Corridor Management Plans

A corridor management plan (CMP) is a grassroots-level community planning document that covers the entire scenic roads.

A CMP is an inventory of the characteristics, features, resources and special qualities of the roadway. The document consists of the following components that, together, provide for the conservation and enhancement of the roadway's intrinsic qualities while promoting tourism and economic development, all for the users' enjoyment of the roadway.

  • Location
  • Physical description
  • Intrinsic qualities
  • Visitor needs and expectations
  • Marketing and promotion
  • People's involvement & responsibilities

In addition, the FHWA requires specific elements that must be in any CMP.

The CMP must be completed as part of nominating a scenic road for national designation.


The location component of a CMP includes descriptive language and a well-illustrated location map showing the corridor boundaries (length and width), population centers, natural landmarks and labeled routes.

Although not required, United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps are suggested because they provide excellent details of landforms and building locations.

Physical Description

The CMP should have a description of the physical corridor of the road and its safety. Such description includes a discussion of the design standards for any proposed modifications to the roadway (e.g., shoulder improvements, road widening, curve straightening). The document should evaluate the likely effects of designation to the natural and cultural intrinsic qualities associated with the byway corridor.

There also should be discussion on how the "footprint" of the corridor was developed by determining why the endpoints and widths were chosen along its length.

The CMP should provide a general review of the roadway's safety and accident record to identify any improvements to the highway by design, maintenance or operation to enhance the motorist enjoyment of the scenic road. The CMP should identify areas that may be problems for drivers who are not familiar with the route and identify possible corrections.

Intrinsic Qualities

Intrinsic qualities are features that are considered representative, unique, irreplaceable, or distinctly characteristic of an area.

The CMP should analyze and describe the intrinsic qualities and how they are to be managed and interpreted. Specifically, the CMP should include these areas of intrinsic quality documentation:

  • Intrinsic Quality Assessment
  • Intrinsic Quality Management Strategy
  • Interpretation Plan

Intrinsic Quality Assessment

Identify the intrinsic qualities along the roadway and describe the resources that contribute to these qualities. Evaluate which qualities are of local, regional or national importance. There are six intrinsic qualities and a brief explanation follows:

  • Scenic: Beauty, whether natural or human-made. The quality of the features is measured by how memorable, distinctive, uninterrupted and unified they are.
  • Natural: Minimal human disturbance of the natural ecological features that are associated with the region.
  • Historic: Landscapes, buildings, structures or other visual evidence of the past. It has to be something that can still be seen, not just the site of something that used to be there.
  • Cultural: Visual evidence of the unique customs, traditions, folklore or rituals of a currently existing human group.
  • Archaeological: Visual evidence of the unique customs, traditions, folklore or rituals of a no-longer existing human group.
  • Recreational: The road corridor itself is used for recreation like jogging, biking, roadside picnics or direct access to recreational sites like campgrounds, lakes, ski lodges, sightseeing, etc.

Intrinsic Quality Management Strategy

Describe how the intrinsic qualities will be managed through preservation or conservation and what protection tools are available (e.g., zoning, overlay districts, easements).

Interpretation Plan

Describe what methods are in place or planned to familiarize visitors with the significant byway resources (e.g., museums, festivals, interpretive markers, kiosks).

Visitor Needs & Expectations

The CMP should identify elements that are in place and planned to meet the needs and expectations of visitors, locals residents and business. Specifically, the needs and expectations include the elements that follow.

Visitor Experience Plan

List and discuss how to minimize any disruptions to the visitor experience. Identify plans for making improvements to enhance that experience.

Development Plan

Describe methods for enhancing existing development and for accommodating new development while preserving the intrinsic qualities of the corridor (e.g., design review, land management techniques, economic incentives).

Commerce Plan

Describe how commercial traffic and business access, including services for travelers, will be accommodated while ensuring the safety of sightseers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sign Plan

Describe how the number and placement of highway signs will support the visitor experience and help tourists find their way while not obscuring or detracting from scenery. This plan should consider signs for international tourists who may not be fluent in English.

Outdoor Advertising Control Compliance

Show that all existing local, state and federal laws on the control of outdoor advertising are being met.

Marketing & Promotion

The CMP should describe how the route's promotion and marketing will be accomplished.

Marketing Narrative

Describe how the scenic road be marketed and publicized, what actions are in place and what is planned.

Promotion Plan

Describe how the scenic road will be promoted, interpreted and marketed to attract travelers, including those from other countries, and identify the organizations or agencies responsible for these activities.

Multilingual Information Plan

Address multilingual information needs, what is planned and what is available for the international visitor.

Tourism Plan

Describe how increased tourism will be accommodated, if this is projected. Include how lodging and dining facilities, roadside rest areas and other tourist necessities are in place or planned.

People's Involvement & Responsibilities

The CMP should describe who, how and when the local byway management group will implement plans and take responsibility for actions along the route.

Public Participation Plan

Discuss how ongoing public participation will be achieved for the implementation of CMP objectives.

Responsibility Schedule

List the specific and general responsibilities of all agencies, groups and individuals that are part of the team that will carry out the plan. Describe how compliance will be determined. Include a schedule of if, when and how those responsibilities are being met.