Proposed Peak to Pacific scenic byway designation

Hwy 34 Scenic Byway Map
Friday, April 15, 2016

NEWS RELEASE

April 15, 2016

For further information contact:

Rachel Cotton
rachel.cotton@waldport.org

Oregon’s Scenic Byways serve, as a group, to create a unified statewide network of roadways intended to showcase and manage Oregon’s most outstanding scenic routes. Scenic byways are located throughout the state and cross jurisdictional boundaries.  Each proposed byway must meet statewide criteria for scenic-ness and are required to have corridor management plans to balance maintenance and preservation of intrinsic qualities with travel, tourism, and development needs.

Scenic byways benefit from consistent, uniform signage and statewide promotion in the form of a state map, a guide, and other promotional materials published by Travel Oregon and marketed to travelers and tourists and provide a pleasurable attraction to instate and out of state travelers.

What are the steps to obtaining Scenic Byway designation?

1.  Pre-application approval and favorable rating from the Oregon Scenic Byway Advisory Committee

2.  Creation of a Corridor Management Plan (CMP)

3.  CMP approval by the Oregon Scenic Byway Advisory Committee, Travel Oregon, and the Oregon Commission on Transportation

In the case of the Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway, Step 1 is complete. The project is now in the Corridor Management Plan creation phase, Step 2. A series of public meetings will be held as part of the CMP process with the intention of engaging local communities within Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in the Scenic Byway project. This public input will inform aspects of the CMP.

What are the benefits of the Scenic Byway Program?

The proposed scenic byway stretches from I-5 in Linn County, through Tangent, Corvallis, and Philomath, and then to Alsea, Tidewater, and Waldport along Highway 34, with spurs branching out to Marys Peak and Alsea Falls (see map). Achieving designation of the Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway will serve to enhance and protect intrinsic qualities and to honor rural lifestyles and industries along the route while creating economic opportunity for adjacent communities. New and repeat visitors will patronize local businesses, lodging, and attractions.

Participation in the program will also add exposure through regional and statewide marketing efforts. Scenic Byway designation and its subsequent promotion by Travel Oregon may draw additional traffic to Highway 34, but the intention of the Corridor Management Plan is to insure and maintain maintenance and safety standards along the route and, primarily, to protect its transportation function. Scenic Byways is not a land use program, so it will not add any additional requirements beyond those of local jurisdictions for land and property owners. For example, the program cannot prohibit logging of private land or dictate building color. In addition, no additional commitment of funding will be required from local jurisdictions at this time to pursue Scenic Byway designation.

The overall intent of the program is to maintain and preserve what already exists along the route rather than to construct anything new. The Corridor Management Plan may outline additional enhancement projects to be added to the Byway in the case that future funds become available, but the plan does not require securing funding for these projects to obtain Scenic Byway designation.

For more information on the Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway designation process, please contact Rachel Cotton at rachel.cotton@waldport.org.