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In this Issue:

FHWA Guidance, Policy, and Resource Updates Community and Trail News and Resources

Program Update - May 30, 2008

FHWA Guidance, Policy, and Resource Updates

Advisory Committee Best Practices for RTP and TE

FHWA compiled a summary of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities Advisory Committee Best Practices. It answers questions such as:

  • How is your State Advisory Committee structured?
  • How does your Committee review projects?
  • Are there accepted criteria developed for in-kind match?
  • Please provide your most recent Grant Application form, or provide a link to the website hosting your Grant Application form(s).

This summary is posted at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/guidance/state_practices/stac_bmp.cfm.

  • For the RTP, each State is required to have established a State Recreational Trail Advisory Committee that represents both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail users. It must meet not less often than once per fiscal year. See RTP Advisory Committee guidance.
  • For TE, there is no advisory committee requirement, but the TE Guidance states public involvement is an integral part of the Federal-aid planning, programming, and project implementation processes.

Please review this summary. Additional information is welcome; please provide it to Jonathan LeClere at jonathan.leclere@dot.gov.


Equestrian Guidance and Publications

Several States and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Divisions have inquired whether or not shared use paths funded with Federal-aid highway program funds (especially Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds) must exclude equestrian use.

Equestrian Publications

Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Missoula Technology and Development Center. This guidebook provides information for developing trails, trailheads, and campgrounds that are sensitive to the needs of riders and their animals. The emphasis is on highly developed facilities and programs such as those in urban, rural, and some wildland areas. The information presented can be adapted for a variety of settings and levels of development, as well as jurisdictional requirements.

Recreational Horse Trails in Rural and Wildland Areas: Design, Construction, and Maintenance. By Gene W. Wood, with major contributions from 16 contributing authors from around the nation. Available from Clemson University's Forestry and Natural Resources website at www.clemson.edu/forestres/. The order form is at www.clemson.edu/forestres/book_form.htm. Designed as a textbook as opposed to a "how to do it" manual, the book guides readers in how to fit design, construction, and maintenance of equestrian trails to the environments in which they work, as well as the kinds and intensities of use that their trails will receive. Readers are reminded that the trail must fit ecosystem capacities to accommodate sustainable equestrian use.


Shared Use Path Surfaces

Several States and FHWA Divisions have inquired whether or not shared use paths funded with Federal-aid highway program funds (especially TE funds) must be paved.

  • There are no Federal laws or regulations that require a shared use path to be paved. This is summarized at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/guidance/design_guidance/allow_uses_eqnm.cfm#surfaces. The Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) prefers paved surfaces, but it recognizes there are successful unpaved surfaces (see page 54). To order a copy, go to the AASHTO Bookstore. TE projects must meet accessibility guidelines, and accessible trail surfaces must be firm and stable, but that does not necessarily mean paved. The USDA Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines discuss various trail surfaces. Although these guidelines only apply to USDA Forest Service lands and projects, the concepts are readily transferable.

Shared Use Paths Along or Near Freeways / Bicycles on Freeways

Several States and FHWA Divisions have inquired whether or not shared use paths may be located along freeway rights-of-way, and whether or not bicycles must be prohibited from freeways.


A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities

The FHWA Office of Safety released a new guide, A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities, to help residents, parents, community groups, and others make their communities better environments for walking. It is a user-friendly resource that includes information, ideas, and references to help residents learn about issues that affect walking conditions; find ways to address or prevent these problems; and promote pedestrian safety. It provides several Community Success Stories that highlight successful community-oriented pedestrian safety projects and programs.

The Guide also contains several Resource Sheets, including fact sheets, worksheets, and sample materials. These materials can be adapted to meet the needs of a particular community, or distributed to others working to improve pedestrian safety. The Guide provides a thorough introduction to pedestrian safety and includes many references to other resources and materials for those interested in more in-depth information.

The Guide is available in html and PDF at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_cmnity/ped_walkguide/index.cfm. Hard copies of the Resident's Guide will be available June 1, 2008. See http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order/.


Roadside Revegetation Guide

FHWA's Western Federal Lands Highway Division sponsored A Manager's Guide to Roadside Revegetation Using Native Plants and Roadside Revegetation: An Integrated Approach to Establishing Native Plants, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. This resource will help project sponsors consider the best vegetation for landscaping either as part of a larger project, or as a TE landscaping project.

FHWA Guidance on Invasive Species

The FHWA Guidance on Invasive Species has been in effect since August 10, 1999. FHWA division offices and State TE and RTP program managers should ensure that potential TE and RTP projects do not cause or promote the introduction or spread of invasive species. This is particularly important for TE projects under Landscaping and Scenic Beautification.


