The Department of Justice issued proposed regulations to revise the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
Comments are due by August 18, 2008. See the Justice Department's ADA website (www.ada.gov) or the Access Board's website for more information. American Trails posted an analysis of significant changes for the definition and the use of other power driven mobility devices.
FHWA published a Federal Register Notice on June 23, 2008, announcing the FY 2009 Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). See:
STEP is an FHWA-administered source of funding for research related to Planning, Environment, and Realty for FY 2006 to FY 2009. Stakeholder input is required to identify the research topics that should receive priority consideration. FHWA is seeking input from its partners on the FY 2009 STEP Research Program. STEP will fund research, field demonstrations, technology transfer, conferences, and workshops, as well as portions of various pooled fund research efforts. Grants and cooperative agreements are possible with a 50 percent match. Research contracts will not require a match.
The feedback section of the website is at: http://knowledge.fhwa.dot.gov/cops/step.nsf - (link inactive 5/12). To submit research projects, click on the appropriate topic and complete the form. Feedback is requested by September 22, 2008.
Stewardship and Oversight Plan
Congratulations to Tennessee for completing a Stewardship and Oversight Plan covering the Recreational Trails Program. It is posted under the State Practices section of the RTP guidance (www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/state_practices). Tennessee Example (HTML / PDF - 1.1 MB.).
In theory, all States are should have a Stewardship and Oversight Plan covering the RTP. In States where the State DOT administers the RTP, it would be covered through the DOT’s Plan. But all other States should have a similar plan. If not, the Tennessee example is for you!
Note: Transportation Enhancement Activities should be covered in State DOT plans.
State Assumption of Responsibility for Categorical Exclusions
Congratulations to Utah, joining California, meeting requirements for State Assumption of Responsibility for Categorical Exclusions under SAFETEA-LU Section 6004 (23 U.S.C. 326). This information is posted under the State Practices section of the RTP guidance (www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/state_practices) and TE guidance (www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_enhancements/guidance/#state_practices). We will link to Utah's agreement after Utah posts on its website. States may want to look at the information here for examples for streamlining how they do categorical exclusions.
Why is this important?
FHWA Successes in Stewardship
FHWA's Successes in Stewardship newsletter for July 2008 has information on FHWA's Environmental Conference held in June 2008.
FHWA Pedestrian Forum
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Highway Safety produces the Pedestrian Forum newsletter. The Summer 2008 Newsletter has information on (and links to):
Training on ways to better link planning and environmental processes for transportation projects and programs will be provided on September 23 in a free webcast to be conducted by the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.
The AASHTO Integrating Transportation Planning and NEPA Decision-Making Webcast will include presentations on transportation planning; NEPA decisionmaking; how transportation planning and NEPA decisionmaking can be mutually supportive; and case studies demonstrating successful integration. It will include panel response to audience questions submitted via e-mail during the webcast.
The training webcast is intended for a target audience including public- and private-sector transportation planning, environmental, and engineering professionals; environmental resource and regulatory agencies; non-governmental organizations; and university teachers and students.
The event will be broadcast live via webcast from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). Participants may register up to the time of the webcast by linking to http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/aashto/080923. There is no registration fee. Following the event, website and podcast versions of the webcast will be available for viewing on-demand at the Center website: http://environment.transportation.org.
The USDA Forest Service's Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) produced a Trail Training DVD Series (0823-2D01-MTDC). It includes training based on USDA Forest Service publications:
Copies of this DVD set are available through FHWA's Trail Publications Order Form.
State Trail Administrators: Please submit ideas for the 2008 State Trail Administrators Meeting to Jonathan LeClere (email@example.com) and Stuart Macdonald (firstname.lastname@example.org). This will take place November 13-15, 2008, prior to the National Trails Symposium. This is our annual meeting to discuss current issues with RTP administration, trail development and management, training opportunities, and especially, to share information among the States.
State Trail Administrators are welcome to develop tracks, breakout sessions, and discussion topics. Suggested topics so far include:
See additional events at: