A Guide to Transportation Decisionmaking
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) created A Guide to Transportation Decisionmaking to answer transportation project-related questions. This guide will help you understand how transportation decisions are made at the local, State, and national levels. The transportation decisionmaking process affects all Federal-aid highway and transit program projects, including the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). See www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/publications/transportation_decision_making/. You can click on the PDF format (1.9MB), or click on Next (lower right) for the HTML version.
MUTCD Final Rule
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public traffic. On December 16, 2009 a final rule adopting the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD was published in the Federal Register. States must adopt the 2009 National MUTCD as their legal State standard for traffic control devices within two years. The Federal Register notice is at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-12-16/pdf/E9-28322.pdf (PDF, 716KB). The 2009 MUTCD and other related information is at http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/kno_2009.htm.
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) expired on September 30, 2009. Extension #3 extended through February 28, 2010. Surface Transportation Authorization discussions continue, with proposals for immediate action and proposals for a long-term extension. One or more extension(s) is (are) expected; the House Jobs Bill may include an extension through September 2010. There is no "best" source of information. Links to several viewpoints are at Surface Transportation (Re)Authorization: Resources and Comments for Trails and Transportation Enhancements.
FHWA Program Review Library
The FHWA Program Review Library has program reviews from across the nation. These reviews provide examples for FHWA Divisions and the States. If searching by Category, program reviews for the RTP can be found under Environment, Finance, Local Programs or Projects, Planning, and Other. Program reviews for TE can be found under Local Programs or Projects, Planning, and Other. We posted links to the Program Review Library from both the RTP and TE Guidance pages in the State Practices sections.
As a followup to Executive Order 13513: Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving, the US Department of Transportation issued DOT Order 3902.10 Text Messaging While Driving. The DOT Order prohibits DOT employees from engaging in text messaging while:
This applies directly to USDOT employees, but part 8(f) applies to contractors and grantees: "(f) Procurement Offices shall, upon receipt of applicable requirements, include contractual language as provided by the Office of Senior Procurement Executive in future contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements that encourage contractors and grantees to comply with the policies contained in this Order and Executive Order 13513." Therefore, the DOT Order applies to contractors and grantees (including State employees whose programs receive Federal-aid funds).
FY 2010 Additional Apportionments
FHWA issued Notice N 4510.717, Revised Apportionment of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Funds under a 151-Day Extension of Surface Transportation Programs Pursuant to Public Law 111-68, as Amended by Public Law 111-118. This is another short term extension. Future apportionments are subject to further legislation. Note: The RTP Apportionment is in the Notice. The TE Apportionment cannot be calculated until there is a full year authorization, but the TE amount will be no less than 10 percent of the Surface Transportation Program amount.
Note: If you see CANCELED across a Notice, click on the link at the top of the page where it says "This directive was canceled" for the replacement Notice.
Federal-Aid Funding for Pedestrian and Bicycle Programs and Projects in FY 2009
[Revision of the December 11, 2009 Program Update.]
States obligated $1.189 billion (including all Safe Routes to School and Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program funds) in Federal-aid highway program funds for bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects in FY 2009, more than twice the amount of any previous year. This is 2.0% of Federal-aid highway program funding in FY 2009 ($58.735 billion). See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/funding/bipedfund.cfm for details. Some highlights:
New FHWA Guidance: Federal Share, Match, and Donations
FHWA issued new official guidance on December 29, 2009 on:
This guidance is on FHWA's internal intranet, and should be on the public website "soon".
The Recreational Trails Program RTP Federal Share and Matching Requirements and Transportation Enhancement Summary of Requirements for Matching Funds for TE Projects are consistent with the new guidance. The Donations section of the TE guidance had revisions posted on December 9, 2009, to ensure compliance with the new guidance. The RTP and TE guidance pages will have links to the official FHWA guidance after it is posted on FHWA's public website.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail 2010 Challenge Cost Share Program
The Lewis & Clark NHT 2010 Challenge Cost Share Program is accepting applications for projects until February 20, 2009. Selected projects should plan to begin by early summer and must be completed by September 30, 2011. See www.nps.gov/lecl/parkmgmt/challenge-cost-share.htm.
