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Safety Improvements

Safety improvements to a State scenic byway, Indian tribe scenic byway, National Scenic Byway, or All American Road to the extent that the improvements are necessary to accommodate increased traffic and changes in the types of vehicles using the highway as a result of the designation as a State scenic byway, Indian tribe scenic byway, National Scenic Byway, or All American Road, U.S.C. 162(c)(3).

Principles

  1. National Scenic Byways Program funds may only be used for safety improvements when the applicant demonstrates that the improvements are necessary to accommodate increased traffic and changes in the types of vehicles using the road as a result of the designation as one of America's Byways® or as a State or an Indian tribe scenic byway.

  2. National Scenic Byways Program funds may be used for safety improvements on the byway or a road providing direct and immediate access from the byway to an interpretive site or other resource directly related to the byway or its intrinsic qualities as identified in conjunction with the byway's designation or the byway's corridor management plan.

  3. National Scenic Byways Program funds may not be used for road maintenance or to correct preexisting deficiencies or deficiencies arising from the normal use of the road. Road paving typically is not considered a safety improvement eligible for byways funds.

  4. Private property purchased or used for a byways funded project must be acquired consistent with the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 as amended. Federal rules for the Uniform Act are reprinted annually in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part 24. For additional information, see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/realprop/index.html. Applicants should contact the FHWA division office byway contact, the State byway coordinator, or the Indian tribe byway coordinator; see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/scenic_byways//contacts/states.cfm.

  5. The proposed amount of National Scenic Byways Program funds should be proportionate to the proposed safety improvements' benefits to byway travelers. We expect an applicant advancing a project benefiting the general public to propose a larger share of non-byway funds.

Practices

  1. Safety improvements are construction features necessary to reduce or eliminate the incidence or likelihood of crashes, or motor vehicle, bicycle and/or pedestrian conflicts.

  2. Proposed improvements to roadside features such as guardrails, shoulders, bridge rails, and comparable road improvements are only eligible for byway funds when the project corrects a demonstrated safety deficiency that is the result of byway designation.

  3. References to desirable facilities or improvements in the byway's corridor management plan do not necessarily mean that the proposed safety improvements are eligible for byway funds.

  4. When considering how best to organize and prepare an application for an eligible project in the Safety Improvements category, we expect the applicant to consider and respond to the following questions.

    • What would be accomplished with this proposed project?
    • What data, information or supporting documents are available that identifies safety deficiencies on the road? What methods are available to document the impact of byway designation?
    • Are before-and-after data or estimates available showing that increased traffic or changes in the types of vehicles are a direct result of the road's designation as a byway as opposed to normal traffic changes?
    • If before-and-after data are not available, is other information available (e.g., analyzing traffic volumes or patterns on a specific byway or in general for several byways within a State or on Indian lands that have comparable traffic patterns)? Are byway marketing evaluations available demonstrating increased visitation and associated traffic along the byway?
    • To what extent would the proposed safety improvements benefit byway travelers or local residents? For example, is the location near an identified site where byway travelers learn an important byway story associated with the byway's intrinsic qualities? Is the proposed amount of National Scenic Byways Program funds proportionate to the proposed project's benefits to byway travelers?
    • Does the corridor management plan include this project, and how does it compare to other priority projects along the byway?
    • Why did byway leaders make this project a high priority and who participated in setting the byway's project priorities?
    • Are agreements in place to ensure the maintenance or operation of the proposed safety improvements over their useful, economic life (generally considered to be 20 years)?

Complete Applications Include:

Below are some tips to the applicant when preparing a complete application for a project in the Safety Improvements category.

  1. SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED TO ACCOMMODATE INCREASED TRAFFIC AND CHANGES IN THE TYPES OF VEHICLES: Reviewers can determine eligibility only when the application demonstrates the increased traffic and changes in the types of vehicles using the road is a result of the byway's designation. Respond to the questions posed in item four of the Practices section (above) - in the Narrative Section of the application.

  2. MAP(s): Provide a map that locates the individual byway within the State or on Indian lands including the beginning and end points of the byway. A map should also identify the single location or multiple locations of the proposed Safety Improvement project(s) on the byway. (If possible, please include the addresses/intersections and GPS coordinates for the beginning and end points of the byway and the location(s) of the proposed project(s) such that the project(s) can be located using basic mapping software).

  3. PLANS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS: Use the Attachments Section of the application to provide available plans showing the proposed safety improvements for the road. Depending on the stage of project design, plans ranging from general concept plans to construction plans that show what is being proposed will be satisfactory. Describe what the plans illustrate and what elements of the proposed safety improvements would be implemented with byways funds - in the Narrative section of the application, relating this description to the details in the Budget section.

Updated: 09/19/2014
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