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Access to Recreation

An improvement to a scenic byway that will enhance access to an area for the purpose of recreation, including water-related recreation, 23 U.S.C. 162(c)(5).

Principles

  1. National Scenic Byways Program funds may be used for improvements on the byway or a facility providing direct, immediate access from the byway to a recreational area directly related to the byway and the byway's intrinsic quality(s) that support the byway's designation.

  2. The relationship of each intrinsic quality and the byway may vary in distance from the road or highway right-of-way.

  3. The improvements should increase the quality of the byway traveler experience by:

    • Providing access for vehicles or visitors who otherwise would not be able to access the recreational area, or
    • Fulfilling multi-modal recommendations of the byway's corridor management plan.
  4. To the extent practicable, byway visitors should have free access (without charge) to facilities developed or constructed with National Scenic Byways Program funds.

  5. Private property purchased or used for a byway funded project must be acquired consistent with the requirements of 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 or the State byway coordinator; see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/scenic_byways//contacts/states.cfm.

  6. The proposed amount of National Scenic Byways Program funds should be proportionate to the proposed access improvements' benefit for byway travelers. FHWA expects an applicant advancing a project benefiting the general public to propose a larger share of non-byways funds.

Practices

  1. Improvements for enhancing access to a recreation area include bicycle and pedestrian facilities as well as modifications to the roadway or parking facilities in order to accommodate buses, recreational vehicles, or vehicles pulling trailers to the extent that the project and recreational area have a clear, demonstrated role in enhancing the byway traveler experience (rather than primarily serving the existing customer base of the operator of the recreational area).

  2. Construction or creation of a recreational attraction is not eligible for byway funds. While access improvements such as parking and trails serving water-related recreation are eligible for byway funds, water-related recreation facilities, such as a marina or boat dock, are not eligible for byway funds.

  3. Byway funds may be used to improve a roadway or related facility operated by Federal, Indian tribe, State, local or non-profit entities to the extent that the project and recreational area have a clear, demonstrated role in enhancing the byway traveler experience (rather than primarily serving the existing customer base of the operator of the recreational area).

  4. When considering how best to organize and prepare an application for an eligible project in the Access to Recreation category, FHWA expects the applicant to consider and respond to the following questions:

    • What would be accomplished with this proposed project?
    • What do byway travelers learn and experience at recreation areas along the byway? How does the experience at the recreation area(s) where access would be improved under this project relate to the byway's intrinsic qualities that support the byway's designation? What will byway travelers learn and experience at the recreation area(s) where access would be improved under this project?
    • How do byway travelers find recreational areas, especially the area(s) where access would be improved under this project? Are directional signs or directional information available in byway publications or exhibits? Would directional signs (to the recreational area) be placed along the byway? Who will pay for the signs? Will the road management authority agree to the location(s) for directional signing? Would directional information be added in byway publications or exhibits?
    • Is the proposed amount of byway funds proportionate to the proposed project's benefits to byway travelers? To what extent will byway travelers' experience and access be enhanced, compared to the existing customer base of the facility operator?
    • Does the corridor management plan include this project, and how does it compare to other priority projects along the byway? How does it complement what already exists?
    • 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 access 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 Access to Recreation category.

  1. ACCESS TO RECREATION: Reviewers can determine eligibility only when the application demonstrates there is a clear relationship between the proposed project and the byway traveler experience. 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 access improvement(s) to the recreational area(s) on the byway. A map should also identify all recreational areas on the byway, highlighting the area(s) where access would be improved under this project. (If possible, please include the addresses/intersections and GPS coordinates for the beginning and end points of the byway and proposed improvements as well as existing facilities along the byway such that the project and existing facilities can be located using basic mapping software.)

  3. PLANS: Use the Attachments Section of the application to provide available plans showing the proposed access improvements. 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 access 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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