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Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities

Program Update - December 11, 2009

In this issue:

Program Information Resources

Transportation Enhancement Resources
There are new resources available from the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):

  1. The FHWA Guidance on Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities was revised to ensure consistency with other FHWA regulations and policies, and to have a consistent format to document revisions in the guidance. See A new PDF document of the Guidance dated November 20, 2009 is available from NTEC: see The Donations section had minor revisions posted on December 9, 2009.
  2. The Proceedings of the August 2009 TE Professional Seminar are available as a draft. Any participants who may have edits or other suggestions they would like to see incorporated into the draft - please contact NTEC as soon as possible. This document provides a thorough record of the many valuable new practices, questions, and ideas that were shared at the Seminar. See, or request a copy of the proceedings on CD, which will include presentations from the meeting, by emailing NTEC: If you want to receive any individual presentations via email, please let NTEC know. The Proceedings include information on breakout sessions covering:
    1. Quantitative Scoring for Project Selection
    2. Michigan DOT's Conditional Commitment Process
    3. Category 11 Showcase
    4. A new application for Category 5: Landscape Corridor Master Designs

Transportation Authorization
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) expired on September 30, 2009. Extension #2 extended through December 18, 2009. Surface Transportation Authorization discussions continue, with proposals for immediate action and proposals for a long-term extension. One or more extension(s) is (are) expected. There is no "best" source of information. Links to several viewpoints are at Surface Transportation (Re)Authorization: Resources and Comments for Trails and Transportation Enhancements.

FHWA Surface Transportation and Environment Cooperative Research Program (STEP)
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is requesting suggestions for research that should be pursued under the Surface Transportation and Environment Cooperative Research Program (STEP). STEP funds are the sole source available at present to support the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse. Provide feedback at - (link inactive 5/12). To submit research projects, click on the appropriate topic and complete the form. The deadline for comments was December 3, 2009, but late comments may be considered.

Access Board Issues Draft Final Guidelines for Federal Outdoor Developed Areas
The US Access Board released for public review a draft of final guidelines under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) for Federal Outdoor Developed Areas on October 19, 2009. See The deadline for comments is December 18, 2009. The draft final guidelines are issued under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) rather than the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These guidelines address how to achieve accessibility in outdoor developed areas and take into account challenges and constraints posed by terrain, the degree of development, and other factors. They specify where compliance is required and provide detailed technical criteria for new or altered trails, beach routes, and picnic and camping facilities. The guidelines will apply to sites developed or altered by Federal land management agencies and to non-Federal entities that construct or alter facilities on Federal lands on behalf of the Federal government. The guidelines will not apply to Federal-aid projects, but they are best practices for other agencies and for the public to follow to ensure program access. The guidelines are based on the Regulatory Negotiation Committee on Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas Final Report available at

American Trails has a web page with some highlights and concerns about the proposed Guidelines:

Executive Order 13513: Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving
On October 1, 2009, during DOT's Distracted Driving Summit (, President Obama issued Executive Order 13513 on "Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving." See Among other things, the Order prohibits all Federal employees from engaging in text messaging while:

Although this applies directly only to Federal employees, it is a wise policy for all. DOT Secretary LaHood's statement to DOT employees [October 26, 2009] added: "While the Order does not ban placing or taking telephone calls while driving, I encourage you to be mindful of the dangers associated with those practices. I also encourage you and your families to refrain from texting, or from engaging in any behavior that distracts your attention from driving safely, at any time."

Federal Transit Administration: Proposed Policy Statement on the Eligibility of Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Under Federal Transit Law
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a Federal Register notice describing the eligibility of pedestrian and bicycle projects for FTA funding and proposed a formal policy on the catchment area for pedestrians and bicyclists in relationship to public transportation stops and stations. The proposed policy would expand FTA funding eligibility for bicycle and pedestrian improvements beyond the current threshold distances of one-half mile for pedestrian projects and within three miles for bicycle improvements. See:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Strategic Plan
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking public comment on emerging or potential traffic safety problems to assist the agency in shaping its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. The agency is seeking suggestions, ideas, and comments on what it can do to reduce the number of people killed or injured each year on our Nation's roadways. NHTSA is seeking comment on how it can make travel in the US safer for all road users: drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. See and answer the questions posed under Docket number NHTSA-2009-0171.

