[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 127 (Friday, July 2, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38605-38606]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-15949]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative 
Research Program (STEP)

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Section 5207 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) established 
the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative 
Research Program (STEP). The FHWA anticipates that the STEP or a 
similar program to provide resources for national research on issues 
related to planning, environment, and realty will be included in future 
surface transportation legislation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the FHWA 
expects to seek partnerships that can leverage limited research funding 
in the STEP with other stakeholders and partners in order to increase 
the total amount of resources available to meet the Nation's surface 
transportation research needs.
    The purpose of this notice is to announce revisions to the STEP 
implementation strategy for FY 2011 and to request suggested lines of 
research for the FY 2011 STEP via the STEP Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/step/index.htm in anticipation of future surface 
transportation legislation.

DATES: Suggestions for lines of research should be submitted to the 
STEP Web site on or before September 30, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Felicia Young, Office of Interstate 
and Border Planning, (202) 366-1263, Felicia.young@dot.gov; or Grace 
Reidy, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-6226; Federal Highway 
Administration,

[[Page 38606]]

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are 
from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this notice may be downloaded from the Office 
of the Federal Register's home page at http://www.archives.gov and the 
Government Printing Office's Web site at http://www.access.gpo.gov.

Background

    Section 5207 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 
109-59, Aug. 10, 2005), established the Surface Transportation 
Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program, in section 507 
of Title 23, United States Code. The FHWA anticipates that the STEP or 
a similar program to provide resources for national research on issues 
related to planning, environment, and realty will be included in future 
surface transportation legislation. The general objective of the STEP 
is to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface 
transportation, planning, and the environment.
    The SAFETEA-LU provided $16.875 million per year for FY 2006-2009 
to implement this cooperative research program. Due to obligation 
limitations, recissions, and congressional designation of Title V 
Research in SAFETEA-LU, on average $14.5 million of the $16.875 million 
authorized was available each fiscal year. We anticipate similar 
funding levels in the next authorization.
    The STEP is the primary source of funds for FHWA to conduct 
research and develop tools and technologies to advance the state of the 
practice regarding national surface transportation and environmental 
decisionmaking. In FY 2011, the FHWA expects to seek partnerships that 
can leverage limited research funding in the STEP with other 
stakeholders and partners in order to increase the total amount of 
resources available to meet the nation's surface transportation 
research needs.
    The FY 2011 STEP will support the implementation of a national 
research agenda that includes:
    (1) Conducting research to develop climate change mitigation, 
adaptation and livability strategies;
    (2) Developing and/or supporting accurate models and tools for 
evaluating transportation measures and developed indicators of 
economic, social, and environmental performance of transportation 
systems to facilitate alternative analysis;
    (3) Developing and deploying research to address congestion 
reduction efforts;
    (4) Developing transportation safety planning strategies for 
surface transportation systems and improvements;
    (5) Improving planning, operation, and management of surface 
transportation systems and rights of way;
    (6) Enhancing knowledge of strategies to improve transportation in 
rural areas and small communities;
    (7) Strengthening and advancing State/local and tribal capabilities 
regarding surface transportation and the environment;
    (8) Improving transportation decisionmaking and coordination across 
borders;
    (9) Improving state of the practice regarding the impact of 
transportation on the environment;
    (10) Conducting research to promote environmental streamlining/
stewardship and sustainability;
    (11) Disseminating research results and advances in state of the 
practice through peer exchanges, workshops, conferences, etc;
    (12) Meeting additional priorities as determined by the Secretary; 
and
    (13) Refining the scope and research emphases through active 
outreach and in consultation with stakeholders.
    The FHWA is issuing this notice to: (1) To announce revisions to 
the STEP Implementation Strategy for the FY 2011 STEP in anticipation 
of future surface transportation legislation, and (2) to solicit 
comments on proposed research activities to be undertaken in the FY 
2011 STEP via the STEP Web site. The STEP Implementation Strategy was 
revised to: Update information on the graph and chart regarding 
historical planning and environment research funding, and to add 
information about proposed FY 2011 STEP including proposed funding 
levels, goals, and potential research activities.
    We invite the public to visit this Web site to obtain additional 
information on the STEP, as well as information on the process for 
forwarding comments to the FHWA regarding the STEP implementation plan. 
The URL for the STEP Web site is:
    The FHWA will use this Web site as a major mechanism for informing 
the public regarding the status of the STEP.

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 507.

    Issued on: June 21, 2010.
Victor M. Mendez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2010-15949 Filed 7-1-10; 8:45 am]
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