In this issue:
The program update provides information related to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities.
Disclaimer: Links and references to agencies and organizations outside the U.S. Department of Transportation are provided for information purposes only, and reflect the views of those agencies and organizations. Providing links and references to these resources does not represent endorsement by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Federal Highway Administration.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) keeps the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities, and Bicycle and Pedestrian Program web pages updated on a regular basis.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Final Policy Statement on the Eligibility of Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Under Federal Transit Law (August 19, 2011). The FTA established a formal policy on the eligibility of pedestrian and bicycle improvements for FTA funding and defines the catchment area for pedestrians and bicyclists in relation to public transportation stops and stations. See 76 FR 52046. In general, all pedestrian improvements located within one-half mile and all bicycle improvements located within three miles of a public transportation stop or station shall have a de facto physical and functional relationship to public transportation. Pedestrian and bicycle improvements beyond these distances may be eligible for FTA funding by demonstrating that the improvement is within the distance that people will travel by foot or by bicycle to use a particular stop or station.
The US Department of Transportation revised its Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy in October 2011. Each Federal agency must "make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies and activities on minority populations and low-income populations." The updated EJ strategy continues to reflect DOT's commitment to EJ principles and to integrating those principles into DOT programs, policies and activities. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/.
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which authorized Federal surface transportation programs, expired on September 30, 2009. Extension #8 extended SAFETEA-LU through March 31, 2012.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released S. 1813, MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, on November 9, 2011. Under this proposal, RTP, TE, Scenic Byway, and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects would be eligible under a new Transportation Mobility Program. There would also be funds set aside (about $800 million) as "additional activities" under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program for projects eligible under the RTP, SRTS, TE, traffic calming, and any environmental mitigation related to highway projects. The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse published the NTEC Data Brief on MAP-21, see www.enhancements.org/publications.asp.
Several advocacy organizations have concerns about how proposals would treat TE and the RTP, including America Bikes, American Trails, League of American Bicyclists, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and National Wildlife Federation.
Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Apportionments
FHWA issued Notice N4510.747, Revised Apportionment of Funds for the Period Beginning on October 1, 2011, and Ending on March 31, 2012, Pursuant to the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011, Part II. This Notice has initial FY 2012 apportionments available through March 31, 2012.
FHWA also revised RTP apportionments for FY 2009, 2010, and 2011. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/funding/ for the revised amounts.
FY 2011 Obligations
FHWA posted FY 2011 obligations for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and programs, the RTP, and TE.
The FHWA administers discretionary programs where FHWA solicits for candidates and selects projects for funding based on applications received. Each program has its own eligibility and selection criteria that are established by law, by regulation, or administratively. Descriptions for each program, along with selection criteria, are available below. Applications must be submitted by January 6, 2012. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/discretionary/.
Other Grant Opportunities
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) posted guidelines for 2012 Our Town grants to support creative placemaking projects that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. Pending availability of funding, grants will range from $25,000 to $150,000. The application deadline is March 1, 2012.
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking's CenterLines newsletter often announces grant opportunities related to nonmotorized transportation.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling over $97 million. Sustainable Communities grants help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools, and transportation. See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/sustainable_housing_communities.
Walk Friendly Communities
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) announced 10 Walk Friendly Communities on September 22, 2011, see www.walkfriendly.org/. PBIC opened a third Walk Friendly Communities application round on November 15, 2011. Communities can submit applications to the program, see www.walkfriendly.org/assessment. Applications are due on January 16, 2012.
Forest Service Accessibility and Recreation Projects
The most popular accessibility and recreation tech tips and reports from the National Technology and Development Program are now available on a single DVD. The disk Accessibility and Recreation Projects (1123-2D01-MTDC) includes more than 40 documents in HTML and Acrobat (PDF) formats for easy viewing and printing. Such documents as the Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails and Saws That Sing: A Guide to Using Crosscut Saws should assist employees in the field with their accessibility and recreation needs.
Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees can order the DVD at http://fsweb.mtdc.wo.fs.fed.us/php/mtdc_search.php?category=Program&srchword=12. For those outside the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, the DVD can be ordered at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/
The Forest Service released Volunteers in the Forest Service: A Coordinator's Desk Guide. This guide provides coordinators with information to organize volunteers to work safely and productively. Materials are available as Word documents that can be modified.
