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) posted information related to planning requirements and their relationship to requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The information contained within the questions and answers is a reiteration of existing FHWA policy, current statues, and regulation. The information clarifies when a final NEPA approval (Categorical Exclusion, Record of Decision, or Finding of No Significant Impact) can be made in relation to specific transportation planning and air quality conformity regulations, with a particular emphasis on fiscal constraint. See:
Bicycle and Pedestrian and Trail Resources
FHWA added web pages for Bicycle Facilities and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and a presentation on Bicycle Path Entry Control. FHWA revised its web pages for Shared Use Paths Along Freeways and Bicycles on Freeways and Equestrian and Other Nonmotorized Use on Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities to incorporate new resources and links. See:
FHWA Approvals of Patented and Proprietary Products
FHWA developed a database of more than 1,000 Public Interest Findings (PIFs) for FHWA-approved patented and proprietary products. The data can be filtered by Tracking Number, State, Basis of Approval, Product/Material, Product/Material Category, and PIF Extent.
Shared Use Paths
The US Access Board announced its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Accessibility Guidelines for Shared Use Paths. The Board is requesting public comment on the draft definition of “shared use paths” and on the draft technical provisions. Additional information is requested through specific questions included in the notice. Public comment will help to shape the next step in the rulemaking process, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Submit comments by June 27, 2011. See:
Power-Driven Mobility Devices
On March 15, 2011, Department of Justice (DOJ) revised rules went into effect allowing “other power-driven mobility devices” to be used by individuals with mobility disabilities. American Trail posted a summary explaining what this means for sidewalks, trails, and shared use paths: www.americantrails.org/resources/accessible/power-mobility-questions-answers.html. It includes a webinar to explain the new rule. TE Managers, RTP Administrators, and trail managers should become familiar with this new rule.
Although not developed for accessibility purposes, FHWA’s Framework for Considering Motorized Use on Nonmotorized Trails and Pedestrian Walkways under 23 U.S.C. § 217 provides a possible format to consider whether or not “other power-driven mobility devices” may be acceptable on otherwise nonmotorized trails and sidewalks.
The America's Great Outdoors Initiative final report, A Promise to Future Generations, was released on February 16, 2011. This report provides goals and recommendations for the Administration’s conservation agenda. It reflects ideas on how to reconnect people with America’s lands, waters, and natural and cultural treasures, and it builds on the conservation successes in communities across the nation. It reports onimpacts that conservation has on our economy and jobs, including recreation, tourism, economic redevelopment, and public health.
The US Department of Health and Human Services released the Let’s Move! Toolkit for Local Officials to encourage mayors and elected officials to adopt a long-term, sustainable, and holistic approach to fight childhood obesity. This resource encourages communities to consider Transportation Enhancement, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails Program funds. See http://www.letsmove.gov/.
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 #7 extended SAFETEA-LU through September 30, 2011.
The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) released a plan for surface transportation authorization with its Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget. Relevant documents include:
A proposed Livability Program would combine several current DOT programs, including the Transportation Enhancement Activities and Recreational Trails Program. In the Federal Highway Administration (PDF 1.5 MB) section, see pages III-51 through III-57 (pages 73 – 79 of the PDF).
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a report, Funding and Financing Solutions for Surface Transportation in the Coming Decade, in February 2011 to offer options to meet revenue needs. See www.transportation-finance.org/featured_resources/.
FY 2011 Apportionments
FHWA issued Notice N4510.732, Apportionment of Funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Pursuant to the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, as Amended. This Notice has FY 2011 apportionments through September 30, 2011. It does not have apportionments for the TE activities because final TE figures require calculations from the FY 2011 Appropriations Act. Final and supplemental information should be available “soon”. See FHWA Notices, including apportionments, rescissions, and directives, at www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/. Click on for the most recent Notices.
FHWA posts RTP and TE apportionment and obligation tables:
FHWA Discretionary Grant Announcements
FHWA announced the solicitation of 11 discretionary grant programs. Applications are due to FHWA Division Offices by June 3, 2011. FHWA Division Offices Contact information is at www.fhwa.dot.gov/about/field.cfm. TE and RTP interests should especially note:
Community Transformation Grants (CTGs)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the availability of $100 million to support Community Transformation Grants, created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The funding is available to support evidence- and practice-based community and clinical prevention and wellness strategies that will lead to specific, measurable health outcomes to reduce chronic disease rates. CDC will be holding conference calls for those interested in applying. The Letters of Intent are due to CDC on Monday, June 6, 2011. The call-in information for the various time zones is at the Community Transformation Grants website.
2011 Kodak American Greenways Award
The Eastman Kodak Company, The Conservation Fund, and the National Geographic Society team up each year to present the Kodak American Greenways Awards Program. One element of the Program involves “seed” grant awards to organizations that are growing our nation’s network of greenways, blueways, trails, and natural areas. This year’s application deadline is June 15th. Most grants range from $500 to $1,000. The maximum grant is $2,500. See the application at http://grants.conservationfund.org.
Other Grant Opportunities
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking’s CenterLines newsletter often has announcements about grant opportunities related to nonmotorized transportation.
