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Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities

Program Update - November 7, 2008

In this issue:

Surface Transportation Authorization Proposals

Several proposals have been released for surface transportation authorization for the Federal surface transportation program for Fiscal Years 2010 and beyond. See links to various proposals related to trails and transportation enhancements, including links to the USDOT Reform Proposal, at

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
The AASHTO proposal recommended a number of reforms to the program, including limiting the amount of funds that can be earmarked for specific projects. AASHTO recommended consolidating the number of funding programs from more than 100 to six key programs. Learn more about AASHTO's views and recommendations for reauthorization reform.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Active Transportation for America Report
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, with support from Bikes Belong, issued its "Active Transportation for America" report. The report quantifies the benefits the nation would realize with increased investment in walking and bicycling. RTC has additional information at

FHWA Guidance, Policy, and Resources

Snow Removal on Sidewalks Constructed with Federal Funding
FHWA issued a Memorandum Snow Removal on Sidewalks Constructed with Federal Funding. The memo addresses questions about maintaining pedestrian facilities, particularly during the winter season. The Memo covers legal requirements for maintaining Federal-aid facilities, and requirements to maintain accessible facilities.

Manuals and Guides for Trails
FHWA updated its list of Manuals and Guides for Trail Design, Construction, Maintenance, and Operation, and for Signs, including links to accessibility information. There are links to resources from government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Bollards, Gates, and Other Barriers
FHWA updated its recommendations for Bollards, Gates, and Other Barriers. Some trail managers install bollards, gates, or other barriers to restrict unauthorized use. Trail managers should question whether bollards, gates, fences, or other barriers are needed at all.

News and Newsletters

USDA Forest Service: National Trail Classification System: Public Comments
On October 16, the Forest Service published interim final directives for the national trails classification system in the Federal Register. These interim final directives amend the Forest Service Manual 2350, Trail, River, and Similar Recreation Opportunities, and Forest Service Handbook 2309.18, the Trail Management Handbook, to incorporate revisions to the agency's national trail classification system, consisting of the Trail Classes and Design Parameters. The interim final directives are available for public comment for 60 days. Comments must be received by December 15, 2008. Please send comments to Jonathan Stephens, National Program Manager for Trails and Congressionally Designated Areas, US Forest Service, Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources Staff, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Mail Stop 1125, Washington, DC 20250; or by facsimile to 202-205-1145. Comments also may be submitted by following the instructions at the Federal rulemaking portal.

AASHTO National Bicycle Route Network
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved a National Corridor Plan laying out the framework and guidelines for the development of a National Bicycle Route Network. See details on the Adventure Cycling Association website at

FHWA Environmental Quarterly
FHWA's Environmental Quarterly issued its Fall 2008 edition. It has articles on Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives, , the environmental process, and more.

FHWA Resource Center Centered on Service Newsletter
The FHWA Resource Center Centered on Service Newsletter reports on many different topics including air quality, structures, hydraulics, traffic signals, value engineering, designing highways for seismic conditions, etc. The November 2008 edition has an article on Bike-Pedestrian-Only Roundabouts.

American Trails Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
Trail Tracks, the e-newsletter from American Trails, reports on news and issues in the trails world, as well as information on training, education, and new resources on the American Trails website. The October 2008 edition has articles on the National Trails System 40th Anniversary, accessibility, public health and recreation related to trails, and training and education.

Awards and Anniversaries

FHWA Excellence in Highway Design Awards
The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Excellence in Highway Design Biennial Awards Program recognizes outstanding highway transportation, highlighting the best in highway design. The purpose of the Awards is to recognize the superior efforts and achievements of public agencies and private organizations in designing highway facilities that enhance safety and mobility while being sensitive to the human and natural environment and contributing to a more pleasing transportation experience. The 2008 Award winners include outstanding examples of highways, bridges, roadside facilities, and other improvements that demonstrate what can be done when designers use their creativity to find context sensitive solutions to move traffic along a facility that is aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly, as well as safe and efficient.

Among the winners in 2008 was the Lowell Covered Bridge Restoration project in Lowell OR, completed in 2006. It won in the Traveler Services category. Project funding came from the Forest Highway Program (FHWA Western Federal Lands Division), Oregon's Transportation Enhancement program, and Lane County.

Training and Resources

Trail Fundamentals and TMOs: Cornerstones for Effective Trail Management
Coordinated by American Trails with Jaime Schmidt, USFS National Trail Information Coordinator
Date: Monday, November 17, at the National Trails Symposium, Little Rock AR. See (scroll down for this workshop).
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. Cost: Free.

During this hands-on workshop, learn how to develop Trail Management Objectives (TMOs) and apply five key trail management concepts: Trail Type, Trail Class, Managed Use, Designed Use, and Design Parameters. Originally developed by the U.S. Forest Service, these concepts have been adopted and adapted by other Federal and State agencies and partners in the development of trail prescriptions and effective trail management. Who should attend this workshop? Trail program managers, planners, technicians, advocates, and partners working in trail management, planning, inventory, and development.

Upcoming Conferences

See additional events at:
Updated: 1/18/2017
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