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Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities

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Reminders: Action Items / Comments Requested

FHWA Guidance, Policy, and Resource Updates



Program Update - July 18, 2008

Reminders: Action Items / Comments Requested

Accessibility Regulations Announced

The Department of Justice issued proposed regulations to revise the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

Comments are due by August 18, 2008. See the Justice Department's ADA website ( 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.

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 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 feedback section of the website is at: - (link inactive 5/12). To submit research projects, click on the appropriate topic and complete the form. Feedback is requested by September 22, 2008.

FHWA Guidance, Policy, and Resource Updates

State Practice Resources

Stewardship and Oversight Plan

Congratulations to Tennessee for completing a Stewardship and Oversight Plan covering the Recreational Trails Program. It is posted under the State Practices section of the RTP guidance ( Tennessee Example (HTML / PDF - 1.1 MB.).

In theory, all States are should have a Stewardship and Oversight Plan covering the RTP. In States where the State DOT administers the RTP, it would be covered through the DOT’s Plan. But all other States should have a similar plan. If not, the Tennessee example is for you!
Note: Transportation Enhancement Activities should be covered in State DOT plans.

State Assumption of Responsibility for Categorical Exclusions

Congratulations to Utah, joining California, meeting requirements for State Assumption of Responsibility for Categorical Exclusions under SAFETEA-LU Section 6004 (23 U.S.C. 326). This information is posted under the State Practices section of the RTP guidance ( and TE guidance ( We will link to Utah's agreement after Utah posts on its website. States may want to look at the information here for examples for streamlining how they do categorical exclusions.

Why is this important?

  • SAFETEA-LU Section 6003 (codified as 23 U.S.C. 325), established a Pilot Program: State Assumption of Responsibilities for Certain Programs and Projects. The requirements for Section 6003 were quite complicated; no States participated, and nothing happened.
  • The Section 6004 program (23 U.S.C. 326) for Categorical Exclusions is less complex, and we encouraged the States to follow that process. So far only California and Utah have assumed responsibility for their CEs, and Alaska is going through the process.

FHWA Newsletters

FHWA Successes in Stewardship

FHWA's Successes in Stewardship newsletter for July 2008 has information on FHWA's Environmental Conference held in June 2008.

FHWA Pedestrian Forum

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Highway Safety produces the Pedestrian Forum newsletter. The Summer 2008 Newsletter has information on (and links to):

  • Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies
  • Pedestrian Countermeasures Proven to Work
  • Informational Report on Lighting Design for Midblock Crosswalks
  • Pedestrian Safety Workshop: A Focus on Seniors
  • How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
  • FHWA's Environment and Planning Office is Soliciting Research Ideas Related to Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Health
  • Personnel Change: New Safe Routes to School Program Manager


AASHTO Integrating Transportation Planning and NEPA Decisionmaking Webcast

Training on ways to better link planning and environmental processes for transportation projects and programs will be provided on September 23 in a free webcast to be conducted by the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

The AASHTO Integrating Transportation Planning and NEPA Decision-Making Webcast will include presentations on transportation planning; NEPA decisionmaking; how transportation planning and NEPA decisionmaking can be mutually supportive; and case studies demonstrating successful integration. It will include panel response to audience questions submitted via e-mail during the webcast.

The training webcast is intended for a target audience including public- and private-sector transportation planning, environmental, and engineering professionals; environmental resource and regulatory agencies; non-governmental organizations; and university teachers and students.

The event will be broadcast live via webcast from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). Participants may register up to the time of the webcast by linking to There is no registration fee. Following the event, website and podcast versions of the webcast will be available for viewing on-demand at the Center website:

USDA Forest Service Trail Training DVD Series

The USDA Forest Service's Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) produced a Trail Training DVD Series (0823-2D01-MTDC). It includes training based on USDA Forest Service publications:

  • Handtools for Trail Work
  • An Ax to Grind
  • Constructing Trail Switchbacks
  • Basic Trail Maintenance
  • Trails in Wet Areas: Turnpike and Puncheon Construction
  • Surface Water Control Techniques for Trail Maintenance

Copies of this DVD set are available through FHWA's Trail Publications Order Form.

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 ( and Stuart Macdonald ( 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?
  • Mobile workshops?
  • Other ideas...

Upcoming Conferences

See additional events at:

Updated: 10/21/2015
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