Connecting Communities: Transportation and Recreation Networks

This presentation will provide a broad overview of Federal Highway Administration goals, programs, resources, and funding.

by Christopher Douwes, Community Planner, Federal Highway Administration


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides stewardship over the construction, maintenance, and preservation of the Nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels, including trails. FHWA also conducts research and provides technical assistance to State and local agencies to improve safety, mobility, and livability, and to encourage innovation. Trails can help integrate the transportation and recreation network.

FHWA has published several reports to help States and communities achieve safe, accessible, comfortable, and connected multimodal networks. Several publications highlight ways that planners and designers can apply the design flexibility found in national design guidelines to address common design challenges and barriers and reduce multimodal conflicts. Other publications help guide the project development process. FHWA’s goal is to help communities provide safe, comfortable, and attractive options for people of all ages and abilities.

Learning Objectives:
  • Describe how planners and designers can apply design flexibility found in current national design guidance to address common roadway design challenges and barriers to achieve connected networks so that walking and bicycling are safe, comfortable, and attractive options for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Describe equity and accessibility for all users and identify project examples that demonstrate best practices for pedestrian planning and design.
  • Describe FHWA resources that will help trail practitioners plan, design, and develop trail projects that benefit transportation and recreation.

About the Author

Christopher Douwes is a Community Planner with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in Washington DC. He has managed the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) since 1992, Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities since 2003, Transportation Alternatives (TA) since 2012, and has assisted with Bicycle and Pedestrian Activities since 1992. He manages contracts for research, technology development, technical assistance, and training for trail-related activities., Christopher received his Masters of Science in Transportation from Northwestern University in 1990.

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