Monday, October 19, 2009

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces America's Byways Designations for 2009

Scenic America has always maintained a close working relationship with the National Scenic Byways Program, and we're happy to announce that a new round of scenic byways designations have been granted.

Click here to read the official release.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Benefits of Context Sensitive Solutions

The Transportation Research Board has released the important new report "Quantifying the Benefits of Context Sensitive Solutions."

Scenic America was an influential organization in establishing the CSS movement to have engineers and planners rethink design. By thinking beyond the pavement and an almost exclusive focus on design speed, CSS incorporates flexibility and greater stakeholder involvement in order to acheive designs that are in harmony with the aesthetic, community and natural environment.

Now that the movement has matured, research has been able to to confirm that utilizing CSS acheives better results and increased lasting value for communities. The TRB report presents helpful guidelines for agencies for quantifying the benefits of applying CSS to transportation projects and is helpful for community advocates.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Indiana OA Control "Out of Control"

The failure of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to adequately control outdoor advertising and follow the Highway Beautification Act is risking the Hoosier state $90 million in federal highway funds, reports the Post-Tribune.

The problems found by the Federal Highway Administration include numerous billboards located in areas that are illegal under federal law, and dozens, if not not hundreds, that appear to have been erected without a permit of any kind at all.

State officials believe that it may cost as much as $2.5 million to establish a proper billboard inventory and sort through the problems with lax enforcement of the law. But as the article notes, at a paltry initial permit fee of just $100 for each billboard, the billboard industry itself isn't going to pay for sorting out the mess.