One of the overarching goals of PA Route 6 Alliance is to move US Route 6 in Pennsylvania towards being designated as a Pennsylvania Byway. As the managing entity of the Pennsylvania Heritage Area, PA Route 6 Alliance undertakes efforts to preserve, enhance, and promote the transportation heritage of one of the nation’s first transcontinental highways. It is also our purpose to sustain and enhance the small rural communities linked by the highway, and to preserve and enhance the natural scenic beauty of one of America’s favorite road trips.
Local communities and economies stand to benefit the most from the Byway designation. Recognition of the importance of a byway’s intrinsic qualities by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation can lend support to protect and preserve a byway’s resources. In addition, the America’s Byway collection is marketed to national and international travelers, and use of the brand and logo can enhance the marketability of a byway. Recognition can also serve to strengthen community pride, involvement, and support of a byway.
But what does all of this mean, and more importantly, what does it mean for you and your community? To answer that, we’ve assembled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help understand the process, importance, and benefits of a Pennsylvania Byway designation.
Q: What is a Pennsylvania Byway?
A: PennDOT designates Pennsylvania Byways at the request of the LOCAL communities seeking to highlight cultural, historical, recreational, archaeological, scenic, and natural qualities. Pennsylvania Byways parallel Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program and titles its byways program as “Pennsylvania Byways”, because many roadways exemplify more than purely scenic qualities.
Q: What are the benefits of becoming a byway?
A: Byways deliver significant benefits to surrounding communities, such as:
· Promoting tourism and economic development by creating jobs and attracting more investment to communities along the Route 6 corridor.
· Receiving new federal dollars to improve and promote the byway.
· Enhancing parks, wilderness areas, and other destinations along designated routes by making the journey an integrated part of the travel experience.
· Educating residents and visitors about the history and culture of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
· Protecting and enhancing the visual quality of the byway.
Q: Is there any cost to be part of the Pennsylvania Route 6 Byway?
A: No. For a municipality, there is no cost to be part of the byway.
Q: Can my municipality receive new funding opportunities by being on the byway?
A: Yes. Participating municipalities will continue to be eligible for the same grant programs and funding opportunities as in the past but may be given a higher rating for project importance or need based on being part of the byway.
In addition, these municipalities will be eligible for additional pools of money through shared municipal services grants, which can help with things like safety improvements, infrastructure, signage, and other key projects. Finally, improvements along the byway can be funded with federal byways grants, opening a new opportunity for funding. In addition to byways grants, several byway projects including hike and bike trails, rail trails, overlooks and viewing areas and other infrastructure needs are eligible for funding under other federal programs.
Q: Does being a Pennsylvania Byway prohibit future development along the highway or corridor?
A: No, designation does not prohibit future development. However, it does prohibit new billboards along the designated route. All currently standing signage is grandfathered and would be maintained. New official signs and notices, real estate “For Sale or Lease” signs, on-premise business signage, and directional point of interest signs are still allowed. Only new billboards are prohibited.
Q: What happens once we are part of the byway?
A: Signage is placed along the byway, and the corridor officially becomes one of the Commonwealth’s featured iconic driving routes. For the communities along the byway, the MAP serves as a basis for coordinating travel and tourism strategy, and for preserving and enhancing the key qualities that make these communities attractive destinations. In addition, the state will include the PA Route 6 Byway in its byway marketing campaign, at no cost to the county or participating municipalities.
Q: What is the process to apply for state designation?
A: The PA Route 6 Alliance is seeking state legislative designation of the proposed byway.
Q: How can we help get the PA Route 6 designated as a PA Byway?
A. We are currently asking municipalities to pass resolutions in support of the designation. Please send your municipal resolution of support to PA Route 6 Alliance, P.O. Box 180, Galeton, PA 16922, or email email@example.com.
Q: So, no new billboards are allowed, can you elaborate?
A. Preserving the aesthetics along the corridor is important for economic development and job creation for the region. Current billboards will be able to remain, however, new off-premise billboards are not permitted within 660 feet of the right of way on Route 6. All current billboards will be grandfathered in. In current day marketing, there are many ways to provide directional and advertising material including the use of smartphone and kiosk-based technology. Please note that on-premise business signage is not affected by this designation.
Q. How does Pennsylvania Byway designation impact the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor?
A. The PA Route 6 Alliance already has a Management Action Plan (MAP) that helps guide community and asset development, and tourism promotions along the designated PA State Heritage Corridor. This document is a requirement of the PA State Heritage Areas program under the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Recourses. PA Route 6 was designated a PA Heritage Area in 2005. The current MAP for the PA Route 6 Heritage Area includes all municipalities of the counties that Route 6 traverses.
Q: Have other Pennsylvania Byways received federal funding in the past?
A. Since 1992, a total of 45 projects in Pennsylvania have received $13.3 million in funding. Although federal funding for the National Scenic Byways Program stopped in 2011, it was restored in 2021. Here is a list of projects funded since 2004:
$200,000 Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway – Regional Visitor Center
$25,000 Pennsylvania Historic National Road – Implementation of a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
$22,920 Seaway Trail (PA) – Presque Isle Multipurpose Wayfinding/Interpretive Project
$22,500 Historic National Road – Corridor Management Plan Implementation (Year 3)
$500,000 Pennsylvania Seaway Trail – Shades Beach Park Off-Shore Improvements Project
$109,000 Delaware River Valley Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan
$79,600 Erie Bayfront Seaway Trail Multi-Use Trail – Engineering & Design
$241,000 Grand View Scenic Byway – Interpretive Information and Signage
$80,000 Marketing the Eastern Legacy -Historic National Road-Phase I PA
$24,000 Marketing the Scenic Byways of the Pennsylvania Wilds
$120,000 PA Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway – Corridor Management Plan
$1,284 PA Great Lakes America’s Byway Maritime Heritage Map (NY & OH)
$25,000 Seaway Trail PA – Corridor Management Plan Implementation – Year 1
$55,768 Seaway Trail PA – Master Plan for Erie Bluffs State Park
$19,000 Seaway Trail PA – NY Collaborative Initiative – Birding Project
$20,000 Seaway Trail PA-NY Collaborative Initiative – Kiosk & Display Units
$154,000 Point of View Bluff: Scenic Overlook
$200,000 Promoting the Byways of Pennsylvania
$8,800 2007 Seaway Trail (PA): War of 1812 Interpretive Panels / Marketing &
Coordination with Seaway Trail, Inc.
$3,200 Marketing Communication & Coordination
$30,000 Marketing Pennsylvania’s Historic National Road
$3,000 PA Historic National Road – Byway Training and Development
$423,400 Scenic Byway: Pedestrian, Cyclist, & Parking Enhancements to Waterfront
$160,000 Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway PA: Bikeway Plan
$831,825 Casey Byway PA: Pedestrian/Bike Trail Improvement
$4,000,000 Laurel Highlands Falls Area PA: Visitors Center
$460,000 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Scenic Byway, PA: Conservation Easement
$434,000 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Scenic Byway, PA: Taylor Conservation Easement
$156,100 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Scenic Byway, PA: Teker Wayside
$72,000 Historic National Road / Laurel Highlands Byways, PA: Tourism Bus Study
$960,000 Journey through Hallowed Ground Byway, PA: Seminary Ridge Trail
Looking for more information? Contact PA Route 6 Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 814-435-7706.