National Center for Safe Routes to School 2010 Mini-grant Recipients
The National Center for Safe Routes to School announced (December 8, 2009) the selection of 25 mini-grants recipients to receive up to $1,000 for local projects that encourage student creativity in Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities in the spring 2010 semester. The National Center received 247 SRTS mini-grant applications from schools and community organizations across 44 States and the District of Columbia. Selected proposals distinguished themselves through originality of efforts to help lead local community efforts to promote safe walking and bicycling to school, including the strong involvement of students, protecting the environment, promoting physical activity, and the implementation of measurable activities. See www.saferoutesinfo.org/news_room/2009-12-08_mini_grant_recipients.cfm.
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking's CenterLines newsletter often has announcements about grant opportunities.
Transportation Planning Excellence Awards
The Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Program is a biennial awards program developed by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration to recognize outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. The program is cosponsored by the American Planning Association. All Transportation Planning Excellence Award nominations must be submitted via the on-line application by March 15, 2010. See https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/tpea/. Many TE and RTP projects should perform well against the criteria for judging nominations, which include innovation, livability/sustainability, community involvement, partnerships, and intermodalism.
2010 Excellence in Highway Design Biennial Awards
The Excellence in Highway Design Biennial Awards is a national program conducted by the Federal Highway Administration to recognize exemplary design processes and practices. The objective of this program is to feature sound decision making employed to overcome challenges and maximize opportunities in the planning, development, and implementation of highway improvement projects. In honoring these projects, those processes and practices that elicit such high quality results are highlighted, and the application of them may be cultivated on future efforts. The nomination period for the 2010 Excellence in Highway Design Biennial Awards began January 1, and the deadline for submissions is noon on March 1, 2010.
Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEIs)
FHWA's Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEIs) recognize and publicize transportation initiatives that make our transportation system work better for the people who use it. FHWA posted several descriptions of winning initiatives at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ehei/. The call for 2010 Initiatives will come out in late February / early March 2010.
National Trails Awards
Every two years, American Trails presents the National Trails Awards to recognize the contributions of volunteers, professionals, businesses, and other leaders who are working to create a national system of trails for all Americans. Nominations should cover accomplishments during the period of June 1, 2008 through May 31, 2010.
ULI Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award
This award celebrates and promotes vibrant, successful urban open spaces by annually recognizing and rewarding an outstanding example of a public destination that has enriched and revitalized its surrounding community. Submission deadline is February 19, 2010. See: www.uli.org/AwardsAndCompetitions/AmandaBurdenOpenSpaceAward.aspx.
FHWA Planning and Environment Linkages Program
The FHWA Planning and Environment Linkages Program produced A Guide to Measuring Progress in Linking Transportation Planning and Environmental Analysis. This guide, developed by Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) program, is intended to help State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and local transportation agencies develop individual programs to measure success toward linking transportation planning and environmental analysis. This guide provides a framework for establishing measures that transportation agencies can utilize to develop their own measurement programs.
US Department of Transportation: Environmental Mitigation in Transportation Planning: Case Studies in Meeting SAFETEA-LU Section 6001 Requirements. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) included provisions intended to enhance the consideration of environmental issues and impacts within the transportation planning process. This report presents and synthesizes the findings from nine case studies that examine a spectrum of environmental mitigation strategies, policies, and activities transportation agencies have undertaken to meet the new requirements.
National Household Travel Survey
The 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) provides information to assist transportation planners and policy makers who need comprehensive data on travel and transportation patterns in the United States. See http://nhts.ornl.gov/. This was released to the public in January 2010.
