Byways 101

Part 2: Intrinsic Qualities & The Byway Story

Learning Objective #2: What Is A Byway Story?

Recognize what a “byway story” is, how it supports the visitor’s experience, and how it can serve as an economic development tool.

What Is A Byway Story?

A byway story is the intentional, coordinated message that the byway conveys to visitors about the resources and qualities that it promotes. This message may be interpreted through written materials, signs, information kiosks, guides, videos and other media. Most importantly, the byway story is conveyed through the direct experiences that the visitor encounters along the trip.

The byway story refers to the inherently interesting and valuable tale that most roadways can tell about the history, culture and environment of the surrounding landscape and communities. Every byway also has tribal stories. Consulting with Indian tribes can unearth these unique and authentic stories and reveal how they are woven into the byway story. Respect these tribal stories and each tribe's role in protecting and sharing its culture and history.

The additional emphasis of quality and continuity of the visitor’s experience distinguishes the National Scenic Byways Program from other landscape protection or land management efforts. The National Scenic Byways Program encourages people to seek out, document and communicate all of the special qualities of a place: archaeological, natural, cultural, historic, recreational and scenic. This makes driving the road a visual experience as well as an educational, physical and emotional experience.

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