New Hampshire Public Radio featured a story Crotched Mountain Opens Accessible Hiking Trails in which it interviewed Janet Zeller, the Forest Service national accessibility program manager. The USFS Trail Accessibility Guidelines are mentioned, as is the purpose of the guidelines: to provide sustainable trails that are usable by all while blending seamlessly into the setting.
America's Great Outdoors: The America's Great Outdoors initiative released the 2011 America's Great Outdoors Progress Report to show conservation, recreation, and economic benefits. See http://americasgreatoutdoors.gov/.
Livability Resources: New resources are available on FHWA's livability website www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/.
The Model Design Manual for Living Streets was funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. This manual seeks to achieve balanced street design that accommodates cars while ensuring that pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users can travel safely and comfortably. This manual also incorporates features to make streets lively, beautiful, economically vibrant as well as environmentally sustainable. See www.modelstreetdesignmanual.com. The manual is consistent with published AASHTO guidebooks, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), and other accepted practices. It also builds on FHWA's Flexibility in Highway Design and the ITE/CNU publication Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach.
The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) released its September 2011 position paper titled Reframing the Role and Relevancy of Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans. There are 12 recommendations that would reposition the role, relevancy, and utility of SCORPs to benefit local, State, and Federal agencies, and communities, special interest groups, and the outdoor recreation and tourism industry. See www.narrp.org.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School developed a series of "Getting Results" resources to help communities identify desired outcomes and measure a program's impact, and to highlight how Safe Routes to School programs help address problems that impact entire communities.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership released Safe Routes to School: Helping Communities Save Lives and Dollars: www.saferoutespartnership.org/media/file/SRTSNP-2011-Policy-Report.pdf. A fact sheet is at www.saferoutespartnership.org/media/file/SRTS-policy-report-fact-sheet.pdf. The report shows how Safe Routes to School projects alleviate the strain on school and local government budgets by reducing school busing costs, decreasing traffic congestion, and lowering medical costs from traffic injuries and fatalities.
Urban Bikeway Design Guide: The National Association of City Transportation Officials released an Urban Bikeway Design Guide. The League of American Bicyclists information about the guide is at http://blog.bikeleague.org/blog/2011/10/nacto-releases-print-urban-bikeway-design-guide/. See the Guide at http://nacto.org/cities-for-cycling/design-guide/.
More Research Reports
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) releases (or reports on) many research reports each week. There are usually some reports relating to eligible TE activities, especially nonmotorized transportation infrastructure and safety, historic preservation, wetlands, and wildlife crossings. See the TRB Newsletter.
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has many reports relating to environmental issues. Many NCHRP reports are linked from the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO, see http://environment.transportation.org/, and Recent Developments. Among reports that mention and/or may affect the RTP and TE is the Synthesis on Effective Delivery of Small-Scale Federal-Aid Projects.
The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) has many reports relating to transit issues, see www.trb.org/Publications/PubsTCRPProjectReports.aspx. Report 145: Reinventing the Urban Interstate: A New Paradigm for Multimodal Corridors presents strategies for planning, designing, building, and operating multimodal corridors—freeways and high-capacity transit lines running parallel in the same travel corridors.
The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO provides content on environmental topics related to transportation, see http://environment.transportation.org/. Topics include:
The FHWA Office of Highway Safety revised two technical advisories on rumble strips issued earlier this year, T 5040.39 Shoulder and Edge Line Rumble Strips and T 5040.40 Center Line Rumble Strips. These Advisories take into account concerns from bicyclists.
Walk Friendly Communities Assessment Tool
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) released a revised community assessment tool for the Walk Friendly Communities program. The assessment tool evaluates community walkability and pedestrian safety through questions related to engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning. The revised assessment tool can be downloaded at www.walkfriendly.org/WFCAssessmentTool_Nov2011.pdf.
In August 2011, the UNC Highway Safety Research Center presented two Spanish-Language Webinars with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Archived versions of these Webinars are at www.rsa.unc.edu/webinars.cfm. In addition, the PBIC's Walkability and Bikeability Checklists are now also available in Spanish.
