Monday, March 02, 2009

Burlington County Pushes I-295 As A Scenic Byway

Burlington County - home of scenic river towns like Bordentown and Riverton. Plus the Pine Barrens, a large farm belt and cranberry bogs. Lots of possibilities for a Scenic Byway, right? So what route does the county choose for a scenic byway designation -- I-295?

Other State Scenic Byways that were pushed by local leaders included the the Blue Route and the Exton Bypass.

Fortunately or perhaps not FHWA policies specifically mention bicycling and walking as criteria for National Scenic Byway Designation:

c. Roads or highways considered for National Scenic Byways and All-
American Roads designations should accommodate, wherever feasible,
bicycle and pedestrian travel.

The definition of byway at is "a secondary or side road, esp. in the country". It seems that including suburban bypasses such as the Blue Route and I-295 in the Scenic Byways program is not exactly in the spirit of the law as it was intended. It also puts interstates in competition for a small set aside of funds with Byways that do accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

There are only two locally designated National Scenic Byways
Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway
Historic National Road