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In this issue:

Program Update - August 11, 2011

The program update provides information related to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities.

Disclaimer: Links and references to agencies and organizations outside the U.S. Department of Transportation are provided for information purposes only, and reflect the views of those agencies and organizations. Providing links and references to these resources does not represent endorsement by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Federal Highway Administration.

Program Information Resources

Program Information Resources and Links: Updates and Revisions

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) keeps the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities websites updated on a regular basis. Several new or revised links have been added or rescued.

Transportation Enhancements Spending Report

The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC), operated by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, issued the Transportation Enhancements Spending Report for FY 2010. This report analyzes how States use Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds. See:

Accessibility Resources

Public Rights-of-Way Guidelines

The US Access Board announced its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Accessibility Guidelines for Public Rights-of-Way on July 26, 2011. The guidelines are posted on the Board’s website and will be available for public comment for four months. The Board will conduct several events to present the proposed rule and to solicit comment, including a public briefing and press conference, a webinar, and hearings. See http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/index.htm.

The guidelines cover pedestrian features in new or altered public right-of-ways, including sidewalks and other pedestrian ways, street crossings, medians and traffic islands, overpasses, underpasses and bridges. On-street parking, transit stops, toilet facilities, signs, and street furniture are also addressed. The guidelines apply to permanent as well as temporary facilities, such as temporary routes around work zones and portable toilets. Provisions in the guidelines address:

  • Pedestrian Access Routes (including sidewalks, street crossings, curb ramps/ blended transitions)
  • Detectable Warning Surfaces
  • Pedestrian Signals
  • Roundabouts
  • On-Street Parking and Passenger Loading Zones
  • Transit Stops and Shelters
  • Street Furniture and Other Elements

Forest Service Accessibility Information

The USDA Forest Service released an Accessibility and Recreation Projects DVD. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/trailpub.cfm to order.

Transportation Authorization

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which authorized Federal surface transportation programs, expired on September 30, 2009. Extension #7 extended SAFETEA-LU through September 30, 2011.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) released a plan for surface transportation authorization with its Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget. See www.dot.gov/about.html#perfbudgplan. Relevant documents include:

A proposed Livability Program would combine several current DOT programs, including the Transportation Enhancement Activities and Recreational Trails Program. In the Federal Highway Administration section, see pages III-51 through III-57 (pages 73 – 79 of the PDF).

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a report, Funding and Financing Solutions for Surface Transportation in the Coming Decade, in February 2011 to offer options to meet revenue needs. See www.transportation-finance.org/featured_resources/.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released a plan for surface transportation authorization on July 7, 2011.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a Transportation Reauthorization Bill Outline on July 21, 2011.

Several advocacy organizations have posted concerns about how proposals would treat TE and the RTP, including America Bikes, American Trails, League of American Bicyclists, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and National Wildlife Federation.


Program Financial Resources

FY 2011 Apportionments

FHWA issued Notice N4510.733, Revised Apportionment of Funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Pursuant to the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, as Amended. This Notice has revised FY 2011 apportionments through September 30, 2011.

FHWA issued Notice N4510.737, Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Supplementary Tables – Apportionments Pursuant to the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, As Amended. This notice has final breakdowns and supplemental apportionment information, including apportionments for the Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities.

FHWA posts RTP and TE apportionment and obligation tables. These tables were updated on July 7, 2011, including corrected totals.

Rescissions

FHWA issued Notice N4510.735, Rescission of Federal-Aid Apportionments, to rescind $2.5 billion in Federal-aid apportionments as required by section 2207 of the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, division B of Public Law (Pub. L) 112-10. FHWA will post the responses at www.fhwa.dot.gov/rescissions/pl112_10/index.htm webpage after final calculations are complete.

FY 2012 Advance Notice

FHWA issued Notice N4510.736, Advance Notification of Federal-Aid Highway Funds to be Apportioned for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, which provides the status of the advance notification of the Federal-aid highway funds to be apportioned in FY 2012. As stated in the Notice, an advance notification cannot be provided at this time pending action by Congress to reauthorize the Federal-aid Highway Program beyond FY 2011.

Grants Available

The US Department of Transportation announced $527 million available through its TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program. See www.dot.gov/tiger. Eligible projects include highway or bridge projects (all kinds of projects eligible under Title 23 United States Code), public transportation projects, passenger and freight rail projects, and port infrastructure investments. See the Questions and Answers at http://www.dot.gov/tiger/application-resources.

