Pennsylvania Byways Program

PennDOT designates Pennsylvania Byways at the request of local communities seeking to highlight at least one of six "intrinsic" qualities of a corridor - cultural, historical, recreational, archaeological, scenic and natural qualities.  The Pennsylvania Byways program parallels the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program, however the Pennsylvania program does not use “scenic” in its title, recognizing that many roadways exemplify more than purely scenic qualities.  PennDOT works with local community leaders to assist in roadway nominations at any point in the process.  Typically, communities begin by nominating their beloved corridor to the state program, which may be an end in itself or as a step in the process to national recognition.

Benefits of the Pennsylvania Byway Program:

The purpose of designating routes is to highlight the special qualities of a corridor, for communities to foster a sense of pride in the wonderful treasures connected with their roadway, and to develop a management plan which serves as an active platform for the protection of these resources while also creating new opportunities along the routes.  Some of the specific benefits of Byway designation are as follows:

1. Provides Eligiblity to apply for Federal Funding and National Scenic Byway Designation

Federal Funding is available to implement projects on designated routes and to enhance, preserve, and sustain the qualities of the byway.  There are 8 categories that the funds can be used for: state programs, corridor management plans, safety improvements, byway facilities, access to recreation, resource protection and acquisition, interpretive information and marketing.  National Scenic Byway designation recognizes the best of the best and the highest recognition a byway can strive for.  This designation is sponsored by the FHWA and your roadway must first become a Pennsylvania Byway before it becomes eligible to apply for national status. Learn more here about National Scenic Byway requirements here

2. Local Support

Local support with the community, businesses, visitor bureaus, local governmental agencies and other stakeholders who take pride and value the corridor is absolutely crucial to the nomination, but also to implementation of the corridor management plan. 

3. Enhance and Maintain

The goal of designating routes is to enhance and maintain the qualities along the designated roadway.  PA Byway’s program requires the applicant to provide a strategy for maintaining and enhancing the qualities.  Providing a corridor plan is a key element in the PA Byways Program. It provides a mechanism whereby local citizens can work together to protect the resources along designated byways.  The process also provides a framework for participating in the comprehensive plan for the region’s enhancement possibilities.

4. Promote

After a route has been designated there are several opportunities to promote the byway.  Each byway is marketed by PennDOT partnering with the state’s tourism agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  DCED promotes Pennsylvania's byways at,  The Pennsylvania Travel Guide and the Transportation and Tourism Map of Pennsylvania.

5. Recognition & Celebration

Recognition of a route by local organizations and PennDOT fosters local pride in the route and the qualities along it.  

For more information on the federal program, start here.

Learn more about our 
Red Clay Valley Byway Project

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