Section 4(f) Statement and Determination for Independent Bikeway or Walkway Construction Projects
There is a growing
interest in bicycling and walking for commuting, for recreation, and for
other trip purposes. Where this activity occurs on high-speed roadways,
both safety and efficiency can be impaired because of the mixture of motorized
and nonmotorized modes of travel. Construction of bikeways or pedestrian
walkways can promote safety and will assist in retaining the motor vehicle
carrying capacity of the highway while enhancing bicycle capacity.
The United States
Congress recognized the importance of bicycle and pedestrian travel by
including special provisions for these modes in the Federal-Aid Highway
Act of 1973, Public Law 93-87. Section 124 of this Act (amended Title
23, U.S. Code, by adding Section 217) contained the following principal
(1) Federal funds
available for the construction of preferential facilities to serve pedestrians
and bicyclists are those apportioned in accordance with paragraphs (1),
(2), (3), and (6) of Section 104(b), 23 U.S.C., and those authorized for
Forest highways, Forest development roads and trails, public land development
roads and trails, park roads and trails, parkways, Indian reservation
roads, and public land highways.
(2) Not more than
$40 million (amended to $45 million by Section 134 of the Federal-Aid
Highway Act of 1976) apportioned in any fiscal year for purposes described
in the preceding paragraph may be obligated for bicycle projects and pedestrian
(3) No State shall
obligate more than $2 million (amended to $2.5 million by Section 134
of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976) of Federal-aid funds for such
projects in any fiscal year.
(4) Such projects
shall be located and designed pursuant to an overall plan which will provide
due consideration for safety and contiguous routes.
The funding limitations
described in (2) and (3) above are applicable only to independent bikeway
or walkway construction projects.
or walkway construction projects are those highway construction projects
which provide bicycle or pedestrian facilities in contrast to a project
whose primary purpose is to serve motorized vehicles. The requirements
for qualification of proposed bikeway or walkway facilities as independent
bikeway or walkway construction projects are contained in Volume 6, Chapter
1, Section 1, Subsection 1, of the Federal-Aid Highway Program Manual
* (the Federal -aid Highway Program Manuals were replaced by the Federal-aid
Program Guide which includes selected verbatum sections of the CFR),
codified as Part 652 of Chapter 1 of Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations
The bikeways and
walkways will be designed and constructed in a manner suitable to the
site conditions and the anticipated extent of usage. In general, a bikeway
will be designed with an alignment and profile suitable for bicycle use
with a surface that will be reasonably durable that incorporates drainage
as necessary, and that is of a width appropriate for the planned one-way
or two-way use.
The facilities will
be accessible to the users or will form a segment located and designed
pursuant to an overall plan.
Projects may include
the acquisition of land outside the right-of-way, provided the facility
will accommodate traffic which would have normally used a Federal-aid
highway route, disregarding any legal prohibitions on the use of the route
by cyclists or pedestrians.
It is required that
a public agency be responsible for maintenance of the federally funded
bikeway or walkway. No motorized vehicles will be permitted on the facilities
except those for maintenance purposes and snowmobiles where stateor local
This negative declaration/preliminary
Section 4(f) document is only applicable for independent bikeway or walkway
construction projects which require the use of recreation and park areas
established and maintained primarily for active recreation, open space,
and similar purposes. Additionally, this document is applicable only when
the official having specific jurisdiction over the Section 4(f) property
has given his approval in writing that the project is acceptable and consistent
with the designated use of the property and that all possible planning
to minimize harm has been accomplished in the location and design of the
bikeway or walkway facility. This document does not apply if the project
would require the use of critical habitat of endangered species.
This document does
not cover the use of any land from a publicly owned wildlife or waterfowl
refuge or any land from a historic site of national, State, or local significance.
It also does not cover those projects where there are unusual circumstances
(major impacts, adverse effects, or controversy). A separate Section 4(f)
statement and environmental document must be prepared in these categories.
This document does
not cover bicycle or pedestrian facilities that are incidental items of
construction in conjunction with highway improvements having the primary
purpose of serving motor vehicular traffic.
The primary purpose
for the development of independent bikeway and walkway projects is to
provide a facility for traffic which would have normally used a Federal-aid
highway route. In some cases, the bikeway and walkway projects can serve
a dual function by also providing for recreational use. Where this situation
occurs, artificially routing a bikeway or walkway around a compatible
park area is not a prudent alternative because it would decrease the recreational
value of the bikeway or walkway.
The written approval
of the official having specific jurisdiction over the Section 4(f) property
and construction authorization by FHWA will confirm that all possible
planning to minimize harm has been accomplished in the location and design
of the bikeway or walkway facility.
Noise and air quality
will not be affected by bicycles. There would be increase in the noise
level if snowmobiles are permitted. However, this would likely occur at
a time when other uses of the recreational facilities will be minimal.
on water quality will be minimal. Erosion control measures will be used
through the construction period. A certain amount of land will be removed
from other uses. The type of land and uses will vary from project to project.
However, due to the narrow crosssection of the bikeways and walkways,
a minimal amount of land will be required for the individual projects.
The projects will be blended into the existing terrain to reduce any visual
Displacement of families
and businesses will not be required.
No significant adverse
social or economic impacts are anticipated. There will be beneficial impacts
such as the enhancement of the recreational potential of the parks and
the provision of an alternate mode of transportation for the commuter.
Comments and Coordination
A draft of this negative
declaration/Section 4(f) statement was published in the Federal Register
(42 F.R. 15394), March 21, 1977, inviting interested persons to comment.