FHWA's Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEIs) recognize outstanding examples of transportation projects that create or improve conditions for human activities while protecting the natural environment. The EHEIs are best practice examples. FHWA posted information on the 2009 award-winning initiatives. See Additional information will be posted in the near future.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Healthy People 2020
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Healthy People 2020 provides national objectives for promoting health and preventing disease. The public comment period closes December 31. See

Program Financial Resources

FY 2010 Initial Apportionments
FHWA issued Notice N 4510.715, Revised Apportionment of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Funds Under a 79-Day Extension of Surface Transportation Programs Pursuant to Public Law 111-68, as Amended by Public Law 111-88. These are short term FY 2010 apportionments. Future apportionments are subject to further legislation.
Note: The initial RTP Apportionment is in the Notice. The TE Apportionment cannot be calculated until there is a full year FY 2010 Appropriations Act, but the TE amount will be no less than 10 percent of the Surface Transportation Program amount.
Note: If you see CANCELED across a Notice, click on the link at the top of the page where it says "This directive was canceled" for the replacement Notice.

Federal-Aid Funding for Pedestrian and Bicycle Programs and Projects in FY 2009 [revised with final figures December 24, 2009]
States obligated $1.189 billion (including all Safe Routes to School and Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program funds) in Federal-aid highway program funds for bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects in FY 2009, more than twice the amount of any previous year. This is 2.0% of Federal-aid highway program funding in FY 2009 ($58.735 billion). See for details. Some highlights:

Federal Share, Match, and Donations
As a reminder, here is guidance on Federal Share, Match, and Donations.

Research Reports and Technical Assistance

Research Reports

US Department of Transportation: Environmental Mitigation in Transportation Planning: Case Studies in Meeting SAFETEA-LU Section 6001 Requirements. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) included provisions intended to enhance the consideration of environmental issues and impacts within the transportation planning process. This report presents and synthesizes the findings from nine case studies that examine a spectrum of environmental mitigation strategies, policies, and activities transportation agencies have undertaken to meet the new requirements. See the description and link to the report.

Nebraska Department of Roads: Plan for the Roadside Environment. This Plan is designed to create a roadside that can better overcome the disturbances of construction, withstand the rigors of the Nebraska climate, and perform the landscaping objectives that contribute to safe and maintainable roadsides that complement the surrounding landscape. The Plan promotes increased use of native plantings and vegetative management to control noxious weeds, in an effort to provide a sustainable, noxious weed-controlled roadside environment. The Nebraska Plan promotes increased use of native plantings, good stewardship, and maintenance of a unique and sustainable "Nebraska Landscape", recognizing that fulfilling the landscape objective is an integral part of good roadway design. See The concepts of this report are transferable to TE-funded landscaping and scenic beautification projects and to landscaping along pedestrian and bicycle facilities and along trails.

Resources for the Future (RFF): The RFF research report, The State of the Great Outdoors: America's Parks, Public Lands, and Recreation Resources, is at This is the culmination of work carried out in conjunction with the Outdoor Resources Review Group (ORRG). It is a synthesis of the backgrounders, surveys, presentations, and other studies. It focuses on trends over the past 25 years since the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors and emerging issues of concern for policymakers. The ORRG report is at

The Surface Transportation Policy Partnership released its Dangerous by Design report. Among other things, it ranks metropolitan areas according to a measure of pedestrian danger.

Active Living Research: Two new resources by Active Living Research examine the relationship between investments in active transportation, physical activity, and obesity rates, and which regions are making these investments. See

Technical Assistance

American Trails Accessible Trail Photos and Articles. American Trails hosts a "Cool Trail Solutions" website area. American Trails posted information on accessible boardwalks ( and accessible trail surfacing considerations and examples ( American Trails is seeking additional photos and articles related to accessibility. The 2009 National Recreation Trails photo contest deadline is December 15, 2009. See

National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Image Library. The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) Image Library is a web accessible media archive that features images of Transportation Enhancement projects. See

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Image Library. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) Pedestrian and Bicycle Image Library is at The Library contains over 1400 images and continues to grow. The PBIC Image Library is a searchable collection of high-quality images relating to walking and bicycling.

