Scenic Roads

Designating a State Scenic Road

Application Components

Designation Process

The process for consideration of a road can be initiated by any interested group or individual by requesting designation to the Parkways, Historic and Scenic Roads Advisory Committee (PHSRAC).

The PHSRAC reviews, prioritizes and evaluates the requests based on the established criteria and the quality of resources. Recommendations are then made to the State Transportation Board for the designation of favorable routes. Development guidelines are compiled as recommendations for the enhancement and preservation of the route.

Designated routes also may be reviewed and significant changes may require deletion of a designation to maintain the integrity of the program. These guidelines were developed to help applicants in preparing the application report for the designation of parkways, historic roads and scenic roads.

Format

The format of the application report to the PHSRAC should be prepared following the criteria listed below:

  • Use 8 1/2" x 11" pages, vertically bound on the left side, with the capacity to add or delete material without destroying the binder (loose leaf, spiral bound or similar).
  • Provide a cover sheet with the proposed project name, route number, mileposts, preparer's name, date and agencies involved.
  • Address the cover letter here:
    Parkways, Historic and Scenic Roads Advisory Committee
    Attention: LeRoy Brady, Chairman
    1611 W. Jackson St.
    MD EM03
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
  • Provide a copy of the letter of request for designation and the jurisdictional agencies approval for designation of the road as a parkway, historic road or scenic road.
  • Note: Photographs included in the report for information and documentation should be enclosed in acetate sheet protectors on black background or in clear vinyl sheet holders. Color photocopies are acceptable. Any supportive material not conforming to the 8 1/2" x 11" format should be folded neatly and placed in a pouch at the back of the report. It should be labeled Appendix A, B, C, as appropriate, and referred to in the text of the report.
Road Sections or Areas

The road sections or areas proposed for designation should be clearly described by a written paragraph and should be depicted on standard, published maps.

The written description should include the general location within the state, the county, road name and number, length, mileposts, adjacent cities, direction of road and area or width of the zone of influence.

Here is an example from the Coronado Trail Scenic Road Application Report:

    The road proposed for designation is a 93 mile segment of U.S. Route 666 (which is now U.S. 191) in Apache and Greenlee Counties which continues as a 32 mile segment of U.S. Route 180 in Apache County. The majority of the road segment is within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and is known as the Coronado Trail. It traverses the east-central portion of Arizona and runs in a north-south direction.

    U.S. Route 666 is a two lane federal aid primary highway. The limits of the road area under consideration are: Milepost (MP) 161.00 to the south near Clifton/Morenci, Arizona to M.P. 253.74 at Alpine, Arizona.

    U.S. Route 180 is a two lane federal aid primary highway. The limits of the road area under consideration are:

    M.P. 394.36 near Eager/Springerville, Arizona to M.P. 426.39 at Alpine, Arizona.

Maps

Maps to be included in the report should be of a quality published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), ADOT, the county or the city. The area to be depicted should be at a scale that will maximize the space on the 8 1/2" x 11" sheet. If a larger map is used, fold and place it in the pouch at the back of the report.

Inventory Process

The inventory of natural, cultural and visual resources is the main focus of the designation evaluation. It must be descriptive and provide complete and convincing information. Historical road applications should emphasize cultural resources and scenic road applications should emphasize natural and visual resources.

The inventory should contain this information as applicable to the road area under consideration:

  • Natural Resources: geology, hydrology, climate, biota and topography
  • Cultural Resources: architectural resources, historical resources, archaeological resources and cultural development
  • Visual Resources: visual quality assessment procedures, landscape classification process, landscape inventory and visual quality assessment definitions
Other Supportive Documentation
  • Desirable Zone of Influence: Define an area to either side of the roadway that would be necessary to protect the resources from damaging encroachment. These areas will be generally the same as the view shed but may need to be further clarified. Give linear measurements for the corridors and illustrate on a map.
  • Land Ownership: Describe and illustrate the land ownership along the roadway. Use the following general categories: federal (Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service), state, city, reservation and private.
  • Land Use: Describe and illustrate the land uses along the roadway. Use the following categories: residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, governmental, conservational and recreational.
  • Land Zoning: Describe and illustrate the zoning along the roadway. Consult local zoning boards for this information.
  • Photographs and Supportive Material: Provide photographs and other information that document the scenic or historic significance of the roadway. Newspaper, magazine articles, etc. may be cited here. Include letters from local agencies or groups indicating their concern with the proposed designation. These may be special interest groups, city or county governments, etc.
Recommendations

List recommendations to protect or enhance the unique features and special natural or cultural resources in the area. The Laws and Rules, which contain ARS 41-516 and R17-3-809, provide for exemption from standard construction and maintenance practices to ensure resource preservation and provide for the safe use and service of the traveling public. Here are some examples:

  • Modifications to structures and signs
  • Pruning, removal or addition of plant materials
  • Enhancement of historical markers
  • Erosion control
  • Addressing vehicular and pedestrian traffic
  • Compliance with area planning and zoning
  • Location of scenic viewpoints
  • Restoration of vegetative cover in disturbed areas