The majority of the letters received were favorable and recommended approval
of the document.
The document was
also circulated to the Departments of the Interior (DOI), Housing and
Urban Development (HUD), and Agriculture. Comments were received from
DOI and HUD and are included in the appendix along with our responses.
will be coordinated at the earliest feasible time with all responsible
local officials, including the State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officer.
The use of properties acquired or developed with Federal monies from the
Land and Water Conservation Fund will also be coordinated with the Bureau
of Outdoor Recreation of DOI.
If HUD Community
Development Block Grant Funds are used in conjunction with Federal Highway
Administration Funds, HUD environmental review procedures set forth in
24 CFR, Section 58, are applicable.
Based on the above
and on the scope of these bikeway and walkway projects, it is determined
that they will not have a significant effect upon the quality of the human
environment. It is also our determination that (1) there is no feasible
and prudent alternative to the use of Section 4(f) lands, and (2) the
conditions for approval will insure that the bikeway proposals will include
all possible planning to minimize harm resulting from such use.
Date: May 23,
1977 /Original signed by/ Les Lamm For William M. Cox Federal Highway
States Department of the Interior
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
refer to: (ER-77/105)
MAR 21, 1977
Dear Mr. Lash:
This is in response
to your February, 1977 request for the Department of the Interior comments
on the proposed Negative Declaration/Section 4(f) statement for Independent
Bikeway or Walkway Construction Projects.
We are pleased that
the proposed document responds to a number of the comments made in our
letter of June 25, 1976, on the Bikeway Demonstration Program. We note
that the present document is not applicable to the use of land from a
publicly owned wildlife or waterfowl refuge or any land from a historic
site, nor is it applicable if the project would require the use of critical
habitat of endangered species. We note further that the document applies
only to the use of recreation and park areas established and maintained
primarily for active recreation, open space, and similar purposes.
We concur with these
limitations on the application of the proposed Negative Declaration/Section
4(f) statement. However, we wish to again express our opinion that the
proposed document not be applicable to: (1)
1. Significant wetlands;
2. Unique ecological
areas set aside for the preservation, interpretation, or scientific study
of plant and animal communities, e.g., Registered Natural Landmarks and
Registered Environmental Education Landmarks.
3. Play areas for
small children (tot lots, etc..); and
4. Small park areas
where the bikeway or walkway may use a significant portion of the available
space (vest-pocket parks, etc.,).
We are also pleased
that the document makes provision for early coordination with all responsible
local officials, including the State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officer,
and the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (BOR) when Land and Water Conservation
Fund grants are involved. We suggest, however, that you may wish to coordinate
all projects of this type with the appropriate Regional Office of BOR
for the technical assistance they can provide on bikeways and walkways.
According to our
calculations, a funding level of $45,000,000 for these bikeways and walkways
would amount to somewhere between 1,800 and 4,500 miles of trail per year.
This would directly remove from all other use (including use by flora
and fauna) roughly 1,000 to 6,800 acres per year. This impact should be
addressed in the proposed negative declaration. (3)
Thank you for the
opportunity to review this proposed document.
/original signed by/ (unknown) Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior
(at the time)
Mr. Michael Lash
Director of Environmental Policy
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Washington, D. C. 20590
Responses to the Department of the Interior
Letter of March 21, 1977
- (1) We believe the Application section is adequate
to cover those cases where there are unusual circumstances such as major
impacts or adverse effects. The key point is that the official having
specific jurisdiction over the Section 4(f) property has to agree that
the project is acceptable and consistent with the designated use of
the property, and that the location and design have been accomplished
in a manner that will not cause harm to the property.
- (2) The FHWA Division Administrator and the
local officials will have the option of requesting additional coordination
with the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation on all bikeway and walkway projects.
- (3) The use of land for the bikeways and walkways
has been addressed in the Summary section. However, it should be understood
that this document is for individual projects and was not prepared to
address the impacts of the entire bikeway program.
(Letter) DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20410
FEB 15 1977
Office of the Assistant Secretary
For community Planning and Development (CSR)
Mr. Michael Lash
Director of Environmental Policy
Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Nassif Building - Room 3234
Washington, D. C. 20590
Dear Mr. Lash:
Thank you for providing this Office with the opportunity
to review and comment on the proposed draft negative declaration/Section
4(f) for the construction of independent bikeways and pedestrian walkways.
While your negative declaration proposal will reduce processing time,
we propose for your consideration the following recommendations:
- 1. Under the caption Application insert the
following before the last sentence in the first paragraph: The project
must be in accord with a unified and officially coordinated program
for the development of open space land as part of local and area wide
comprehensive planning. (1)
2. Under the caption Application add the following
to the second paragraph: If unusual natural or manmade conditions
exist in the proposed project area which might be deleteriously affected
by the proposed bikeway or pedestrian walkway, then a Section 4(f)
and an environmental impact statement shall be prepared for the project.
3. Under the caption Coordination, second
paragraph add the following: If HUD Community Development Block Grant
(CDBG) funds are used by applicants in conjunction with Section 124
funds, HUD environmental review procedures set forth in 24 CFR Section
58 are, applicable. The CDBG program permits the use of funds for
the construction of certain public works in conjunction with recreational
Sincerely yours, /Original signed by/ Richard H. Brown
Director, Office of Environmental Quality
Responses to the Department of Housing
and Urban Development Letter of February 15, 1977
(1) We do not believe it is necessary to add this sentence
to the Application section since this is already a Federal-aid qualification
requirement. (See 23 CFR, Part 652.)
(2) This provision has been added to the Application
(3) The Coordination section has been expanded to include