SUPPORTING and FUNDING TRAILS
the States to develop and maintain rec- reational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and nonmotorized activities. Trail advocates will find useful examples and documentation of the many benefits of the program across the country, including:
RTP funding and benefits featured in new report
he 2014 Recreational Trails Program Annual Report is now available. The publication highlights the importance of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and its many benefits. The report was produced by
American Trails in partnership with contractor KMS Enterprises, Inc. for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). With full details on program fund- ing, administration, and the RTP Database, the report also illustrates how states use funds with examples of trail projects across the country. It also docu- ments some of the national trends and issues affecting trails. The 2014 Recreational Trails Program
Annual Report covers the period of Federal FY 1993-FY 2013. RTP funding was an essential ingredient in creating and improving over 20,500 trail-related projects nationwide, including urban greenways, nature centers, and horse, hiking, mountain bike, and motorized trails, as well as snow and water routes. The RTP is an assistance program of the FHWA which provides funds to
The report also includes a useful guide to how RTP works. Tables show the amount of funding for each year the program has been in existence, and shows how much each State has allocat- ed to trail projects. Eligible project types are illustrated along with award-winning examples from across the country. Some analysis of the trails funded over the years also yields information about nationwide trends with trail issues and needs.
Read the 2014 Recreational Trails Program Annual Report at www.recreationaltrailsinfo.org
. You can also download a pdf of the full report (59 mb), as well as an Executive Summary of the report (easy to print) at: www.AmericanTrails.org/rtp
Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act
related to the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which pro- vides federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects as well as the Recreational Trails Program.
S Advocates of bicycle and pedestri-
an programs believe that changes to the TAP legislation would make it easier for states and local governments to effi- ciently and effectively access funding.
enators Cochran and Cardin have introduced a bill to amend language
The Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act (TAPIA) would increase local control and state flexibility, while also making minor changes to address implementation issues that have arisen.
The bill (S. 705) was sponsored by Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) with the goal that local governments should have decision- making power over a small amount of federal transportation funding for local transportation priorities, such as bike- ways and sidewalks. S. 705 was intro- duced on March 11, 2015 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Specific results of the bill, according to supporters, would include:
funds are allocated by population, making sure that resources are fairly distributed among rural areas, mid- sized suburban areas, and large met- ropolitan areas.
- eral cost-sharing requirements across the entire program, which will allow lower matching requirements for low- er-resourced communities to be offset by higher matches from larger com- munities within a state.
allow non-profit organizations and small metropolitan planning organi- zations to compete for funds.
extra regulatory hurdles that delay TAP projects, while ensuring that TAP projects are subject to the same regu- latory requirements and safeguards as similar projects built under other highway programs.
American Trails has signed a letter of support for TAPIA which was writ- ten by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the League of American Bicyclists.
For more information on S. 705 and more analysis of the bill, please visit www.AmericanTrails.org/support.html
Keep up to date on funding and legislation supporting trails: www.AmericanTrails.org/support.html
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