Alliance for Biking & Walking
The Alliance for Biking & Walking released a report Bicycling and Walking in the United States: The 2010 Benchmarking Report compares levels of bicycling and walking with funding, fatalities, and health measures. It compares States and 51 large US cities. The Alliance for Biking & Walking is a North American coalition of over 160 grassroots biking and walking advocacy organizations.
The 2009 National Recreation Trails photos are at www.americantrails.org/photoGalleries/photocontest2009/index.html. The pictures show a wide variety of trails, a range of trail users and facilities, plus historic and natural features, and some great scenery.
NOHVCC Creates Videos To Help Riders Protect Trails
The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) has created a Public Land Advocacy Video Workshop series with help from Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. via its OHV Access Initiative, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the Specialty Vehicle Institute of American (SVIA), and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA). The workshops are designed to give riders the skills they need to keep trails open in their areas; covering everything who the enthusiasts are, planning a trail system, writing effective comments, moving forward from route designation, and much more. The series consists of 14 easy to watch sessions ranging from 15 to 30 minutes each. The content is based on NOHVCC's onsite workshop sessions with NOHVCC topic experts. The sessions are designed to give the people who can't participate in an on-site workshop or a webinar the tools they need to help keep their trails open. See www.nohvcc.org.
American Trails Accessible Trail Photos and Articles. American Trails hosts a "Cool Trail Solutions" website area. American Trails posted information on accessible boardwalks (www.AmericanTrails.org/photoGalleries/cool/15-Boardwalk-ADA-Accessible-Trail-Bridge.html) and accessible trail surfacing considerations and examples (www.AmericanTrails.org/photoGalleries/cool/3-ADA-Accessible-Trail-Surface.html). American Trails is seeking additional photos and articles related to accessibility.
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Image Library. The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) Image Library is a web accessible media archive that features images of Transportation Enhancement projects. See www.enhancements.org/library/index.asp.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Image Library. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) Pedestrian and Bicycle Image Library is at www.pedbikeimages.org. The Library contains over 1400 images and continues to grow. The PBIC Image Library is a searchable collection of high-quality images relating to walking and bicycling.
Trail Publications. FHWA's trail-related publications at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/ include links to many USDA Forest Service publications and resources. The Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads and Campgrounds was reprinted in September 2009.
National Highway Institute
The FHWA's National Highway Institute (NHI) course catalog has expanded to include hundreds of training opportunities in 15 broad categories, ranging from structures and operations to safety and environment. In addition to nearly 250 Instructor-led training courses, NHI now lists more than 50 distance learning courses, offering transportation professionals a flexible and cost-effective training delivery option they can access from the comfort of their own offices. See www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov, and browse the catalog. Among courses recommended for TE and RTP interests are:
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (www.APBP.org) hosts monthly webinars related to walking and bicycling.
February 17 ~ Cycle Tracks: Concept and Design Practices
Future attractions in 2010: ADA transition plans (March 17); Bicycle Parking Programs (April 21); Working with law enforcement on bike/ped safety programs; How to get policy-makers to buy in to your bike/ped programs; Bicycle boulevards; and more.
APBP Members may participate in webinars at discounted rates: the discounts are worth the cost of membership. Membership entitles you to participate in the APBP listserve and other services.
The National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council has webinars relating to off highway vehicle issues. There are several related to Land Advocacy in February and March 2010. See www.nohvcc.org/. NOHVCC also is involved with a Helmet Safety Campaign.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has free, public webinars training available. PBIC offers these free, public Webinars every other month to encourage safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. To register for upcoming Webinars and to access archived presentations, see www.walkinginfo.org/webinars/.
Trail Management: Plans, Projects, and People (Federal Interagency Trails Course)
FWS OUT8194, BLM-TC-8300-17
March 29-April 2, 2010, San Rafael (Marin County), California
Public agency trail staff, contractors, and volunteers will learn to achieve sustainable and accessible trails of all kinds, using the best practices of the Trail Management Process. This collaborative process includes planning, design layout, construction, maintenance, monitoring, crew leadership, interpretation, operations, and safety. Field exercises include trail layout, construction and maintenance techniques. How to apply: Complete the on-line application at https://www.doi.gov/doilearn/. Course registration deadline: January 19, 2010.
