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Memorandum

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Subject: INFORMATION: Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned

From:
// Original signed by //
Fred Bank, Acting Director
Office of Natural and Human Environment

To:
Division Administrators
Resource Center Directors
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers

Date: April 13, 2005

Reply to: HEPH-50


We are pleased to distribute a new report: Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned. This report describes safety, design, and operational issues relating to Rails-with-Trails (RWTs), shared use paths or other trails located along or near active railroad and transit corridors.

The Federal Railroad Administration, FHWA's Recreational Trails Program, FHWA's Highway Safety Research and Development Program, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration contributed to this report. The team of consultants completed their study in August 2002. We revised and edited it based on internal review and communication with stakeholder organizations. We printed the report with the August 2002 date to reflect the period when the data and case studies were compiled.

We commissioned this study because of our concern about safety and security issues associated with trails located within, adjacent to, or near active railroad and transit lines. Many RWTs have been built or proposed. This report is intended to provide information so that RWT decisions are made with safety and security as top priorities, both for railroad and transit operations, and for trail users. The U.S. Department of Transportation does not endorse, support, or recommend RWTs. The RWTs are one of many options for nonmotorized transportation corridors and other trails.

Please distribute this report to your staff with responsibilities for safety, bicycle and pedestrian activities, Transportation Enhancements, and the Recreational Trails Program. We will send copies directly to State bicycle and pedestrian coordinators, Transportation Enhancement Managers, State Trail Administrators, and to the general public.

This report is available online at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/rwt. Additional hard copies are available through the FHWA Report Center. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/ for an order form, or send a fax to 301-577-1421 and request publication FTA-MA-26-0052-041. Note: Printed copies are no longer available.

If you have questions about this report, please contact Christopher Douwes, Trails and Enhancements Program Manager, at 202-366-5013 or christopher.douwes@dot.gov; or Pamela Caldwell Foggin, Highway-Rail Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention Programs, Federal Railroad Administration, at 202-493-6291, pamela.caldwell.foggin@fra.dot.gov.

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Updated: 02/11/2014
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