ACCESS BOARD ADA/ABA ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES and DRAFT PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY GUIDELINES
The U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) published ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities [http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/index.htm] in the Federal Register on July 23, 2004, and published technical amendments on August 5, 2005. Both the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) and USDOT have given notice of their intent to adopt these guidelines as the standards for new construction under the ADA, which sets design requirements for the construction and alteration of places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and State and local government facilities.
The ABA ensures access to facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with Federal funds. On November 8, 2005, the General Services Administration (GSA) adopted these accessibility standards for federally funded facilities (the USDOT is a client agency of GSA). They will take effect on May 8, 2006, and will replace the reference to the existing standards, UFAS.
Until the Access Board's guidelines are adopted as standards by Federal rulemaking agencies, the current standards set the minimum requirements for compliance. Where relevant standards do not exist, agencies must determine what constitutes the required accessible design. Access Board guidelines in development or pending adoption are a good source of guidance.
Revised Draft Public Rights-of-Way Guidelines. The Access Board is developing guidelines specific to Public Rights-of-Way, and expects to issue a proposed rule in 2006. The Board's latest draft (revised November 23, 2005) is at http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/index.htm.
Outdoor Developed Areas. The Access Board established the Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas, which issued its report on September 15, 1999 (http://www.access-board.gov/outdoor/outdoor-rec-rpt.htm). This report provides scoping and technical criteria for the design of new recreational trails and the alterations of existing trails.
Outdoor Developed Areas on Federal Lands. The Access Board expects to issue a proposed rule based on the Outdoor Developed Areas report to apply to Federal lands in 2006. While these rules will not be binding on non-Federal lands, FHWA encourages the States to use these guidelines as best practices to ensure accessibility.
The National OHV Conference will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on March 22 - 25. The conference is sponsored at the national level by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) and the Federal Highway Administration. More detailed information about lodging and program content will be available from NOHVCC in early January.
This also serves as the annual meeting of the National Association of OHV Program Managers (NAOPM). That organization's meeting will be on March 22 and will involve training sessions and discussions of importance to NAOPM. If you have topics that the organization should address, please get your thoughts to me. As an example, the need for standardized OHV trail signing will be on the agenda.
Following is a broad overview of the conference schedule:
March 22 Meetings of 1) National Association of OHV Program Managers, 2) NOHVCC Board of Directors, 3) USDA Forest Service, 4) BLM, 5) Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Course
March 23 National OHV Program Managers Conference (everyone welcome)
March 24 National OHV Conference: Program managers, NOHVCC members, OHV industry, OHV recreationists
March 25 NOHVCC Conference (everyone welcome)
March 26 NOHVCC Board of Directors Meeting (primarily for Board members)
If you have suggestions for the NAOPM managers meeting on March 22, please get them to me at email@example.com or call 406-444-4585. For registration information and detailed agenda, contact NOHVCC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great Christmas and a safe New Year!
Bob Walker , State Trails Programs Coordinator & Chair, NAOPM
OHV Liability Survey: Response Requested
On October 6, Alex Weiss (on behalf of State OHV Program Managers) asked States to complete an OHV Liability Survey (see www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/rtp_te_update/2005/october/index.cfm#oct06). We asked States to folks respond by November 30. To date, only Arizona has provided information. Arizona submitted information electronically with much of the information available to me via provided web links. I just followed the links to obtain the requested documents.
In order for the OHV Liability Working Group to move forward, we really need the RTP administrators to assist. I know the survey is somewhat lengthy, but any information would be better than none. Our efforts should benefit both land managing agencies and motorized recreational trail users.
Trail User Characteristics
Florida is developing a Florida Trails Education Master Plan. We hope our model can be replicated by other agencies. We are at the stage where we need to determine our customers (basically a market segmentation). As such, we are interested if any entity has conducted trail user surveys examining trail user demographics, characterizations, and all that good stuff - particularly if they tie it to trail types (as provided by the agency) and user types (general interest users as well as the "ists" and "ers". If anyone has and is willing to share their survey methodology and results, we would be very grateful. Please respond to email@example.com.
2006 FHWA and FTA Transportation Planning Excellence Awards
FHWA announced the call for entries for the 2006 FHWA and FTA Transportation Planning Excellence Awards, cosponsored by the American Planning Association. These awards will recognize outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. Awards may be given in twelve categories: Asset Management and Planning; Education and Training; Freight Planning; Homeland and Personal Security; Linking Planning and Operations; Modeling and Technology Applications; Safety Planning; Planning Leadership; Public Involvement and Outreach; Transportation and Land Use Integration; Transportation Planning and Environment; and Tribal Transportation Planning. The awards will be presented in the summer of 2006. Information about the awards program and an online call for entries is at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/tpea. The deadline to receive entries is February 28, 2006. For additional information, please contact Jody McCullough at 202-366-2825 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q1: Can States sponsor conferences?
Answer: Yes, States may use their own State funds or use State RTP administrative funds to sponsor conferences. The new version of the RTP guidance will clearly state that States can use RTP administrative funds to sponsor conferences (see Q3 below). States should use the same procurement procedures they would use for their own State funds (49 CFR 18.36(a)). The State should give FHWA credit if it uses RTP funds. A State's contract with a conference organizer may have a Statement of Work that specifies the State's requirements that it expects the conference organizer to meet.
Q2: Can States sponsor conferences located in other States?
Answer: Yes. There is no prohibition against using funds in another State.
Q3: Can a State use its RTP administrative funds to pay for State advisory committee members to attend meetings, training, and events related to recreational trails?
Answer: Yes, provided the costs are reasonable and provide a benefit to the State's RTP administration. The draft RTP guidance on administrative costs (currently on my computer) states:
Allowable administrative costs include items such as:
Advisory Committee Expenses
We received a request asking: What expenses do States cover for their State Recreational Trail Advisory Committee members? Please respond to email@example.com. For example, does your State cover:
Status of New RTP Guidance
We have nearly completed draft RTP guidance: it is getting internal reviews. Later this month, I expect to send it for review by some FHWA division offices. I hope to have a version available for public review at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/ by the end of January 2006. It will be in effect as Interim Guidance, but open for public review and comment. After receiving public comment, we hope to finalize the RTP Guidance in spring 2006. For the most part, it repeats a lot of what is in the current guidance (posted on our website), with updates for SAFETEA-LU and items such as Accessibility guidelines, new resources available, etc.
Jessica Terrell is moving from Missouri State Parks to be the new State Trail Coordinator for New Mexico State Parks, effective January 3, 2006. Sandra Massengill is very happy to have Jessica's expertise with her. See more about Jessica at http://americanfrontiers.net/home/home.php. Now I feel sad for Missouri!
I am sad to report that Jerry Cassidy, Virginia, passed on a few months ago. Virginia's new RTP administrator is Synthia Waymack. Welcome Synthia!