Connecting Communities

Integrating Transportation and Recreation Networks

This webinar explored how to integrate transportation and recreation infrastructure. This webinar was also a concurrent session at the 2017 International Trails Symposium.

Presented by:

Event Details

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September 21, 2017

10:30 AM to 12:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits are NOT available for this webinar.

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Webinar Outline

This presentation demonstrates how to integrate transportation and recreation infrastructure. It describes a process in Columbus, Ohio, to assess transportation and recreation facilities for connectivity. It also describes several FHWA publications that highlight ways that planners and designers can apply the design flexibility found in national design guidelines to address common design challenges and barriers. These publications focus on reducing multimodal conflicts and achieving connected networks, so that walking and bicycling are safe, comfortable, and attractive options for people of all ages and abilities.


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published several guidance memos and reports in 2015 through 2017 to help communities achieve safe, accessible, comfortable, and connected multimodal networks. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how and why it may be appropriate to connect communities through an integration of transportation and recreational trail facilities.


The participant will be able to:

  • Describe how planners and designers can use their skills and available resources to demonstrate how trails can help achieve connected networks, and describe specific project types that demonstrate best practices for connecting communities.
  • Describe key factors to consider when assessing communities for connectivity.
  • Describe specific publications that provide information on planning and design flexibility.


Participants will be able to describe Federal surface transportation policy and design guidelines related to trails and nonmotorized transportation. They will identify processes to develop solutions to help communities achieve safe, accessible, comfortable, and connected multimodal networks. They will be able to recognize and evaluate planning and design sources that they can use to prepare nonmotorized transportation plans and construct projects that connect communities.


Webinar Partners


Christopher Douwes, Community Planner, Federal Highway Administration
Washington, District of Columbia

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 activities since 2003, Transportation Alternatives 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 and bicycle and pedestrian-related activities. Christopher received his Masters of Science in Transportation from Northwestern University in 1990.


Laura Toole, Planning and Environmental Specialist, Federal Highway Administration

Laura Toole is a Planning and Environmental Specialist in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Ohio Division. She manages the Bicycle and Pedestrian and Recreational Trails Programs, as well as serving as the liaison to five Ohio Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) and the point of contact for MPO transportation performance management and integration of safety into the planning process. Laura has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Industrial Engineering with a focus on Human Factors Engineering from Virginia Tech.


Closed Captioning

We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.


While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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2,321 views • posted 11/16/2017