In this issue:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was enacted February 16, 2009. See the link from the Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov/fdsys/, or the PDF at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr1enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr1enr.pdf. The Transportation provisions begin on page 89 of 407 of the PDF file. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) programs begin on page 92.
FHWA posted information about the ARRA at www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/index.htm.
The ARRA funds that are apportioned to the States are apportioned as Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds, see eligibility under 23 U.S.C. 133(b) at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title23/html/USCODE-2010-title23-chap1-sec133.htm. The STP has broad eligibility for many kinds of projects. Section 133(b)(8) lists transportation enhancement activities as eligible projects. The ARRA funds are 100 percent Federal share.
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities: The ARRA provides "That 3 percent of the funds apportioned to a State under this heading shall be set aside for the purposes described in subsection 133(d)(2) of title 23, United States Code (without regard to the comparison to fiscal year 2005)."
Bridge, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, National Scenic Byways, Recreational Trails, Safe Routes to School, etc. ARRA does not provide extra funds for these programs, but ARRA does not eliminate these programs: they continue as normal with their FY 2009 funds. Projects eligible under these programs usually are eligible for STP (except for RTP projects with no transportation purpose).
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood mentions "livability" in public addresses. See the Statement of Representative Ray LaHood before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, January 21, 2009. Secretary LaHood held a "Town Hall Meeting" with DOT employees on January 28, 2009, in which he reiterated his support for livability initiatives.
From the Federal Register: 74 FR 8819
AGENCY: Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President.
ACTION: Request for comments.
SUMMARY: The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is developing a set of recommendations to the President for a new Executive Order on Federal Regulatory Review, and invites public comments on how to improve the process and principles governing regulation.
DATES: Comments must be in writing and received by March 16, 2009.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments by one of the following methods:
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For well over two decades, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at OMB has reviewed Federal regulations. The purposes of such review have been to ensure consistency with Presidential priorities, to coordinate regulatory policy, and to offer a dispassionate and analytical "second opinion" on agency actions.
In a recent Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, published in the Federal Register [74 FR 5977 [PDF 4.9 KB]], the President directed the Director of OMB to produce a set of recommendations for a new Executive Order on Federal regulatory review. Among other things, he stated that the recommendations should offer suggestions for the following:
Transportation interests continue discussions about the next surface transportation authorization legislation. Comments from people interested in the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities are at Federal-aid Highway Program Reauthorization 2009: Summary, Explanation, and Comments from Trails and Enhancements Conferences.
We updated the RTP Guidance State Practices and TE Guidance State Practices webpages. We posted some examples for you to use. Here are some highlights:
1. RTP Item: Use the Tennessee example for a Stewardship and Oversight Agreement. Every FHWA Division should an agreement for the RTP (unless the RTP is administered by the State DOT, in which case the agreement with the State DOT should include the RTP). TE is part of a Stewardship and Oversight Agreement with the State DOT, whether specified or not.
2. Use the Example Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Categorical Exclusions (CE). Several State examples are available (although they should be amended to be "Memorandum of Understanding" rather than "Programmatic Agreement").
3. Recreational Trails Program Reviews Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The FHWA Process Review Library has process reviews available within FHWA's internal intranet.
4. Draft Project Documentation Form. We posted a Draft Project Documentation Form to help document project costs for labor, mileage, and basic expenditures associated with relatively small projects, usually located off of highway rights-of-way. Each section has a table where you can add or remove rows as needed. Additional pages will be created automatically and description fields will auto-expand. Thanks to Paul Wistrand, FHWA Alaska Division, for developing this draft form. We welcome your comments:
The Coalition for Recreational Trails, a federation of national and regional trail-related organizations, announced its 2009 achievement awards to recognize outstanding trail projects funded by the national Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The awards will be presented in Washington DC during Great Outdoors Week 2009 (June 8-13). This awards program is part of the Coalition's ongoing effort to build awareness and appreciation of the RTP, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public. Additional information about the awards and a nomination form are posted on the American Trails RTP Awards website: www.americantrails.org/awards/CRTawards.html. The deadline for nominations is April 17, 2009.
