In this issue:
Program Update - February 7, 2008
National Surface Transportation and Revenue Study Commission
The National Surface Transportation and Revenue Study Commission released its Report to Congress on January 15, 2008. The Congress created the Commission in 2005 because "it is in the national interest to preserve and enhance the surface transportation system to meet the needs of the United States for the 21st century." This report has recommendations for the future of the nation's surface transportation program. See www.transportationfortomorrow.org/.
The US Department of Transportation Press Release replying to this Report is at: www.dot.gov/affairs/dot0608.htm. (Note: Link inactive as of 11/09.)
Above and Beyond: AASHTO Report on the Environmental and Social Contributions of America's Highway Programs
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a report to demonstrate "the numerous ways transportation agencies are increasingly going 'above and beyond' to connect and enhance both communities and the environment to make things better than before, not because it is required, but because it is the right thing to do. The successful practices described in this report describe a few of the many ways transportation agencies are advancing toward sustainable transportation. These initiatives are helping transportation agencies bridge the gap and contribute to the environmental, social, and economic well-being of their communities."
This report highlights benefits of the Transportation Enhancement Activities and National Scenic Byways Program. See http://environment.transportation.org/center/products_programs/above_beyond.aspx.
Interim Report to the U.S. Congress on the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program
This interim report to Congress summarizes the progress and initial results of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) and the four pilot communities' participation in the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) from its inception through May 2007. Section 1807 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) established the NTPP in August 2005. Over the span of 4 years, the legislation provides $25 million in for each of the NTPP's four pilot communities (Columbia, Missouri; Marin County, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Sheboygan County, Wisconsin) "to construct ... a network of nonmotorized transportation infrastructure facilities, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian and bicycle trails, that connect directly with transit stations, schools, residences, businesses, recreation areas, and other community activity centers." See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/ntpp/.
Trail Training and Education
From: Stuart Macdonald, National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP)
Your New Year's Resolution: Learn New Skills
The National Trails Training Partnership wants you to join the movement for better skills and better trails. In 2008 there are many great opportunities for people to get involved in education in the trails and greenways field. All across the country you can find classes, conferences, seminars for every aspect of trail work. From fundraising and organizational building to design and interpretation, there is a course that will help you. See www.TrailsTraining.net for trails training opportunities in 2008.
National Recreation Trails Update
From Cherri Espersen, National Recreation Trail Coordinator; Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program; National Park Service
The National Recreation Trail (NRT) database has been completely redesigned and looks better than ever! Many, many thanks to American Trails, and Mike Bullington in particular, for all of their work in leading the redesign effort. The new web interface provides an attractive and efficient means for users to find NRTs.
The database can now be accessed by visiting http://www.nrtdatabase.org or by going to any of the following pages:
American Trails' National Trails Awards Program: Deadline May 31
Every two years American Trails presents the National Trails Awards to recognize the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, businesses, and other leaders who are working to create a national system of trails for all Americans. Two new awards will be presented at the 19th National Trails Symposium for Best Trails State Award and Community Service Award, among the 12 other categories. Nominations should cover accomplishments during the period of June 1, 2006 - May 31, 2008. The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2008. See www.americantrails.org/2008/awards.html for details.
March 9-14: Professional Trailbuilders Association, Reno NV. See www.trailbuilders.org/conference/ptba_conf.html. The core conference is made up of 20 informative concurrent sessions by experts in the field of trail construction, maintenance, monitoring, and design. There are also workshops before and after the conference. Even if you can't go, look at the conference program! The pictures are worth several thousand words. The concepts are transferable to most RTP or TE-funded projects.
March 27-30: 2008 National Association of OHV Program Managers & NOHVCC Annual Conferences; Albuquerque, NM. See www.nohvcc.org/conference/conference.asp. The National Association of Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers (NAOPM) purpose is to provide a mechanism for OHV program managers to share information, ideas, and develop national strategies for managing safe, ethical, and high quality OHV recreation. This conference is for OHV Program and Land Managers.
March 30 to April 1: Northeastern Recreation Research (NERR) Conference, Sagamore resort, on Lake George in Bolton Landing NY. The NERR fosters quality information exchange between recreation and travel resource managers and researchers throughout the Northeast. See the draft program at www.esf.edu/nerr.
See additional upcoming 2008 events at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/events/rtevents.cfm, including:
Environmental Quarterly Newsletter
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Resource Center and the Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty (HEP) in Headquarters are pleased to provide the latest edition of the Environmental Quarterly newsletter.
This issue of the Environmental Quarterly features an article on FHWA's Context Sensitive Solutions Support Team and its continuing activities to further the implementation of Context Sensitive Solutions in transportation projects throughout the nation. A second article describes how FHWA's Pavement and Materials program is supporting the goal of Environmental Stewardship by making it one of six key focus areas. As usual, this edition concludes with upcoming events of interest in "What's Going on?".