plain providing motorized recreation opportunities.

Mississippi - Tommy Boxx
If walking tracks are eligible for funding, why not MotorCross tracks and BMX tracks?

Walking tracks are usually a closed loop track, sometimes oval but most of the time a closed loop of irregular shape. Activities that occur on these walking tracks include running, walking, jogging, and biking, if tracks are paved/concrete they can also accommodate skating. As has been discussed before, it seems that the southeastern States are having the biggest problem dealing with walking track issues. I have asked that FHWA take a stand and not allow walking tracks to qualify under RTP, however I have been told on numerous occasions that these walking tracks qualify for RTP funds. Once again if walking tracks are eligible for funding, why not MotorCross tracks?

As you know some States struggle to meet the 30% requirement for funding motorized trail projects. Allowing motorcross tracks to qualify would help meet that funding requirement.

However, I think the qualifying question is answered by identifying if the fuel use by these users is included in the Calculation of Nonhighway Recreational Fuel Use. If the fuel for this activity is included in the calculation, which helps determines apportionments, they should qualify as long as the facility is open to the public.

Additionally, the State Recreational Trail Advisory Committee can help determine if motocross tracks qualify and set priority for funding . Remember, land type, use, and ownership differ greatly by region and from State to State thus affecting the type of projects which can be implemented.

Updated: 02/12/2014
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