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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Public Roads > Vol. 61· No. 3 > Internet Watch

Nov/Dec 1997
Vol. 61· No. 3

Internet Watch

A Virtual Tour of FHWA Web Sites

This Internet Watch is a year-end review of the growing number of Federal Highway Administration (FHWAp cyberstops. As more and more users are getting on the Net, there is a concerted effort to make our research, technology, and information available via the World Wide Web. This brief tour is an introduction to the main pages available for those looking for additional information about our federal highways.

We start at the top: www.dot.gov. Our parent site encompasses the major sites of the various agencies that fall under the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) administration. From here you will find links to FHWA, the National Transportation Library, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Transportation Administrative Service Center, St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, and the United States Coast Guard, among others. Stop by and hear or read a welcome message from DOT Secretary Rodney Slater, find a contact, or research the latest news and information affecting DOT. If you plan on doing business with DOT, check out the reference page on that topic!

As you move through cyberspace, the click of a mouse button will take you to the FHWA site. This site walks you through FHWA's organizational structure and provides links to areas such as What's New, Program Areas, Publications and Statistics, Conferences and Training, Procurements, Legislation and Regulations, FHWA By Day, Field Offices, and ISTEA Reauthorization. If you select the Organization option, you will be taken to a "click-able" chart of the FHWA hierarchy. The links here will either take you to a more indepth look at the particular office you have chosen or to a related web site. For example, if you click on the box for the Associate Administrator for Safety and System Applications, you will find links to the Office of Technology Applications (OTA), the National Highway Institute (NHI), and the Office for Highway Safety (OHS). Each of which has its own web site. OTA's Highway Technet is an incredibly cool web site. There is a lot of information stored here, and not only is it useful, but it is also hip, fun, and visual! From a coloring book for kids to demonstrations of the latest highway technology application, this site covers it all. The serious user will also be impressed by the OTA index of ongoing projects available. Definitely bookmark this site for future visits!

Another site to cruise through is the NHI site. NHI develops and administers transportation-related training and education programs that assist federal, state, and local transportation agencies, as well as private transport providers and firms. NHI offers nearly 500 classes per year, and now conveniently offers a class list on their web site. Also available are a contact list of local FHWA coordinators and a listing of the fellowships and grants that NHI administers.

For those whose area of interest is Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), stop by theITS web site. This site is still growing, but it promises to encompass a great deal of information from DOT on intelligent transportation. Since other excellent ITS resources already exist online, this site is meant to make information about the federal (USDOT) involvement in the ITS program available and to direct the user to other valuable sources of information. Already comprised of reports, databases, and related links, this is a good jump off point to start an ITS research project.

Another FHWA site is the Office of Motor Carriers (OMC) web site. For anyone working in the motor carrier industry, this site should be a weekly visit. Hazmat regulations, phone numbers for OMC division offices, downloadable OMC forms, information on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, and the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER) are just a few of the offerings currently posted on the OMC site.

And of course, a must-visit is the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center site (TFHRC). The TFHRC site is expanding weekly to promote FHWA research and development. With its expanding technical information base and the electronic versions of Public Roads and the Transporter, the TFHRC site hosts almost 7,000 files of transportation-related information. Other items of interest include a researcher's directory, advanced research (artificial intelligence), human factors research, and hot ITS news!

In addition to these major sites, there are a wealth of divisional, regional, and program-specific FHWA sites. Be sure to check out the related links available from these sites to find some of the FHWA sites that may have that nugget of information you have been surfing for! See you in 1998!

Kristin Iden is the webmaster/electronic publishing specialist for the Federal Highway Administration's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Va. She is employed by Avalon Integrated Services Corp. of Arlington, Va.

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