Scenic Roads

Designating a State Scenic Road

Guidelines and Rules

Once a roadway is designated as a parkway, historic road or scenic road, there are specific guidelines and rules that must be adhered to to preserve the designation.

Standards of Operations
Vegetation Protection

All vegetation within the designated zone of influence on parkways, historic roads and scenic roads should be protected against destruction or unauthorized removal.

Any planting by state forces or others within designated parkways, historic roads and scenic roads should be for revegetative purposes or to enhance unattractive roadside conditions. All plant material used for these purposes should be similar plant material indigenous to the area.

The ADOT District's landscape vegetation management should be alert for major plant pests that may substantially harm existing growth. They should initiate control of plant pests before excessive damage occurs to the existing vegetation.

Access Permits

All applications for access permits on designated parkways, historic roads and scenic roads shall be reviewed by ADOT's Roadside Development Section for possible negative environmental and visual impacts before the permit is issued. If said negative impacts are found to occur due to access point location(s), recommendations will be made by the Roadside Development Section on possible location(s), where their construction shall

  • cause the least damage to existing vegetation.
  • cause the least visual impact from the traveled roadway.
  • require the least amount of earthwork and cause a minimal amount of erosion.
  • provide adequate safety standards for traffic passing, entering and departing the access point.
  • include revegetation of disturbed areas and appropriate mitigations.

The Parkways, Historic and Scenic Roads Advisory Committee (PHSRAC) shall be informed of the permit request and recommendations. All permit applicants will, if possible, conform to the Landscape and Irrigation Design Guidelines.

All permit applicants shall, if possible, conform to the Landscape and Irrigation Design Guidelines for ADOT's encroachment permit applications as developed by the ADOT Roadside Development Section and other appropriate department standards.

Development

Development along all parkways, historic roads and scenic roads should be environmentally compatible. The PHSRAC recommends that local and county planning and zoning departments implement protective zoning regulations or design review overlay zoning along designated scenic roadways. These types of zoning regulations are necessary to protect, maintain and enhance the scenic quality along the highways. These regulations should also be incorporated in urban areas along the designated routes to help unify development patterns and enhance the visual quality.

Utilities

Permits for utility crossings on designated parkways, historic roads and scenic roads shall be reviewed by the ADOT Roadside Development Section for possible negative environmental and visual impacts. Recommendations will be made by the Roadside Development Section to mitigate those impacts. Utility permit applicants should, if at all possible, conform to these recommendations:

  • The utility should cross the parkway, historic road or scenic road in the shortest possible distance, i.e., at a right angle to the roadway.
  • The utility shall place all pipe, lines, wire, etc., underground if possible. If above ground structures are necessary, they should be painted to blend into the environment to soften the visual impact.
  • The utility shall conduct its construction activities so as to disturb a minimum amount of vegetation and soil.
  • All disturbed areas should be reseeded after completion of construction activity with indigenous or adapted species specified by the ADOT Roadside Development Section.
Interpretive Sites / Scenic Pullouts

The ADOT Roadside Development Section, in cooperation with the ADOT District, shall evaluate potential sites for historical markers, scenic pullouts and interpretive sites on all parkways, historic roads and scenic roads. All potential sites shall provide adequate safety standards for traffic entering, departing and passing the site.

Roadway Construction and Maintenance

Construction of any nature shall be done in a manner that will cause the least disturbance to the visual or historic resources of a parkway, historic road and scenic road. Construction and maintenance activities shall, if at all possible, conform to these recommendations:

  • Construction equipment shall not be allowed to move at random on and off the roadway. The limits of construction shall be clearly marked, and a minimum amount of disturbance from the construction should be used to efficiently complete proposed work. Access roads should also be clearly marked.
  • All construction scars shall be reseeded with appropriate species determined by the ADOT Roadside Development Section.
  • The project should be designed to minimize long-term impacts detrimental to the unique visual or cultural resources of the road's environment. For example, slopes should be designed suitable for effective revegetation.
  • Roadway appurtenances such as fences, bank protection, traffic barriers, retaining walls, etc., should be of a design, color and texture compatible with surrounding natural and cultural features.
  • Maintenance activities should encourage and protect the existing values of the parkway, historic road and scenic road designation.
  • Mowing operations should be timed so as to take advantage of the maturing seed crop of existing grasses and wildflowers, to foster their propagation.
  • Maintenance foremen should consult the ADOT Roadside Development Section before beginning any work that in their opinion may jeopardize the visual quality of the parkway, historic road or scenic road.