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Toolbox for the Great Outdoors
Coalition for Recreational Trails Database
The Corps Network

Lots of stuff in this issue!

Program Update - July 08, 2008

Transportation Enhancements Spending Report for FY 2007

The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) compiled the Transportation Enhancements Spending Report for the fiscal year 2007. Printed versions of this report are available upon request (ntec@enhancements.org). The PDF is available through NTEC's Publications webpage. NTEC thanks the State TE managers and all others who contributed to this report.


Accessibility Regulations Announced

On May 30, 2008, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey signed proposed regulations to revise the Department of Justice's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design. On June 17, 2008, the proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register. The proposed regulations consist of a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the ADA regulation for State and local governments, a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the ADA regulation for public accommodations and commercial facilities, a Regulatory Impact Analysis, and two supporting appendices.

Title II: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend 28 CFR Part 35: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services -- Federal Register HTML format or Federal Register PDF format

Title III: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend 28 CFR Part 36: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities -- Federal Register HTML format or Federal Register PDF format

Comments are due by August 18, 2008. See the Justice Department's ADA website (www.ada.gov) or the Access Board's website for more information. American Trails posted an analysis of significant changes for the definition and the use of other power driven mobility devices.

An analysis from the FHWA Office of Civil Rights notes the Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) are proceeding in a separate process by the US Access Board. Another comment period is expected to be announced by the US Access Board later this year.

Some highlights of the proposed ADA rulemaking are:

  • Adoption of the ADA-ABA (Architectural Barriers Act) Accessibility Guidelines (Updated ADAAG). When this occurs (and when USDOT adopts them), there will be no more UFAS (Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards) and no choice between the two standards.
  • Six month phase-in period for updated ADAAG.
  • A "safe harbor" for elements in existing facilities that are in compliance with either the 1991 Standards (ADAAG) or UFAS (no need to retrofit to the updated ADAAG).
  • Removal of "other sloped areas" from the curb ramp installation regulation.
  • Accessibility for play and recreational areas.
  • Regulations for the use of service animals.
  • Revised definition of "wheelchair" to include electronic personal assistive mobility devices such as Segways.
  • Revised regulations in Subpart E (communications) to reflect advances auxiliary aids technology (video interpreting services) and the provision of effective communication for companions.
  • Incorporate the "structurally impracticable" provisions in ADAAG for new construction into the regulation for new construction and alterations.
  • The proposed rule at §35.172(a) would read that, "[t]he designated agency shall investigate complaints" rather than "investigate each complaint." In order to provide agencies more discretion in accepting complaints for investigation.

People interested in nonmotorized transportation facilities, trails, visitor centers, historic preservation, museums or other TE or RTP eligible activities should give particular attention to several definitions and questions. The references to other power-driven mobility devices are significant changes.

  • Definitions of wheelchair and other power driven mobility device.
  • Section 35.137. Mobility Devices. Use of wheelchairs, scooters, and manually powered mobility aids; Other power-driven mobility devices; Development of policies permitting the use of other power-driven mobility devices; Inquiry into use of power-driven mobility device.
  • Questions 8 and 12-19 ask for comment on the definitions, and whether or not they are too inclusive or exclusive.

FHWA Guidance, Policy, and Resource Updates

Procurement Memorandum / Prevailing Wage Rate Memorandum

The FHWA Office of Infrastructure issued the following Memoranda to establish consistent policies across FHWA programs:

These memos supersede previous FHWA guidance on these topics, including any previous TE or RTP guidance. We updated the TE Guidance and RTP Guidance references to these topics.

FY2009 Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP)

FHWA published a Federal Register Notice on June 23, 2008, announcing the FY 2009 Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). See:

STEP is an FHWA-administered source of funding for research related to Planning, Environment, and Realty for FY 2006 to FY 2009. Stakeholder input is required to identify the research topics that should receive priority consideration. FHWA is seeking input from all its partners on the FY 2009 STEP Research Program. STEP will fund research, field demonstrations, technology transfer, conferences, and workshops, as well as portions of various pooled fund research efforts. Grants and cooperative agreements are possible with a 50 percent match. Research contracts will not require a match.

The Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty (HEP) has developed STEP research emphasis areas and has identified contacts for each. The STEP contacts will continue to work with stakeholders to identify priority research projects for FY 2009. Stakeholders can submit research topics directly to the STEP website, which also contains additional information about STEP. The feedback section of the website is located at: http://knowledge.fhwa.dot.gov/cops/step.nsf - (link inactive 5/12).

To submit research projects, click on the appropriate topic and complete the form. Feedback is requested by September 22, 2008. For further information regarding STEP, you may also contact Felicia Young at felicia.young@dot.gov.

Note to Nonmotorized Transportation, TE, and Trail Advocates. FHWA's STEP administrators review stakeholder comments. A lack of comments indicates to them either satisfaction with FHWA's program proposal, or a lack of interest.

New Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies

The FHWA's newly released Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies is intended to provide transit agency staff with an easy-to-use resource for improving pedestrian safety. The guide includes a variety of approaches to address common pedestrian safety issues that are likely to arise near transit stations, bus stops, and other places where transit (bus or rail) is operated. It provides references to publications, guides, and other tools to identify pedestrian safety problems. Descriptions of engineering, education, and enforcement programs that have been effectively applied by transit agencies are included as well as background information about pedestrian safety and access to transit. You can view and download the document at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_transit/ped_transguide/. Hard copies are available to order at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/.

Geosynthetics for Trails in Wet Areas (USDA Forest Service)

The USDA Forest Service's Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) published Geosynthetics for Trails in Wet Areas: 2008 Edition (0823-2813-MTDC). Hard copies are available on FHWA's Trail Publications Order Form.

FHWA Newsletters

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Resource Center and the Office of Planning, Environment & Realty (HEP) in Headquarters issued the Spring 2008 Transportation Planning Update. It reports on the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections legislation enacted June 6, 2008, air quality and congestion issues, planning issues, and always has updates for Transit and for Trails.

The FHWA National Scenic Byways Program issued the America's Byways Bulletin for June 2008, with articles about byway grants, nominations, news, and information on byways.


Awards and Designations

RTP Achievement Awards for 2008

The Coalition for Recreational Trails held its Annual Achievement Awards on June 12, 2008. Winning projects are posted on the American Trails CRT Awards webpage. The Winners are:

  • Maintenance and Rehabilitation: Storms Crossing – Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Trail (South Dakota)
  • Construction and Design: Wanoga Snopark Shelter (Oregon)
  • Education and Communication: ORV Maps and Educational Materials (Wyoming)
  • Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing: Boundary Canal Trail -- Phases I and II (Florida)
  • Environment and Wildlife Compatibility: Crestone Needle – Humboldt Peak Project (Colorado)
  • Accessibility Enhancement (Project): Johnny Henderson Park Trail (Alabama)
  • Accessibility Enhancement (Overall Plan): Florida Recreational Trails Program

American Recreation Coalition Salutes Award Winners

The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) presents its 2008 Legends Awards to seven federal managers in recognition of their outstanding work to improve outdoor recreation experiences and opportunities for the American people. The awards were presented on June 11, 2008, during Great Outdoors Week -- ARC's celebration of the value and importance of outdoor recreation. Initiated by ARC in 1991, the Legends Award program involves seven federal agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Each agency nominates an individual whose extraordinary personal efforts have made a real difference in enhancing outdoor recreation programs and resources.

ARC presented a posthumus Lifetime Achievement Legends Award to John Keys, former Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, in recognition of his outstanding achievements to support outdoor recreation experiences for families and especially children.

Six 2008 Beacon Awards, representing outstanding efforts in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and federal recreation program management, were presented by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) at the opening reception for Great Outdoors Week on Monday, June 9. The awards were presented by ARC Vice Chairman Richard Coon at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

New National Recreation Trails Designated

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced 24 new National Recreation Trails on June 4, 2008. The US Department of Agriculture also designated the Ozark Trail on Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest as an NRT. See the NRT Program News.

The new National Recreation Trails brochure also is available through the following agency program partners: National Park Service, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. American Trails assisted in the development of this brochure. Each State Trail Administrator should have received a box of these brochures.