Trail Publications. FHWA's trail-related publications at include links to many USDA Forest Service publications and resources. The Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads and Campgrounds was reprinted in September 2009.

Training Resources

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals ( hosts monthly webinars.
December 16: Connecting with Public Health Professionals on Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues. Wednesday, December 16, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. et. Register at Join APBP on Wednesday, December 16, at 3:00 p.m. ET to study a fruitful local collaboration between public health and active transportation. This policy-oriented webinar will demonstrate the connections between an active living partnership and bicycling/walking policies and programs.

Federal Highway Administration Environmental Competency Building Program
The FHWA, in collaboration with a Steering Committee of transportation and environmental stakeholders, has developed the Competency Navigator to assist professionals in identifying the key environmental and technical topic areas associated with the delivery of environmentally sustainable transportation programs. See Categories include Environmental Practitioner, Planner, Right-of-Way Specialist, Design Engineer, Construction/Maintenance, Legal, Civil Rights, Project Manager, and Senior Level Manager.

Marshall University / National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
The Marshall University Recreation and Park Resources program, in cooperation with the Nick J. Rahall, II Appalachian Transportation Institute and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), has a series of four off-highway vehicle courses. See NOHVCC is accepting scholarship applications through December 15, 2009.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has free, public webinars training available. PBIC offers these free, public Webinars every other month to encourage safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. To register for upcoming Webinars and to access archived presentations, see
Selection of Crosswalk Markings and Other Treatments at Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossings Thursday, January 21, 2010 from 2PM to 3PM ET. Presented by Charlie Zegeer, PBIC Director.
Registration for this Webinar will be available following the November Webinar.

Trail Management: Plans, Projects, and People (Federal Interagency Trails Course)
FWS OUT8194, BLM-TC-8300-17
March 29-April 2, 2010, San Rafael (Marin County), California
Public agency trail staff, contractors, and volunteers will learn to achieve sustainable and accessible trails of all kinds, using the best practices of the Trail Management Process. This collaborative process includes planning, design layout, construction, maintenance, monitoring, crew leadership, interpretation, operations, and safety. Field exercises include trail layout, construction and maintenance techniques. How to apply: Complete the on-line application at Course registration deadline: January 19, 2010.

Newsletters, News Magazines, Websites, Radio

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Blog: Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood posts a Blog called Welcome to the Fastlane. There are frequent postings relating to livability issues. See Among articles of interest to TE and RTP enthusiasts:

FHWA's Environmental Quarterly Newsletter has useful information related to transportation and the environment. See

FHWA's Pedestrian Forum Newsletter
The Fall 2009 Pedestrian Forum Newsletter is at See articles on:

FHWA Resource Center's Centered on Service Newsletter has useful articles on a variety of transportation topics. The December 2009 edition has articles on bridge scour, highway structures, visualization in planning, a sign retroreflectivity toolkit, and training in cost estimation.

FHWA's Transportation Planning Newsletter has a variety of transportation planning news items. See

America's Byways Bulletin,, has information related to the National Scenic Byways Program, including conferences and training resources. The November 2009 edition has articles about newly designated byways, newly awarded grants, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building. America's Byways Vistas, is a bimonthly news magazine with stories about America's Byways. The November-December 2009 edition has articles on the newly designated byways and grants, geocaching, accessibility, surface transportation authorization, and funding for byway organizations.

Disclaimer: The links below reflect the views of these organizations. Providing links to these resources does not represent endorsement by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

National Park Service Conservation and Recreation Newsletter
The National Park Service has a monthly Conservation and Recreation Newsletter.

National Trail and Park Projects Funded: The National Park Service's "Connect Trails to Park" program grants awarded $873,000 for 17 projects where national historic and scenic trails intersect with national parks and other Federal facilities. The grant program was established in 2008 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the National Trails System. See

National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse TE Corner
The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse issued a new newsletter, TE Corner. It has stories about interesting TE projects and broader news concerning the Transportation Enhancements program. See the link from the NTEC website: You can download the newsletter directly from

AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence Website
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Environmental Excellence posts many resources related to transportation and the environment. See See the Recent Developments page.

American Trails publishes the American Trails Magazine and the Trail Tracks newsletter. American Trails Magazine covers trail-related news, legislation, action items, trainings, success stories, events, people making a difference, creative funding ideas, resources, and information on products and services. Trail Tracks is a more typical monthly newsletter with current trail information and "Action Alerts". The Magazine and Trail Tracks archives share the same webpage:

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals has an e-newsletter available to members. It provides information on professional development webinars, transportation policy, conferences, member collaboration groups, and more. See

The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) at North Carolina State University hosted a Partnership for Sustainable Communities Webinar on November 9, 2009. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new interagency partnership in June 2009, to help families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs. The agreement established six "livability principles" to coordinate policy for Federal transportation, environmental protection, and housing investments. This Webcast provided an overview of the Partnership.

Equestrian Land Conservation Resource news is at ELCR advances the conservation of land for equine-related activity.

League of American Bicyclists: American Bicyclist Update is at The newsletters have many articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests. The December 7 edition has an article about Safe Routes to School.

National Center for Bicycling and Walking: Centerlines is at The newsletters have several articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, especially on planning, policy, health, and research issues, plus links to webinars and other training.

The National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council newsletter has articles relating to off highway vehicle issues. See

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: PBIC Messenger. The Fall 2009 edition had articles on webinars, funding, pedestrian and bicycle research, the US Bicycle Route System, and more. Sign up for this newsletter at

And for fun: Take note of these stairs!
A new walking theory?
In the interest of forestalling an excess of Euro-envy, there's a similar installation at the Museum of Science in Boston MA, USA.
One comment: Wow. Very cool. I wonder what it sounds like when someone falls down the stairs!
NOTE: Some State and Federal office website protocols may block videos, but these are clean!

National Public Radio Highway Safety Stories
National Public Radio (NPR) had stories on highway safety that mentioned people in FHWA's Safety Research. See; there are other related stories as well.

Conferences and Calendars

Transportation Research Board 89th Annual Meeting, January 10-14, 2010, Washington, DC. See

League of American Bicyclists: The National Bike Summit will take place March 9-11, 2010, in Washington DC. See

International Mountain Bicycling Association: The 2010 IMBA World Summit will take place May 5-8, 2010, in Augusta GA. See

Bridging Conservation and Recreation: 2010 River Management Society (RMS) and National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) Symposium, May 18-20, 2010, Portland OR. See the Symposium Overview and Call for Papers at Student scholarship applications are due March 19, 2010; see and click on Scholarships.

Bureau of Land Management National Landscape Conservation System 2010 Science Symposium: The Bureau of Land Management’s National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) A Decade of Discovery Science Symposium will take place May 24-28, 2010, in Albuquerque NM. See The call for papers deadline is December 15, 2009.

International Snowmobile Congress: The 42nd International Snowmobile Congress will take place June 10-12, 2010, in Coralville IA (near Iowa City). See The International Association of Snowmobile Administrators will meet as part of the Congress, see

Preserving the Historic Road 2010 issued a call for paper abstracts for the 2010 conference September 9-12, 2010, in Washington, DC. The call, information and submission details are available at The deadline for paper abstracts is 31 January 2010.

National Center for Bicycling and Walking: The 16th ProWalk/ProBike 2010 will take place September 13-17, 2010, in Chattanooga TN. See

American Trails: The 20th National Trails Symposium will take place November 14-17, 2010, in Chattanooga TN. See The State Trail Administrators will meet in conjunction with the Symposium, see

With both ProWalk/ProBike and the National Trails Symposium, you have good reasons to visit Chattanooga in 2010.

See more events at:

Updated: 1/18/2017
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