Recreational Trails Program Achievement Awards: The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) will announce its 2011 Annual Achievement Awards in recognition of the outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds in June 2011, during the annual Great Outdoors Week celebration. See www.americantrails.org/awards/CRTawards.html#awards.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) launched Walk Friendly Communities (WFC), a national recognition program to encourage towns and cities across the United States to establish or recommit to a high priority for safe walking. The WFC program recognizes communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access, and comfort. The PBIC announced 11 Walk Friendly Communities in April 2011. The application process for the next round has a deadline of June 15, 2011. Communities can use the Walk Friendly Communities assessment tool to get familiar with the program and begin preparing their responses. See www.walkfriendly.org/.
USDOT Livability Research Cluster: The US Department of Transportation has Livability Research resources.
The Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) provided funds to four communities: Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis Area, MN; and Sheboygan County, WI; to demonstrate how improved walking and bicycling networks can increase rates of walking and bicycling. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/ntpp/, including the FY 2011 Update.
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 TRB Joint Subcommittee on Health and Transportation seeks research papers and poster presentations on the connections between health and transportation. The purpose is to expand and improve current understanding and evaluation of the health impacts of Federal, State, regional, and local transportation policies, procedures and actions. Papers may encompass wide-ranging impacts and issues related to health. Papers must be submitted before August 1, 2011. TRB paper specifications are at www.trb.org/GetInvolvedwithTRB/Public/GetInvolvedSubmitaPaper.aspx.
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 website, see http://environment.transportation.org/, and search under Research News. See examples at http://environment.transportation.org/research_news/nchrp.aspx.
TRB's NCHRP Synthesis 414: Effective Delivery of Small-Scale Federal-Aid Projects examines streamlined methods for meeting Federal funding requirements for small-scale highway projects.
The National Association of Realtors released the results of its 2011 Community Preferences Survey, which explores Americans’ wants regarding neighborhood characteristics such as proximity to parks and shopping, walkability, and commuting time, and the trade-offs in home type and size that people may be willing to accept in order to obtain those neighborhood preferences. See www.realtor.org/government_affairs/smart_growth/survey.
The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) is posting chapters of Best Practices in Recreation Resource Planning. In March and April 2011, NARRP posted Chapter 6 (GIS Applications), Chapter 7 (Estimating Recreation Demand), and Chapter 8 (Estimating Recreation Supply) at www.narrp.org. NARRP is working on the next set of chapters (9 through 15) for the best practices planning book. The 2010 NARRP Annual Report is also available.
The Florida Office of Greenways and Trails has information on the Economic Benefits of Trails, including information from a webinar, an economic impact study, and a developer brochure. See www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/economic/economic.htm.
The Corps Network has an Inclusion Toolkit to help youth service and conservation corps include people with disabilities in their work. The concepts are transferable to other kinds of groups and organizations.
The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO provides content on environmental topics related to transportation, see http://environment.transportation.org/. Topics include:
The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program of the National Park Service provides staff who can guide communities in conserving waterways, preserving open space, and developing trails and greenways. See www.nps.gov/ncrc/programs/rtca/index.htm. The RTCA is accepting applications for FY 2012 Technical Assistance; the deadline is August 1, 2011.
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.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) hosted a webinar featuring the recently published Practitioner's Handbook 12, "Assessing Indirect Effects and Cumulative Impacts Under NEPA." The Handbook and associated reference materials are at http://environment.transportation.org/center/products_programs/practitioners_handbooks.aspx.
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 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/.
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 has free public webinars to encourage safe walking and bicycling for transportation and physical activity. To register for this and other upcoming webinars and to access archived presentations, see www.walkinginfo.org/webinars/.
The Rain Garden Initiative hosted a webinar on Green Streets as a Community Revitalization Strategy. See www.raingardeninitiative.org/infrastructure.html. Some of these locations incorporated TE-funded projects.
The US Forest Service Trail Fundamentals reference materials and training documents include five key concepts that are cornerstones of Forest Service trail management: Trail Type, Trail Class, Managed Use, Designed Use, and Trail Design Parameters. Trail Fundamentals are identified for individual trails and documented as part of Trail Management Objectives. See www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trail-management/trail-fundamentals/.
Tread Lightly!, Inc. updated its Online Awareness Course on outdoor ethics and how to minimize impacts in the outdoors. See www.treadlightly.org/, and look under Education.
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].
FHWA established a Livability Initiative Website: www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/, to provide information on the FHWA Livability Initiative and to provide updates on the HUD/DOT/EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
FHWA Local Public Agency Website: FHWA developed a Local Public Agency (LPA) website to assist LPA and State Transportation Agency officials in the administration and oversight of Federal-aid funded projects. The site offers reference, contact, and training information, and other aids to assist public officials in meeting Federal-aid program and project requirements. See www.fhwa.dot.gov/federalaid/lpa/index.cfm.
FHWA’s Environmental Quarterly Newsletter has useful information related to transportation and the environment. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/environment/publications.cfm.
FHWA’s Pedestrian Forum Newsletter has useful information related to pedestrian safety. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pedforum/. There are links to training and safety materials.
