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Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities

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In this issue:

Program Update - May 27, 2009

Program Information Resources

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was enacted February 16, 2009. See the link from the Government Printing Office,, or the PDF at The Transportation provisions begin on page 89 of 407 of the PDF file. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) programs begin on page 92.

FHWA posted information about the ARRA at

The ARRA funds that are apportioned to the States are apportioned as Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, see eligibility under 23 U.S.C. 133(b) at The STP has broad eligibility for many kinds of projects. Section 133(b)(8) lists transportation enhancement activities as eligible projects: that is, TE projects are eligible for all STP funds. The ARRA funds are available at up to 100 percent Federal share (a State may choose to require a non-Federal share).

Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities: The ARRA provides "That 3 percent of the funds apportioned to a State under this heading shall be set aside for the purposes described in subsection 133(d)(2) of title 23, United States Code (without regard to the comparison to fiscal year 2005)."
  • Section 133(d)(2) refers to the TE Activities.
  • TE is 3 percent of the funds apportioned to a State, meaning after takedowns for the Federal Lands categories, Puerto Rico and Territorial Highway Program, and other setasides. Therefore, TE is 3% of $26.66 billion, or $799.8 million nationwide. See Apportionment Notice, Table 2.
  • The phrase about FY 2005 means that the TE apportionments are not adjusted to the level of the TE apportionments in FY 2005 (as required for the annual TE apportionments).
  • Because TE projects are eligible for all STP funds, although the 3 percent is a minimum, there is no maximum for TE-like projects.
  • 120 Day Withdrawal and Redistribution: FHWA guidance is at

Bridge, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, National Scenic Byways, Recreational Trails, Safe Routes to School, etc. ARRA does not provide extra funds for these programs, but ARRA does not eliminate these programs: they continue as normal with their FY 2009 funds. Projects eligible under these programs usually are eligible for STP (except for RTP projects with no transportation purpose).

Transportation Authorization Considerations

Transportation interests continue discussions about the next surface transportation authorization legislation. Comments from people interested in the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities are at Federal-aid Highway Program Reauthorization 2009: Summary, Explanation, and Comments from Trails and Enhancements Conferences.

US DOT Secretary LaHood Speaks About Livability

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood mentions “livability” in many public addresses.

RTP Achievement Awards

The Coalition for Recreational Trails, a federation of national and regional trail-related organizations, will announce its 2009 RTP Achievement Awards to recognize outstanding trail projects funded by the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The awards will be presented in Washington DC during Great Outdoors Week 2009 (June 8-12), on June 10, 2009. This awards program is part of the Coalition's ongoing effort to build awareness and appreciation of the RTP, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public. Awardees will be posted on the American Trails RTP Awards website: Congratulations to the Winners! We will announce them when they are publicly recognized.

Grant Opportunities

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. This is a $2.6 billion program to provide funds to units of local and state government, Indian tribes, and territories to develop and implement projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions in their communities. This can include nonmotorized transportation projects. Deadline: June 25, 2009.

Technical Assistance

The National Park Service's Rivers, Trail, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program is accepting applications for 2010 RTCA Projects. Deadline: August 1, 2009.

Sharing Our Trails: A Guide to Trail Safety and Enjoyment
A group of national and state trail advocacy organizations representing equestrian, OHV, and bicycle interests recently completed a collaborative effort to develop a new guide called “Sharing Our Trails - A Guide to Trail Safety and Enjoyment”. The guide is intended to be used in a variety of ways such as incorporation in trail brochures, magazine articles, and trail education programs.

The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) developed a set of Principles of Recreation Resource Planning. NARRP's May 6 announcement said: “Our hope is that this set of national professional principles will (a) improve our basic understanding of recreation resources and recreation opportunities, (b) strengthen recreation resource planning and plans, and (c) lead to better and more defensible decision making.”

Call for Best Practices in Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS)

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) at North Carolina State University are partnering in a project to initiate a national dialog about Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). The project will serve as a catalyst for an ongoing exchange of ideas, and will build momentum for wider implementation of CSS in the transportation industry. The CSS National Dialog is seeking submissions of best practices in the application of CSS principles to transportation projects, programs, and plans. Selected case studies will be presented at a series of one-day workshops. Submissions are welcome from transportation agencies, planning agencies, communities, and other organizations. Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2009.

