THE RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM (RTP)- -was part of the landmark authorizing legislation ISTEA* in 1991. The RTP was created when bicycle/pedestrian organizations and motorized recreation advocates and other interested parties expressed their vision that transportation was more... -was part of the landmark authorizing legislation ISTEA* in 1991. The RTP was created when bicycle/pedestrian organizations and motorized recreation advocates and other interested parties expressed their vision that transportation was more...
...than just automobiles and multi-lane highways.
TEA-21*... with the RTP …with the RTP included within the Act. included within the Act. Six years later new authorizing legislation was enacted…
But at the beginning of the 21 st century another reauthorization was needed: SAFETEA-LU.
“But all I wanted to do is get funding for trails…” “But you must read the fine print…”
The FHWA determines how much funding is available for each state for some programs by a formula. To distribute funding in this manner is know as “apportionment”. Each state, for each of the six years in the authorizing legislation, is apportioned RTP funding. These amounts are available on the FHWA website.
“So that’s how much funding is available?” “Ah, ah, ah - read the fine print…”
In most states the Recreational Trails Program will NOT be administered by the state DOT...
…but more than likely by an organization such as the state department or division of natural resources.
So the funding received by the state DOT will more than likely be subjected to what is known as “Obligation Limitation”.
Basically obligation limitation means that the state DOT may not be able to utilize a percentage of the apportioned funding for the RTP program.
The state DOT may also extract administrative fees from the overall total available before passing the funding to another agency.
So the amount of funding for projects may vary widely from what the state DOT seems to receive and what is actually available at the administrating agency.
Whatis It ? What is It ? The RTP is a reimbursable grant program that: May be used for motorized or non- motorized recreational trails.May be used for motorized or non- motorized recreational trails. Utilizes 80/20 reimbursementUtilizes 80/20 reimbursement Allows in kind services, volunteer labor, and donated materials to be used as matchAllows in kind services, volunteer labor, and donated materials to be used as match
Motorized OR Non-motorized ? 30%30% of our available fund MUST be for motorized trail projects 30%30% of our available funds MUST be for non-motorized trail projects 40%40% of our funds MAY be for multi-use motorized or multi-use non-motorized trail projects or innovative joint use by motorized and non-motorized.
To contact the RTP Administrator in your State, check the listing on the FHWA website:
WEST VIRGINIA www.wvdot.com Bill Robinson, Community Development Specialist West Virginia Dept of Transportation Division of Highways Rm 863 State Capitol Complex Building 5 1900 Kanawha Blvd East Charleston WV 25305-0430 304-558-3165; Fax 304-558-3783 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wvdot.com email@example.com http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/rtpstate.htm
FHWA - Recreational Trails Program http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/index.htm FHWA Contact Christopher B. Douwes Trails and Enhancements Program Manager Federal Highway Administration HEPN-50 Rm 3240 400 Seventh St SW Washington DC 20590 Phone: 202-366-5013 Fax: 202-366-3409 Christopher B. Douwes
The West Virginia Division of Highways allows non-profit organizations to apply to the RTP. To ensure their non-profit status, they must be registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State.
Partnering with a non-profit entity can be very beneficial to a federal grant sponsor. The RTP only allows 95% of total funding of a particular project to be federal funds. Therefore, a federal agency with an RTP grant must find a source of non-federal funding.
The West Fork Rail Trail trailhead project at Glady, West Virginia is a good example. The US Forest Service partnered with the West Virginia Rails to Trails Council to sponsor this RTP project. West Virginia Rails to Trails Council provided the entire 20% match, thereby completely avoiding 95%/5% federal/other funding ratio problems.
The US Forest Service partnered again with non-profit organizations to fund maintenance to trails in the Dolly Sods area of the Monongahela National Forest. The West Virginia Highland Conservancy and Trout Unlimited both provided match funding for the project.
Non-profit organizations can also be valuable sources of in-kind labor. In this picture, a Girl Scout troop is helping to construct a trail in White Park in Morgantown, West Virginia.
The problems in partnering with a non profit organization may be: Long term vision/sustainability problems Lack of “deep pockets” Lack of procurement procedures Hard to keep in contact with May not meet conventional project schedules May have “loose” organizational structure May have members that are “outspoken”. Holy 501C3, Batman!!!
Lubeck VFD Community Park Trail Roadside Trail – Cooper’s Rock State Forest Rock Wall Trail Allegheny Trail Shelter