Trail Publications: See FHWA's trail-related publications at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/. There are links to many USDA Forest Service publications and resources. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/trailpub.cfm to order the Accessibility and Recreation Projects DVD and some other reports.
The FHWA sponsored five 1-day Regional Livability Workshops as a part of its Strategies for Livable Communities project. The project goal is to raise awareness of transportation linkages to livability, and to provide resources to practitioners and the public to more effectively consider livability issues within the transportation planning process. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/.
The FHWA National Highway Institute has many courses and study programs available related to surface transportation and the environmental process. See www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/. NHI has "Custom Catalog" features on its website. These features allow you to create, download, and print a customized version of NHI's course catalog based on your personal preferences. NHI added several web-based courses to its catalog, especially in its maintenance series.
The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals hosts monthly Professional Development Webinars related to walking and bicycling. Webinars are open to the public; APBP Members may participate at discounted rates. The discounts are worth the cost of membership. Membership entitles you to participate in the APBP listserv and other services. See www.apbp.org/.
The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, in cooperation with snowmobile manufacturers and the snowmobiling community, supports the Safe Riders! You make snowmobiling safe™ Safety Campaign. See information about International Snowmobile Safety Week on January 15-21, 2012 and Take a Friend Snowmobiling Week on February 11-20, 2012.
The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trail advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The vision of the Partnership is "to ensure that the full range of skills, training, and resource information is available to trail groups, communities, tribal governments, and State and Federal agencies." See more resources for training and education, including the Online Training Calendar.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) has free public webinars to encourage safe walking and bicycling for transportation and physical activity. To register for webinars and to access archived presentations, see www.walkinginfo.org/webinars/.
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 and other issues affecting transportation enhancement activities and trails. See http://fastlane.dot.gov [inactive].
Public Roads is the bimonthly magazine of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Reading Public Roads is the easiest way to keep up-to-date on developments in Federal highway policies, programs, and research and technology. The September/October 2011 edition has a Guest Editorial: Paths for Improving Quality of Life. Communities across the country are eager to develop multimodal transportation networks that provide safe, convenient, and affordable travel options for motorists, transit riders, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Articles in this edition include:
FHWA's Environmental Quarterly Newsletter has information related to transportation and the environment. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/publications.cfm.
FHWA's Pedestrian Forum Newsletter has information related to pedestrian safety and links to training and safety materials, see http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/. The Fall 2011 Pedestrian Forum Newsletter has articles on:
FHWA Resource Center's Centered on Service Newsletter has articles on a variety of transportation topics. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/cos/.
FHWA's Successes in Stewardship Newsletter highlights environmental streamlining practices from across the country. See http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/es4newsltrs.asp.
FHWA's Transportation Planning Newsletter has a variety of transportation planning news items. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/publications.cfm.
Disclaimer: The following links and references from agencies and organizations outside the U.S. Department of Transportation are provided for information purposes only, and reflect the views of those agencies and organizations. Providing links and references to these resources does not represent endorsement by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Federal Highway Administration.
America's Byways Bulletin, www.bywaysonline.org/program/bulletin/, has information related to the National Scenic Byways Program, including conferences, webinars, and training resources.
America's Byways Vistas, is a bimonthly news magazine with stories about America's Byways. It includes resources such as Universal Design for Byways, an economic impact tool, a byway project database, and a calendar of byway-related events.
The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) issues TE Corner. It has stories about interesting Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects and broader news concerning the TE program. See NTEC publications at www.enhancements.org/publications.asp.
The National Park Service Conservation and Recreation Newsletter informs the public about the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. See the archive. Some recent postings:
The National Park Service (NPS) released A Call to Action, identifying four key themes and 36 actions to ready the agency for its 100th anniversary in 2016. The plan commits the agency to connecting people to parks, strengthening local economies and encouraging organizational innovation within the NPS.
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 http://environment.transportation.org/. See the Recent Developments page.
Active Healthy Transportation Developments shows benefits of bicycling and walking, including news, economics, basic design, and information sharing.
The American Council of Snowmobile Associations newsletter represents snowmobile associations.