Newsletters and Reports

FHWA Environmental Quarterly Newsletter
The Spring 2009 issue of FHWA's Environmental Quarterly Newsletter features articles on:

  • Part 1 of a Frequently Asked Questions on FHWA's NEPA reevaluation process
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation's Cultural Heritage Manual to aid tribal consultation
  • Relocation of a Bald Eagle nest by the Missouri Department of Transportation
  • Invasive Species
  • And much more.

FHWA Office of Real Estate Services Newsletter
Winter 2009: Focus on Partnerships (HTML)

FHWA Pedestrian Forum Newsletter
The Spring 2009 edition of the Pedestrian Forum Newsletter has information on:

  • President Obama and USDOT Secretary LaHood Promote Livability as a Transportation Priority
  • FHWA Concludes Successful 6-Year Study on Deployment of Pedestrian Countermeasures in Three Cities
  • Evaluation of Pedestrian Safety Focus States Effort
  • NHTSA Issues Report on Pedestrian and Bicycle Crashes that Occur Outside the Roadway Environment
  • RFP Available to Fund Small-Scale Pedestrian Improvements in Communities
  • Hillsborough Works on Countywide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

FHWA Resource Center Centered on Service Newsletter for May 2009 has articles on:

  • The FHWA and NEPA, 40 Years Later
  • Technical Assistance
  • Technology Deployment
  • Training
  • Partnerships

America's Byways Bulletin
The America's Byways Bulletin has news about America's Byways, National Scenic Byways Program grants, and Byway-related travel.

National Park Service Conservation and Recreation Newsletter
The National Park Service has a monthly Conservation and Recreation Newsletter.

National Center for Bicycling and Walking: Centerlines
See Several of the recent newsletters have several articles of interest both the TE Managers and the trail interests.

League of American Bicyclists: American Bicyclist Update
See Several of the recent newsletters have several articles of interest both the TE Managers and the trail interests.

  • March 16: 34 New Bicycle Friendly Businesses Announced
  • March 30: National Bike Summit Rewind
  • May 11: Bicycle Friendly State Rankings
  • May 26: Transportation Authorization Proposals
  • And more in other editions.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
The PBIC Messenger for Spring 2009 has articles on:

US Bicycle Route System

The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a proposed national network of bicycle routes that span multiple states and are of national and regional significance. These routes are selected and maintained by State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), and designated and catalogued by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). See updates at

Training Resources

  • Trail Training Ideas: American Trails produced Trail Training Ideas to provide information about training opportunities, a calendar, and how to improve trail-related training. See

  • Marshall University OHV Recreation Management Course: The fall semester OHV Recreation Management course is an on-line course. Scholarship Applications are due on June 15, 2009. See more information at

Conferences and Calendars

The 41st International Snowmobile Congress will take place at Credit Union Place, Summerside, Prince Edward Island (Canada) on June 10-13, 2009. The ISC brings together snowmobile and groomer manufacturers, leaders of snowmobile organizations, grassroots snowmobilers, snowmobile publication staff, snowmobile administrators, government representatives, and other people interested in snowmobiling. State and Federal staff with snowmobile program responsibilities attend the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators meeting: see

State Trail Administrators Meeting / Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference: STAM 2009 will be held July 7-8, 2009 immediately prior to the Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, July 9-11, 2009, in Gainesville FL.

The 12th Conference on National Scenic and Historic Trails takes place July 12-15, 2009, in Missoula MT. See

2009 Summer Meeting of TRB's Environmental Analysis and Transportation Committee, Looking Beyond the Transportation Footprint, July 13-16, 2009 in Shepherdstown, WV. For the first time in its history the Transportation Research Board's Environmental Analysis and Transportation committee's summer meeting is being hosted by a nongovernmental organization, The Conservation Fund, and is being held at the home of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). The theme is Looking Beyond the Transportation Footprint: New Partners and New Scales.

The Transportation Enhancement Professionals Seminar takes place August 13-14, 2009, in Washington DC. See The primary audience is State Department of Transportation TE Managers and FHWA Division people involved in administering the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities.

The National Scenic Byways Conference takes place August 23-26, 2009, in Denver CO.

See more events at:

  • Trail-related events: American Trails Calendar.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian events: National Center for Bicycling and Walking Calendar with each CenterLines newsletter
  • Events posted on FHWA's Recreational Trails Program Events
  • Events posted on FHWA's Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty Calendar
Updated: 7/12/2016
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