The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The vision of the Partnership is "to ensure that the full range of skills, training, and resource information is available to trail groups, communities, tribal governments, and State and Federal agencies." See more resources for training and education, including the Online Training Calendar.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Blog: Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood posts a Blog called Welcome to the Fastlane. There are frequent postings relating to livability issues. See http://fastlane.dot.gov [inactive].
FHWA's Environmental Quarterly Newsletter has useful information related to transportation and the environment. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/publications.cfm. The Winter 2010 edition has articles on ARRA and NEPA, Economic and Other Impacts to Cultural Resource Management Programs, and Blazing a Trail for Tribal Consultation Efforts.
FHWA's Pedestrian Forum Newsletter
The Winter 2010 Edition of the Pedestrian Forum Newsletter is posted: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/2010/winter10.cfm. In this edition, you will find information on:
FHWA Public Roads Magazine January/February 2010
The FHWA published the January/February issue of its bimonthly Public Roads magazine. This issue includes articles on the Highways for LIFE program, design visualization in the highway project development process, lessons learned from a FHWA-AASHTO European scan tour on bicycle and pedestrian mobility and safety, and flexible and context sensitive highway design. See Public Roads, Vol. 73, No. 4.
FHWA Resource Center's Centered on Service Newsletter has useful articles on a variety of transportation topics. The December 2009 edition has articles on bridge scour, highway structures, visualization in planning, a sign retroreflectivity toolkit, and training in cost estimation.
FHWA's Transportation Planning Newsletter has a variety of transportation planning news items. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/publications.cfm.
America's Byways Bulletin, www.bywaysonline.org/program/bulletin/, has information related to the National Scenic Byways Program, including conferences and training resources. The January 2010 edition has articles about Enjoying Winter on America's Byways; U.S. Department of Transportation Receives Preserve America Award, highlights contribution of the National Scenic Byways Program; and Exploring the Connection between Byways & Greenways. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) received the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Award for Federal Preserve America Accomplishment for its support of the Preserve America Program and its leadership in historic preservation efforts across the nation.
America's Byways Vistas, is a bimonthly news magazine with stories about America's Byways. The January/February 2010 edition has articles on Strategic Partnership Workshop: Re-energize Your Future; Achieving Your Dreams in the New Year; Upcoming Webinars; Employment Opportunities; Oregon Scenic Bikeways Program Now On The Road; Partnership Resources; Starter List of Stakeholders; Tip! Break The Ice; The French and Indian War: How Historic Commemoration Unifies The New York State Byway Program; Resource Focus - What Is A Corridor Management Plan?; and Calendar.
Disclaimer: The links below reflect the views of these organizations. Providing links to these resources does not represent endorsement by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse TE Corner
The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse issues its newsletter, TE Corner. It has stories about interesting Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects and broader news concerning the TE program. See the link from the NTEC website: www.enhancements.org. The Winter 2010 issue profiles a Miami-based pedestrian safety project that is getting results with a TE grant of only $350,000. See www.enhancements.org/download/TECorner/TECorner_Winter2010.pdf. Additional NTEC publications are at www.enhancements.org/publications.asp.
National Park Service Conservation and Recreation Newsletter.
The National Park Service has a monthly Conservation and Recreation Newsletter.
AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence Website
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Environmental Excellence posts many resources related to transportation and the environment. See http://environment.transportation.org. See the Recent Developments page.
The American Council of Snowmobile Associations newsletter represents snowmobile associations.
American Trails publishes the American Trails Magazine and the Trail Tracks newsletter. American Trails Magazine covers trail-related news, legislation, action items, trainings, success stories, events, people making a difference, creative funding ideas, resources, and information on products and services. Trail Tracks is a more typical monthly newsletter with current trail information and "Action Alerts". The Magazine and Trail Tracks archives share the same webpage: www.americantrails.org/trailtracks/.