The American Recreation Coalition's newsletter provides information about national recreation issues to promote public/private partnerships and to enhance and protect outdoor recreational opportunities and resources. Features include the Partners Outdoors conferences and Great Outdoors Month. See www.funoutdoors.com/taxonomy/view/or/113
American Trails publishes the American Trails Magazine and the Trail Tracks newsletter. American Trails Magazine covers trail news, legislation, and action items; training opportunities; accessibility; success stories, people making a difference, and creative funding ideas; resources for trail planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management; information on products and services; and conferences and events. Trail Tracks is a monthly newsletter with trail information and "Action Alerts". The Magazine and Trail Tracks archives share the same webpage: www.americantrails.org/trailtracks/.
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals represents professionals and advocates whose work relates to walking and bicycling. APBP's newsletter provides valuable information on professional development webinars, transportation policy, conferences, member collaboration groups, and more. See www.apbp.org/.
Equestrian Trails and Conservation Awareness is a website addressing natural resource conservation issues for recreational horse trail riders. See www.etaca.info/.
Equine Land Conservation Resource news is at www.elcr.org/index_newsletters.php. ELCR advances the conservation of land for equine-related activity.
International Mountain Bicycling Association Singletrack eNews addresses issues relating to mountain biking. www.imba.com/news/
League of American Bicyclists: American Bicyclist Update: www.bikeleague.org/members/e-newsletter_archive.php. The newsletters have articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, including national resources and State and local news related to bicycling.
National Center for Bicycling and Walking Centerlines: www.bikewalk.org/newsletter.php. These newsletters have many articles of interest to TE managers and trail interests, especially on planning, policy, funding sources, health, livability, and research, plus links to webinars and other training, and job announcements related to bicycling and walking.
The National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council newsletter has articles relating to off highway vehicle issues. See www.nohvcc.org/Materials/Newsletter.aspx.
The National Wildlife Federation Policy Bulletin has many articles about getting youth outside to enjoy outdoor recreational activity. See www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Get-Outside.aspx.
Outside Magazine had an article What's Right with this Picture? about reaching out to diverse groups of people.
The Partnership for the National Trails System produces the Pathways Across America magazine, focusing on National Scenic and Historic Trails. See www.pnts.org/pathways.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center PBIC Messenger is produced by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center with funding from the Federal Highway Administration. PBIC has resources for training, research, and technical assistance related to walking and bicycling. Sign up at www.pedbikeinfo.org/.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) releases many research reports each week. Some relate to nonmotorized transportation, trails, and transportation enhancements. See the TRB Newsletter. You can subscribe and set settings for your interests.
National Scenic Byways Conference, August 21-24, 2011, Minneapolis, MN.
National Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers, September 21-25, 2011, Bloomington, MN. www.nohvcc.org/Education/Conference/2011ConfPower.aspx
Upcoming Conferences and Events
February 12-15, 2012. The Corps Network National Conference, Washington, DC. http://thecorpsnetwork.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=684&Itemid=247
February 13-16, 2012. Hike the Hill, Trails Advocacy Week, Washington, DC. www.americanhiking.org/
March 20-22, 2012. National Bike Summit, Washington, DC. www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit12/index.php
April 16-19, 2012. National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) Conference, Belle of Baton Route, Baton Rouge, LA. www.narrp.org
May 14-18, 2012. National Historic Trails Workshop, Albuquerque/Socorro, NM.
Focus Areas: Trail Resource and Landscape Preservation and Approaches For Increasing Volunteerism. www.pnts.org
June 2, 2012. National Trails Day (Nationwide). www.americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/
June 5-9, 2012. International Snowmobile Congress, Sturbridge, MA. http://www.sledmass.com/pages.php?id=44
July 12-14, 2012, Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, Lexington KY. www.southeasternequestriantrails.com/
August 21-25, 2012, National Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers Conference, Great Falls, MT. www.nohvcc.org/Education/Conference.aspx
October 10-13, 2012. International Mountain Bicycling Association World Summit, Santa Fe, NM. www.imba.com/world-summit
November 5-9, 2012. National Scenic Trails Workshop, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV. www.pnts.org
See more events at:
From The Onion, November 29, 2000
Report: 98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others
For laughs, but more serious: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCtg7Vj9jIU&feature=youtu.be
For serious thought, especially for Twilight fans: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKglBW54Wkg&feature=youtu.be
Please keep safe! See www.distraction.gov.