Other Grant Opportunities

The National Center for Bicycling and Walking’s CenterLines newsletter often has announcements about grant opportunities related to nonmotorized transportation.

Financial Management: Nonprofit Organizations

The Federal Internal Revenue Service publishes a list of organizations that have had their Federal tax-exempt status automatically revoked for failing to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS for three consecutive years. See http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Automatic-Revocation-of-Exemption-List. This may affect the ability of nonprofit organizations to qualify for some grant programs.


Award and Recognition Programs

FHWA Announced the Designation of FHWA Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives and Exemplary Ecosystems Initiatives for 2011. The EHEIs recognize outstanding examples of transportation projects that either create or improve conditions for human activities while protecting the natural environment. The EEIs identify exemplary ecosystem and habitat projects that are unique or highly unusual in their geographic scope; use of cutting edge science or technology; high level of environmental standards; high quality of results achieved; and/or recognition by environmental interests as being particularly valuable or noteworthy.

Recreational Trails Program Achievement Awards: The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) announced its 2011 Annual Achievement Awards in recognition of the outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds in June 2011, during the annual Great Outdoors Week celebration. See www.americantrails.org/awards/CRTawards.html#awards.

National Recreation Trails: The Secretary of the Interior announced 41 new National Recreation Trails (NRT) on June 2, 2011. See www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails/11NRTapps.html. The NRT designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. An online NRT application form is available at www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails/ApplyNRT.html.

The American Recreation Coalition announced awards during Great Outdoors Month.

  • Legends Awards, recognizing seven Federal managers in recognition of their outstanding work to improve outdoor recreation experiences and opportunities for the American people.
  • Beacon Awards, recognizing outstanding efforts by Federal agencies and partners in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and Federal recreation program management.

Research Reports, Resources, and Technical Assistance

Exploratory Advanced Research

FHWA issued a Broad Agency Announcement for the Exploratory Advanced Research Program, soliciting for high-risk, high-payoff research and innovations to solve critical highway challenges. The July 2011 solicitation included New Technology Solutions for Wayfinding and Navigation Guidance for People with Vision Impairment and Other Disabilities - The objective of this research is to develop concepts and prototypes that use new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and sensors that could improve event horizons related to wayfinding and navigation guidance. The proposal deadline is September 15, 2011.

Research Reports

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) releases (or reports on) many research reports each week. There are usually some reports relating to eligible TE activities, especially nonmotorized transportation infrastructure and safety, historic preservation, wetlands, and wildlife crossings. See the TRB Newsletter.

The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has many reports relating to environmental issues. Many NCHRP reports are linked from the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO website, see http://environment.transportation.org/, and Recent Developments. Among recently released reports that mention and/or may affect the RTP and TE is the Synthesis on Effective Delivery of Small-Scale Federal-Aid Projects.

Transportation for America (T4America) issued the 2011 edition of its Dangerous by Design report, primarily focusing on pedestrian fatalities along highways. A map of fatalities shows that most pedestrian fatalities occur along Federal-aid highways.

The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts issued Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts. According to this study, bike and pedestrian projects are effective job creation engines, more so than investing at similar levels in road construction for motor vehicles.

Resources

The FHWA’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) posted the CMAQ Public Access System. The general public now has access to information about FHWA approved CMAQ Projects submitted through the annual reporting process.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a Guide to Sustainable Transportation Performance Measures. See this and other “smart growth” resources at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/.

The EPA also released the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898 (EJ MOU) (PDF) (6 pp, 42K). See this and other Environmental Justice resources at http://epa.gov/environmentaljustice/interagency/index.html.

The American Public Health Association has resources available relating to transportation, health, and equity. See www.apha.org/advocacy/priorities/issues/transportation.

Smart Growth America released a report on Repair Priorities: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership will revitalize urban waters and the communities that surround them. See www.urbanwaters.gov/.

Technical Assistance

The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO provides content on environmental topics related to transportation, see http://environment.transportation.org/. Topics include:

The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program of the National Park Service provides staff who can guide communities in conserving waterways, preserving open space, and developing trails and greenways. See www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/index.htm.

Trail Publications: See FHWA’s trail-related publications at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/. There are links to many USDA Forest Service publications and resources. The USDA Forest Service released an Accessibility and Recreation Projects DVD. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/trailpub.cfm to order.