FHWA Transportation Planning Update
FHWA's quarterly Transportation Planning Update for Winter 2009 (HTML / PDF 851 KB) has articles on:
The March 2009 issue of FHWA's Successes in Stewardship Newsletter is available at www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/newsletters/mar09nl.asp. This issue's feature story is: "Balancing Infrastructure Improvements with Historic Preservation: The Front Street Rehabilitation Project". This is a Transportation Enhancement project.
FHWA would like your feed back on the Environmental Review Toolkit website! Please share your thoughts by taking a brief survey located on the FHWA Environmental Review Toolkit Homepage: www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/index.asp. It is designed to tell FHWA how users, like you, use the Environmental Review Toolkit, and how the website could be improved.
FHWA Pedestrian Forum Newsletter
The Winter 2009 edition of the Pedestrian Forum Newsletter is posted at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped/pedforum/. In this issue, you will find information on:
The February 2009 America's Byways Bulletin has news about America's Byways, National Scenic Byways Program grants, and Byway-related travel. See www.bywaysonline.org/program/bulletin/. National Scenic Byways Grant Applications are due to FHWA division offices by March 13, 2009, see www.bywaysonline.org.
National Park Service Conservation and Recreation Newsletter
The National Park Service has a monthly Conservation and Recreation Newsletter.
Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Guide for Local Governments
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 office released Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Guide for Local Governments, available at: www.epa.gov/region02/sustainability/greencommunities/Planning_for_a_Sustainable_Future.pdf. Topics include Transportation; Land Use Planning; Biological Conservation and Open Space Preservation; Solid Waste Generation and Recycling; Energy, Air Quality, and Climate; Protecting Water Quality and Ensuring Future Supply; Green Building; and Green Procurement.
Recreation Planner Salary Survey Results
The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) released a national salary study of outdoor recreation planners. The project focused on reported compensation of outdoor recreation planners in the United States in 2008, encompassing professionals employed by Federal, State, and local governments, as well as the private sector. To learn more about NARRP, please visit www.narrp.org. To download a copy of the report: National Salary Study of Outdoor Recreation Planners. See also 29th Annual Conference information.
Outdoor Recreation Participation Report
The Outdoor Foundation released the 2008 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report. The report surveyed Americans ages six and older and covered 114 outdoor activities. The report found that overall participation in outdoor activities among Americans increased in 2007 with more than 138.4 million people getting outdoors. The outdoor participation for children between the ages of six and seventeen declined by more than 11 percent, with the greatest declines occurring between the ages of 6 and 12. See www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.participation.2008.html.
2009 Trailbuilders Conference
The Professional Trailbuilders Association released a newsletter to inform the public about the 2009 Trailbuilders Conference, to be held March 15-20, 2009, in Asheville NC. See the February 2009 update, and the February 28 update. This conference will highlight trail design and construction, stone work, accessible trails, working with youth and conservation corps, chain saw safety, and much more. See more information at www.trailbuilders.org.
2009 NOHVCC and National Association of OHV Program Managers Annual Conferences, March 24-29, Houston, TX. www.nohvcc.org/conference/conference.asp.
2009 National Association of Recreation Resource Planners Conference
The 2009 National Association of Recreation Resource Planners Conference will take place in Pittsburgh PA on April 27 - May 1, 2009. The program theme is "Creating Sustainable Communities through Regional Recreation Planning." See www.narrp.org.
The 41st International Snowmobile Congress will take place at Credit Union Place, Summerside, Prince Edward Island (Canada) on June 10-13, 2009. The ISC brings together snowmobile and groomer manufacturers, leaders of snowmobile organizations, grassroots snowmobilers, snowmobile publication staff, snowmobile administrators, government representatives, and other people interested in snowmobiling. State and Federal staff with snowmobile program responsibilities attend the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators meeting: see http://www.snowiasa.org.
State Trail Administrators Meeting / Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference: STAM 2009 will be held July 7-8, 2009 immediately prior to the Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, July 9-12, 2009, in Gainesville FL.
See more events at: