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MAP-21 Outdoor Advertising Questions and Answers

Posted 5/16/2013

Question 1: How will the enhanced National Highway System (NHS) under 23 U.S.C. 103, as amended by MAP-21 Section 1104(a), affect a State's responsibility to provide effective control of outdoor advertising?

Answer 1: 23 U.S.C. 103, as amended by MAP-21 Section 1104(a), results in the addition of road segments to the NHS. Because these new segments are now part of the NHS, States will be responsible for effective control of outdoor advertising along these roadways. For additional information on the MAP-21 changes to the NHS, see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/qandas/qanhs.cfm

Question 2: What is the time frame for MAP-21 implementation?

Answer 2: October 1, 2012 was the effective date for the MAP-21 changes that relate to outdoor advertising control. States are responsible for developing processes, procedures and an implementation plan to demonstrate effective control for the outdoor advertising program in coordination with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Division Offices.

Question 3: What roadways are now considered controlled routes for outdoor advertising?

Answer 3: Under 23 U.S.C. 131, outdoor advertising control applies to the Interstate Highway System, the Federal-aid primary system in existence on June 1, 1991, and the NHS. 23 U.S.C. 103, as amended by MAP-21 Section 1104(a), adds new roadways to the NHS and States will be responsible for control of outdoor advertising along these roadways. The NHS, as amended by MAP-21, is composed of approximately 220,000 miles of rural and urban roads serving major population centers, international border crossings, intermodal transportation facilities, and major travel destinations. The NHS, as amended by MAP-21, includes the Interstate Highway System, all principal arterials (including those not previously designated as part of the NHS) and international border crossings on those routes, intermodal connectors (highways that provide motor vehicle access between the NHS and major intermodal transportation facilities), Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET) (the network of highways important to U.S. strategic defense) and STRAHNET connectors to major military installations. The FHWA has posted maps showing the enhanced NHS at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/nhs_maps/

Question 4: Has the percentage reduction in a State's apportionment changed for States that are not providing effective control of outdoor advertising?

Answer 4: No, the reduction of Federal-aid highway funds for not providing effective control of outdoor advertising remains at 10 percent of the funds that would otherwise be apportioned to the State under 23 U.S.C. 104.

Question 5: How will signs on the new NHS road segments that were in place prior to MAP-21 be classified?

Answer 5: The classification of signs on the road segments added to the NHS as a result of the revisions to 23 U.S.C. 103 by MAP-21 Section 1104(a) must conform to State requirements. Any sign can be classified as legal conforming if it meets all applicable State requirements. A sign could be classified as legal nonconforming if it was in existence as of October 1, 2012, but is located on an additional road segment of the enhanced NHS and does not comply with applicable State requirements. If a sign is classified as legal nonconforming, it is subject to the State's limitation of customary maintenance and substantial change criteria in accordance with 23 CFR 750.707. After October 1, 2012, any sign will be subject to all State requirements for permitting

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Question 6: Will States receive additional money for inventory and surveillance of the additional road segments on the revised NHS?

Answer 6: No, States will not receive additional money specifically for these activities. However, MAP-21 Section 1103(a)(13) amends 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)(E) to define transportation alternatives as community improvement activities, including inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising and funds may be obligated to these projects under 23 U.S.C. 213(a). Although State departments of transportation (State DOT) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) are not eligible entities for Transportation Alternative Project (TAP) funds, eligible project sponsors may partner with the State DOT or MPO for projects. TAP projects must be selected through a competitive process in accordance with TAP requirements.

Question 7: What Federal-aid funds may be used for outdoor advertising control purposes?

Answer 7: 23 U.S.C. 131(m) remains in effect, wherein a State may elect to use funds apportioned to it under 23 U.S.C. 104 for removing nonconforming outdoor advertising signs. Additionally, community improvement activities, including inventory, control or removal of outdoor advertising, when carried out as a part of any program or project authorized or funded under Title 23 or as an independent program or project related to surface transportation, are allowed to be funded under the Surface Transportation Program per 23 U.S.C. 133(b)(11)(transportation alternatives), and under TAP as per 23 U.S.C. 213(b) as amended by MAP-21 Section 1122.

Page last modified on September 12, 2013.
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