Byways 101

Part 4: Planning, Action & Nomination

Pursuing Designation (Or Not)

Depending on your answers to the previous questions, you will have a decision to make.

Do You Need More Designation Information?
You can decide that you do not have enough information. You may need to bring in some outside assistance. Talk with your State, Indian tribe or Federal lands scenic byway coordinator or a consultant well versed in scenic byway issues. If you have questions, you will want to have them answered before you move forward.

What if Designation Does Not Fit Your Road?
You can decide that national designation is not appropriate for your road. In this case, explore other avenues to address the concerns or opportunities that originally led you to think about seeking designation. It is likely that the information you gathered and the public support that was generated to get to this point can be used to consider other options for your road. You may also decide that the road will be just fine on its own and does not require any management or guidance.

Perhaps It’s Time To Pursue Designation!
Deciding it’s time to pursue designation is an exciting and rewarding commitment. Several types of designation are available. What fits best for your road?

State, Indian Tribe Or Federal Lands Scenic Byway
You can decide to pursue designation as a State, Indian tribe or Federal lands scenic byway. Perhaps you are ready to pursue designation, but not at the national level. Depending on the location of your route on State, Indian tribe or Federal lands roads, contact the appropriate scenic byway coordinator for more information. The coordinator will provide you with specific considerations, criteria and timelines to guide you through the process for that particular byway program. To locate your State or Indian tribe scenic byway coordinator, visit

National Scenic Byways Program Designation
You can decide to pursue designation as one of America’s Byways® through the National Scenic Byways Program. Before you seek national designation, your byway must:

  • First be designated under a State, Indian tribe or Federal land management scenic byway program. In all cases, the originating scenic byway program must approve your nomination package to the national program.
  • Complete a corridor management plan developed with public involvement.
  • Submit a nomination package for designation as a National Scenic Byway or All-American Road that demonstrates the following: the byway’s regional or national significance, evidence of one or two intrinsic qualities, how the intrinsic qualities are linked to the visitor experience and the byway story, the continuity of the route, continued planning, sustainability, protection, preservation and promotion, and community support.

Local Scenic Byway Designation
You can decide to pursue a local scenic byway designation. This may be the best solution if you want to manage the road as a scenic byway but find some aspect of a State program or the national program counterproductive to the goals for your road. For example, you may wish to protect the landscape yet desire no increased tourism. Your next step is to explore options for managing your byway through a local comprehensive plan, historic district, or some other locally controlled initiative. Talk with local, county or State planners to clarify your alternatives.

Moving Your Byway Effort Forward
If you have decided to proceed with nomination as one of America’s Byways®, you will have several steps to complete. The remainder of this section will help steer you in the right direction. Buckle your seatbelts!