Transportation Planning Excellence Awards

The Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration announced the 2008 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards to recognize outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. This Program is cosponsored by the American Planning Association. Nominations were solicited in the following categories:

  • Education and Training
  • Freight Planning
  • Homeland and Personal Security
  • Linking Planning and Operations
  • Modeling and Technology Applications
  • Planning Leadership
  • Participation and Consultation
  • Safety Planning Transportation and Land Use Integration
  • Transportation Asset Management
  • Transportation Planning and Environment
  • Tribal Transportation Planning

See the Award Winners announced on June 16, 2008.


Community and Trail News and Resources

American Hiking Society National Trails Fund

The American Hiking Society celebrated a successful 16th Annual National Trails Day with more than 1,000 events.

The American Hiking Society announced the 2009 National Trails Fund is open for applications. It provides funding to help establish, protect, and maintain hiking trails in America. American Hiking has granted nearly $382,000 to 105 different trail projects across the U.S. for land acquisition, constituency building campaigns, and a variety of trail work projects. Awards typically range from $500 to $5,000 per project.

Defenders of Wildlife: How Can Transportation Enhancements Benefit Wildlife?

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Transportation Enhancement category #11, Defenders of Wildlife is announced its new publication, The $61 Million Question: How Can Transportation Enhancements Benefit Wildlife? (HTML / PDF file), a guide to Transportation Enhancement Activity 11 and a call for wildlife conservationists and natural resource managers to apply for TE funding. Because even after ten years, this funding opportunity has gone largely unnoticed by the conservation community, leaving as much as $61 million per year for wildlife habitat connectivity on the table.

National Center for Bicycling and Walking CenterLines

CenterLines is the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking. CenterLines is a way of quickly delivering news and information you can use to create more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities. Examples from the June 25, 2008 issue:

Project for Public Spaces

The Project for Public Spaces issues its Making Places newsletter, which has many ideas related to Transportation Enhancement Activities, especially related to streetscapes.

Rails-to-Trails and Transportation Enhancements Databases

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and NTEC created links between RTC's database of mapped rail trails, and the NTEC project database. Users now going to the NTEC project list will find a link "Trail info" for the projects that have been linked. For users that find the trails directly through www.traillink.com, there is a link to "Transportation Enhancements Funding", which links them to the NTEC information about the project.

Snowmobile Safety Information: Avalanche Education Resources

It's July! Time to think snow! The International Association of Snowmobile Administrators posted Avalanche Education Resources on its website (www.snowiasa.org) in June 2008. (Look toward the top right to see this and other snowmobile safety resources, such as the Safe Riders program). Avalanche Education is not only for people who live in avalanche-prone areas: it is also for flatlanders and people from areas that rarely get snow (tourists) who visit avalanche-prone areas. Know before you go! Thank you to Kim Raap of Trails Work Consulting for a job well done.


Topics for State Trail Administrators Meeting: November 13-15, 2008

State Trail Administrators: Please submit ideas for the 2008 State Trail Administrators Meeting to Jonathan LeClere (jonathan.leclere@dot.gov) and Stuart Macdonald (mactrail@aol.com). This will take place November 13-15, 2008, prior to the National Trails Symposium. This is our annual meeting to discuss current issues with RTP administration, trail development and management, training opportunities, and especially, to share information among the States.

State Trail Administrators are welcome to develop tracks, breakout sessions, and discussion topics. Suggested topics so far include:

  • Encouraging use of youth and conservation corps for RTP-funded projects.
  • Statewide and regional trails conferences and training programs: benefits to States and project sponsors, logistics (hotels, other locations), field trips, funding sources, registration fees, partners, training; etc.
  • Ways States are using RTP Education funds: issues, ideas, and training programs.
  • Research and technology development topics.
  • Share a lunch with the National Scenic Trails Workshop (Nov 13-14)?
  • Share a session with the Long Distance Trails Meeting (for trails not yet designated by Congress) on November 14? Perhaps a lunch or dinner?
  • Other ideas...

Upcoming Conferences

See additional events at:

Updated: 04/02/2014
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