FHWA Resource Center’s Centered on Service Newsletter has useful articles on a variety of transportation topics. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/cos/.
FHWA’s Transportation Planning Newsletter has a variety of transportation planning news items. www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/planning/publications.cfm.
America’s Byways Bulletin, www.bywaysonline.org/program/bulletin/, has information related to the National Scenic Byways Program, including conferences 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. Additional NTEC publications are 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 Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBR): USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBR 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska — the first official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be established since 1982. AASHTO approval of these new routes is a step toward creating an official U.S. Bicycle Route System. See www.adventurecycling.org/routes/nbrn/usbikewaysystem.cfm.
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.
The American Council of Snowmobile Associations newsletter represents snowmobile associations.
The American Hiking Society’s Paperless Trail provides information on hiking resources and National Trails Day. See www.americanhiking.org/News-Room/ to sign up.
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. http://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. The May 9, 2011 issue announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations to kick off National Bike Month.
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/.
The National Wildlife Federation Policy Bulletin has many articles about the Let’s Move Outside Initiative and getting youth outside to enjoy outdoor recreational activity. See www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Get-Outside.aspx.
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 Partnership is searching for original articles related to National Scenic and Historic Trails in the following topic areas:
Please contact Julia Glad at PNTSCommunications@gmail.com if you would like to submit an article for a future issue of 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.
The League of American Bicyclists posted information from its 2011 National Bike Summit at www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit11/index.php. The League also announced the Bicycle Friendly University designations and Bicycle Friendly Businesses.
Conferences and Events Coming Soon
June 1-4, 2011. International Snowmobile Congress, Calgary, Alberta. Organized by the American Council of Snowmobile Associations with cosponsorship from FHWA’s Recreational Trails Program. The ISC brings together snowmobile and groomer manufacturers, leaders of snowmobile organizations, grassroots snowmobilers, snowmobile administrators, government representatives, and other people interested in snowmobiling. State and Federal staff with snowmobile program responsibilities may attend the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators meeting: see www.snowiasa.org/.
June 4, 2011. The American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day will bring together outdoor enthusiasts for the 19th annual celebration of America’s magnificent trail system. Events will take place around the country including trail maintenance, hiking, paddling, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, running, trail celebrations, and more! The theme for National Trails Day 2011, Made With All Natural Ingredients, encourages all Americans to get outside, connect with local outdoor clubs, businesses, community groups, and parks and recreation departments as well as Federal land managing agencies to experience, appreciate, and celebrate the natural places where we can find a spread of scenery, a plateful of peace, and a heap of happiness and health. See www.americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/.
June 17, 2011. The National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP) is hosting it's quarterly meeting in Arlington, VA. NTTP is an alliance of federal and state agencies, organizations, colleges, and businesses working to publicize trail training programs and providers and promote cooperation on training efforts. Led by American Trails, NTTP also hosts an online clearinghouse of training and a wealth of technical resources. We invite anyone interested to join us at the next Partnership meeting in Washington DC.
July 21-23, 2011. Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference, Auburn, AL. Organized by the Alabama Horse Council with cosponsorship from FHWA’s Recreational Trails Program. SETC brings together people concerned about the future of the natural and cultural heritage of the equestrian trail experience.
August 16-18, 2011. 3rd Safe Routes to School National Conference, Minneapolis, MN. Presented by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Transportation professionals, SRTS advocates, program representatives, elected officials and community members will connect with colleagues to discuss ideas, resources, projects and noteworthy practices to enhance work that is creating healthier kids and communities.
August 21-24, 2011. 2011 National Scenic Byways Conference, Minneapolis, MN. Presented by the America’s Byways Resource Center. The theme is: Livability. Sustainability. Responsibility. The conference will cover the latest ideas in Byway Organization, Finances, Visitor Experience and Corridor Management.
September 22-25, 2011. National Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers Conference, Bloomington, MN. Organized by the National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council with cosponsorship from FHWA’s Recreational Trails Program.
October 2-5, 2011. Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference, Fort Wayne, IN. This conference brings together professionals, advocates and trail users from the states of OH, KY, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN and IA who are working together to create a growing network of greenways and trails linking people and places together.
October 19-22, 2011. National Preservation Conference, Buffalo, NY. Organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
November 1-3, 2011. National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, Atlanta, GA. www.nrpa.org/Congress2011/.
See more events at:
For Careers: See information about careers within the Federal Highway Administration at www.fhwa.dot.gov/careers/.
For Thoughts: Perils for Pedestrians: Deputy Transportation Secretary John D Porcari discusses Transportation Enhancements and interagency collaboration in a 5 minute interview. See www.blip.tv/file/4777154. It is the first item after the intro footage, starting at the 1:00 minute mark.
For Laughs: The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) listserv occasionally receives humorous postings. Here is a bicycle-related posting entitled “Human Trafficking Ring in Downtown SF Preys on Unsuspecting Cyclists“.http://missionmission.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/human-trafficking-ring-in-downtown-sf-preys-on-unsuspecting-cyclists/