National Scenic Byways Program
The Good Sam Club has long supported our country’s National Scenic Byways Program, which designates certain highways and roads as Scenic Byways, providing Federal funds for their upkeep, signage and maintenance. This year, we have joined other major recreational organizations in urging key Members of Congress involved in the development of the next surface transportation law to reauthorize the National Scenic Byways Program.
May 11, 2011
The Honorable Barbara Boxer The Honorable James M. Inhofe Chair, Environment and Public Ranking Member, Environment and Works Committee Public Works Committee United States Senate United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Max Baucus The Honorable David Vitter Chair, Transportation and Ranking Member, Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Infrastructure Subcommittee United States Senate United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable John L. Mica The Honorable Nick Rahall Chair, Transportation and Ranking Member, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Infrastructure Committee U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable John J. Duncan, Jr. The Honorable Peter DeFazio Chair, Highways and Transit Ranking Member, Highways and Transit Subcommittee Subcommittee U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
The National Scenic Byways Program was created in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act to celebrate the natural, recreational, cultural and scenic highlights of the nation. It plays a vital role for America’s travelers and communities across the country. As national, regional and local organizations that support scenic byways, we urge the reauthorization of the program as a discrete program in the upcoming multi-year surface transportation legislation and to support funding for this important program’s small but important merit-based grant program to inspire innovation and public-private byways partnerships.
150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads have been designated by the Secretary of Transportation in 46 states. These routes offer visitors outstanding, world-class opportunities for scenic, recreational, cultural and historic experiences. Not only are the lives of the American people – and visitors to this country – enriched immensely by these experiences, but thousands of communities have been given a new source of pride and economic vitality. These routes help to link America’s public lands with communities which serve as gateways to parks, forests, refuges and other federally-managed lands, and tell stories about our land’s geology, history and wildlife.
Scenic byway grants have funded more than 2,800 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since the program’s inception. Last year, communities in 43 states received almost $41 million to fund160 scenic byways projects, including corridor management plans, traveler signs and kiosks, visitor facilities, website and podcast development, historic restoration and much more. The key to the success of these grants is their ability to attract private-sector partners, with benefits both the program itself as well as the local community served. Funding has also been provided for the America’s Byways Resource Center, which provides valuable technical assistance to byways managers and stakeholders, helping them to do a better job in managing and marketing byways while enhancing visitor experiences.
We respectfully request that the Congress continue the National Scenic Byways Program as a discrete federal program in any new surface transportation legislation. The need for national coordination of this program – and especially better integration of the byways program with FHWA support for roads on federally-managed lands – makes the continuation of the byways program in its current form a priority.
To learn more about how the Good Sam Club gets involved for you, read about all of the RVers Rights programs on our website.