FHWA Newsletters

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Resource Center and the Office of Planning, Environment & Realty (HEP) in Headquarters are pleased to provide you with our latest edition of the Environmental Quarterly newsletter. See Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2008. In this issue of the Environmental Quarterly we bring you information from the staff of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution about a new collaboration training class. In honor of Earth Day 2008, we feature several articles on the topic of reuse and recycling, including interesting information about some work the professionals in the pavement and materials industry are doing to preserve the environment. Articles and information on Sediment and Erosion Control, Tribal Consultation and the FHWA National Environmental Conference are included.


US DOT Blog Launch (April 29, 2008)

BROADCAST MESSAGE
TO: U.S. Department of Transportation Employees and Contractors
FROM: Secretary Mary E. Peters
SUBJECT: Blog Launch: Welcome to the Fast Lane!

Today [announced April 29, 2008], we launched Fast Lane (http://fastlane.dot.gov [inactive]), the Department's new blog. It is my hope that the site will serve as an open forum, and help facilitate dialogue both outside and within the Department.

I have made twenty-first century solutions a priority for our transportation system, and now I'm thrilled to be using a twenty-first century communications tool to reach Americans in a whole new way.

I hope you will contribute your thoughts to the blog. We have included a comment tab in each post, which will allow anyone to submit their reaction to our posts. Not every response will be included on the site, but we won't be sugar coating anything. I recognize this might mean posting unfavorable comments, but that's what a forum like this is all about!

I look forward to engaging folks inside and outside the Department through this exciting new medium. See you in the Fast Lane!


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Community and Trail News and Resources

National Trails Day: June 7, 2008

American Hiking Society's signature trail awareness program, 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. See www.americanhiking.org/NTD.aspx.


National Trails Awards Program

Every two years, American Trails presents the National Trails Awards to recognize the tremendous 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, 2006 through May 31, 2008. The deadline for submitting nominations has been extended to June 30, 2008. For awards criteria and the nomination form, visit the National Trails Awards webpage: http://americantrails.org/2008/awards.html. To view past recipients, visit the 2006 National Trails Awards webpage: http://americantrails.org/quad/awards.html.


Community Trail Development Guide

The Partnership for Prevention and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Places for Physical Activity: Facilitating Development of a Community Trail and Promoting Its Use to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and Adults-An Action Guide. It is one of five guides that comprise The Community Health Promotion Handbook: Action Guides to Improve Community Health. This evidence-based tool is posted on Partnership for Prevention's website at www.prevent.org/actionguides/Handbook.


National Park Service-Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program Accepting Applications

The National Park Service helps partners plan successful locally-led outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation projects. August 1 is the deadline for the next round of assistance from the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program. Applicants are encouraged to discuss project ideas with RTCA staff before submitting an application. See www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/ for more information.


National Wildlife Federation: Connecting Todays Kids With Nature: A Policy Action Plan

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) released a report, Connecting Today's Kids With Nature: A Policy Action Plan. NWF has compiled a list of solutions that offer ways for parents to take action within our communities, at the state level, and at the national level. Some of these include connecting kids to nature through environmental education, promoting outdoor play through our public health systems, and encouraging parents to build in regular time for outdoor play through the NWF online parent resource, Green Hour. See the report at www.nwf.org/kidsoutside. For summer outdoor activity ideas and other online resources, please visit www.greenhour.org.


Photo of Conference style meeting.

National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Presentations

The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council posted 32 PowerPoint presentations given at the National Association of Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers and NOHVCC Conferences in March 2008. See www.nohvcc.org/conference/conpower.asp.

They are in a PDF format to be a resource for OHV activists, enthusiasts, and professional land managers.


Topics for State Trail Administrators Meeting: November 13-15, 2008

State Trail Administrators: Please submit ideas for the 2008 State Trail Administrators Meeting to Jonathan LeClere and Stuart Macdonald. This will take place November 13-15, 2008, prior to the National Trails Symposium. State Trail Administrators are welcome to develop tracks, breakout sessions, etc. Suggested topics so far include:

  • Statewide and regional trails conferences and training programs. Discussion topics: why; logistics (hotels or other locations), size, field trips, funding sources, partners, registration fees, training; charges, exhibitors; partnerships; benefits to State; etc.
  • Training, research, and technology development topics.
  • Share a lunch with the National Scenic Trails Workshop (Nov 13-14)?
  • Share a session with the Long Distance Trails Meeting (for trails not yet designated by Congress) on November 14? Perhaps a lunch or dinner?

Upcoming Conferences

Updated: 04/02/2014
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