Training Resources and Webinars

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals hosts monthly Professional Development Webinars related to walking and bicycling. Webinars are open to the public; APBP Members may participate at discounted rates. The discounts are worth the cost of membership. Membership entitles you to participate in the APBP listserv and other services. The webinar on August 17, 2011 is Designing and Retrofitting Bridges for Active Transportation. See www.apbp.org/.

The Transportation Research Board will cosponsor a webinar on August 17, 2011, from 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. EDT that will present information about a National Cooperative Highway Research Program project that produced Report 674: Crossing Solutions at Roundabouts and Channelized Turn Lanes for Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities. The webinar is free for all attendees; however, participants must register with Easter Seals Project ACTION in advance of the webinar and space is limited. One professional development hour (PDH) will be provided to professional engineers who attend the entire webinar session. To claim a PDH, please fill out this separate form. For more information, see: www.trb.org/ElectronicSessions/Blurbs/165690.aspx.

The FHWA Office of Planning is hosting a Scenario Planning Webinar titled “Scenario Planning: Advanced Phases,” to be held on August 17, 2011, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM EDT. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scenario_and_visualization/scenario_planning/.

The FHWA National Highway Institute has many courses and study programs available related to surface transportation and the environmental process. See www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/.

The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trail 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.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has free public webinars to encourage safe walking and bicycling for transportation and physical activity. To register for this and other upcoming webinars and to access archived presentations, see www.walkinginfo.org/webinars/.

Tread Lightly!, Inc. updated its Online Awareness Course on outdoor ethics and how to minimize impacts in the outdoors. See www.treadlightly.org/, and look under Education.


Newsletters, News Magazines, and Websites

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 and other issues affecting transportation enhancement activities and trails. See http://fastlane.dot.gov [inactive]. FHWA’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program is tracking links related to bicycling and walking. Among these:

  • New “On the Go” tackles cycling, fuel economy standards, and high-speed rail
  • US Bike Route showing no signs of growing pains
  • Arkansas’ Two Rivers Park Bridge

FHWA’s Environmental Quarterly Newsletter has useful information related to transportation and the environment. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/publications.cfm.

FHWA’s Pedestrian Forum Newsletter has useful information related to pedestrian safety. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/. There are links to training and safety materials.

FHWA Resource Center’s Centered on Service Newsletter has useful articles on a variety of transportation topics. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/cos/.

FHWA’s Successes in Stewardship Newsletter highlights environmental streamlining practices from across the country. See http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/es4newsltrs.asp.

FHWA’s Transportation Planning Newsletter has a variety of transportation planning news items. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/publications.cfm.

Disclaimer: The following links and references from agencies and organizations outside the U.S. Department of Transportation are provided for information purposes only, and reflect the views of those agencies and organizations. Providing links and references to these resources does not represent endorsement by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Federal Highway Administration.

America’s Byways Bulletin>, www.bywaysonline.org/program/bulletin/, has information related to the National Scenic Byways Program, including conferences and training resources.

America’s Byways Vistas, is a bimonthly news magazine with stories about America’s Byways. It includes resources such as Universal Design for Byways, an economic impact tool, a byway project database, and a calendar of byway-related events.

The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) issues TE Corner. It has stories about interesting Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects and broader news concerning the TE program. The Spring 2011 edition has an article about Urban Rain Gardens: A Solution to Road Runoff. Additional NTEC publications are at www.enhancements.org/publications.asp.

The National Park Service Conservation and Recreation Newsletter informs the public about the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. See the archive. Some recent postings:

  • Groundwork USA and Tools for Effective Collaboration
  • New Tools for Greeting
  • Kids to Conservation

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.

Active Healthy Transportation Developments shows benefits of bicycling and walking, including news, economics, basic design, and information sharing.

The American Council of Snowmobile Associations newsletter represents snowmobile associations.

The American Hiking Society’s Paperless Trail provides information on hiking resources and National Trails Day. See www.americanhiking.org/News-Room/ to sign up. The July 7, 2011 edition includes National Trails Fund grant awards and Lightning Safety tips.

The American Recreation Coalition’s newsletter provides information about national recreation issues to promote public/private partnerships and to enhance and protect outdoor recreational opportunities and resources. Features include the Partners Outdoors conferences and Great Outdoors Month. See www.funoutdoors.com/taxonomy/view/or/113

American Trails publishes the American Trails Magazine and the Trail Tracks newsletter. American Trails Magazine covers trail news, legislation, and action items; training opportunities; accessibility; success stories, people making a difference, and creative funding ideas; resources for trail planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management; information on products and services; and conferences and events. Trail Tracks is a monthly newsletter with 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 represents professionals and advocates whose work relates to walking and bicycling. APBP’s newsletter provides valuable 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.

International Mountain Bicycling Association Singletrack eNews addresses issues relating to mountain biking. http://www.imba.com/news/

League of American Bicyclists: American Bicyclist Update: www.bikeleague.org/members/e-newsletter_archive.php. The newsletters have 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: www.bikewalk.org/newsletter.php. These newsletters have many articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, especially on planning, policy, funding sources, health, livability, and research, plus links to webinars and other training, and job announcements related to bicycling and walking.

The National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council newsletter has articles relating to off highway vehicle issues. See http://www.nohvcc.org/Materials/Newsletter.aspx.

The National Wildlife Federation Policy Bulletin has many articles about the Let’s Move Outside Initiative and getting youth outside to enjoy outdoor recreational activity. See www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Get-Outside.aspx.

Outside Magazine had an article What’s Right with this Picture? about reaching out to diverse groups of people.

The Partnership for the National Trails System produces the Pathways Across America magazine, focusing on National Scenic and Historic Trails. See www.pnts.org/pathways. The Partnership is searching for original articles related to National Scenic and Historic Trails in the following topic areas:

  • Trail organizational updates/events/annual conferences
  • Innovative approaches at outreach, volunteerism, education
  • Major organization structural developments/new leadership
  • Partnership building
  • Trail use measurement, economic development
  • Land Acquisitions/trail building achievements/historic preservation
  • Challenges for your trail and how they are being addressed

Please contact Julia Glad at PNTSCommunications@gmail.com if you would like to submit an article for a future issue of Pathways.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center PBIC Messenger is produced by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the Federal Highway Administration. PBIC has resources for training, research, and technical assistance related to walking and bicycling. Sign up at www.pedbikeinfo.org/.

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) releases many research reports each week. Some relate to nonmotorized transportation, trails, and transportation enhancements. See the TRB Newsletter. You can subscribe and set settings for your interests.


Conferences, Events, and Calendars

Conference Proceedings

The Partnership for the National Trails System posted presentations from the National Scenic and Historic Trails conference held May 14-18, 2011, in Abingdon, VA. See www.pnts.org/pnts-archives.

The American Hiking Society posted results of National Trails Day, June 4, 2011. AHS produced a videos with photos from 2011 NTD events across the country, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=0niWNJpD_Dk.

The Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference took place July 20-23. Proceedings are posted at www.southeasternequestriantrails.com/.

Conferences and Events Coming Soon

August 16-18, 2011. 3rd Safe Routes to School National Conference, Minneapolis, MN. Presented by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Transportation professionals, SRTS advocates, program representatives, elected officials and community members will connect with colleagues to discuss ideas, resources, projects and noteworthy practices to enhance work that is creating healthier kids and communities.

August 21-24, 2011. 2011 National Scenic Byways Conference, Minneapolis, MN. Presented by the America’s Byways Resource Center. The theme is: Livability. Sustainability. Responsibility. The conference will cover the latest ideas in Byway Organization, Finances, Visitor Experience and Corridor Management.

September 22-25, 2011. National Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers Conference, Bloomington, MN. Organized by the National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council with cosponsorship from FHWA’s Recreational Trails Program.

October 2-5, 2011. Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference, Fort Wayne, IN. This conference brings together professionals, advocates and trail users from the states of OH, KY, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN and IA who are working together to create a growing network of greenways and trails linking people and places together. www.cityoffortwayne.org/MATAG

October 16-19, 2011. Rail-Volution, Washington, DC. Building Livable Communities with Transit. http://www.railvolution.org/

October 19-22, 2011. National Preservation Conference, Buffalo, NY. Organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The annual conference is the premier educational and networking event for community leaders, volunteers, and staff working towards preservation goals.

October 24-27, 2011. Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) Professional Development Seminar, Charlotte, NC. The theme is Complete Streets. See www.apbppds.org.

November 1-3, 2011. National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, Atlanta, GA. www.nrpa.org/Congress2011/.

April 16-19, 2012. National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) Conference, Belle of Baton Route, Baton Rouge, LA. The Call for Sessions deadline is September 30, 2011. www.narrp.org.

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

For Your Spare Time

For Laughs:

For Careers: See information about careers within the Federal Highway Administration at www.fhwa.dot.gov/careers/.

 

Updated: 05/30/2014
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