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals has an e-newsletter available to members. It provides information on professional development webinars, transportation policy, conferences, member collaboration groups, and more. See www.apbp.org.
Equestrian Trails and Conservation Awareness is a website addressing natural resource conservation issues for recreational horse trail riders. See www.etaca.info.
Equine Land Conservation Resource news is at www.elcr.org/index_newsletters.php. ELCR advances the conservation of land for equine-related activity.
League of American Bicyclists: American Bicyclist Update is at www.bikeleague.org/members/e-newsletter_archive.php. The newsletters have many articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, including national resources and State and local news related to bicycling.
National Center for Bicycling and Walking: Centerlines is at www.bikewalk.org/newsletter.php. The newsletters have many articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, especially on planning, policy, funding sources, health, and research, plus links to webinars and other training.
The National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council newsletter has articles relating to off highway vehicle issues. See www.nohvcc.org/.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: PBIC Messenger. Sign up for this newsletter at www.pedbikeinfo.org/.
March 9-11, 2010. League of American Bicyclists: The National Bike Summit, Washington DC. www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit10/index.php.
May 5-8, 2010. International Mountain Bicycling Association: 2010 IMBA World Summit, Augusta GA. http://imba.com/summit/2010_World_Summit.html.
May 18-20, 2010. Bridging Conservation and Recreation: 2010 River Management Society (RMS) and National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) Symposium, Portland OR. See the Symposium Overview and Call for Papers. Student scholarship applications are due March 19, 2010; see www.narrp.org and click on Scholarships.
May 12-14, 2010. Partnership for the National Trails System: 2010 National Historic Trails Workshop, San Antonio TX. Hosted by El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association. www.nationaltrailspartnership.org/.
May 24-28, 2010. Bureau of Land Management National Landscape Conservation System 2010 Science Symposium, Albuquerque NM. www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/NLCS.html.
June 5, 2010. National Trails Day. The American Hiking Society's National Trails Day® (NTD) inspires the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to seek out their favorite trails to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops, and trail work projects. Register your event.
June 10-12, 2010. International Snowmobile Congress: 42nd International Snowmobile Congress, Coralville IA (near Iowa City). www.iowasnowmobiler.com/isc2010/index.html. The International Association of Snowmobile Administrators will meet as part of the Congress, see www.snowiasa.org.
July 15-17, 2010. Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, Norcross, GA. Organized by the Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association. SETC brings together people concerned about the future of the natural and cultural heritage of the equestrian trail experience. This conference is open to anybody with an interest in equestrian trails. www.southeasternequestriantrails.com.
August 26-27, 2010. National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council: National OHV Program Managers Workshop, Great Falls MT. This workshop is especially for government agency staff with off highway vehicle responsibilities. The NOHVCC Annual Conference on August 28-29 is primarily intended for NOHVCC State Contacts. www.nohvcc.org.
September 9-12, 2010. Preserving the Historic Road 2010, Washington, DC. www.historicroads.org.
September 13-17, 2010. National Center for Bicycling and Walking: The 16th Pro Walk / Pro Bike® 2010, Chattanooga TN. The conference theme is Bringing Livable Communities and Regions to Scale. www.bikewalk.org/2010conference/index.html.
Call for Proposals. Proposal submissions are being accepted through the on-line submission form at: www.bikewalk.org/2010conference/submissions.php. Proposals are due February 26, 2010.
November 14-17, 2010. American Trails: 20th National Trails Symposium, Chattanooga TN. www.americantrails.org/2010/. The theme is Trails: The Green Way for America.
See the Call for Presentations. Proposals are due April 9, 2010.
The State Trail Administrators will meet in conjunction with the Symposium, see www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/events/stam_2010/. See notes from previous meetings from 1993 through 2009 at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/events/.
With both Pro Walk / Pro Bike® and the National Trails Symposium, you have good reasons to visit Chattanooga in 2010.
See more events at: