West Side Highway, 1951

Corridor Management Plans

Corridor management plans are broad-based visionary documents that set a general course of action more than define highly detailed actions or activities. CMP’s are particularly useful for historic roads that encompass a number of jurisdictions or constituencies that first need to reach agreement on an overall vision, general obligations and responsibilities. They can be helpful in providing coordination among the different organizations or entities that have ownership or oversight for your historic road. For example, a CMP document could ensure that a DOT planting program within the right-of-way could be coordinated with a park agency planting program within the road’s viewshed—ensuring the necessary dialogue regarding appropriate plant species and planting patterns complementary to the vision for the historic road corridor.

CMP’s may recommend the need for specific studies (cultural landscape analysis, highway safety or the feasibility of stone wall restoration), advocate the creation of special organizational structures (citizens advisory board, inter-agency peer review or monthly briefing sessions over coffee at a roadside diner) or introduce concepts for which no existing program or mechanism exists (reduction of light pollution, an association of historic motel owners, or a historic road conservancy). While CMP’s are generally non-regulatory, non-binding documents, many have been formally endorsed and some have been adopted as policy. If embraced, they provide a framework from which multiple groups and agencies may work toward common goals within their individual organizational cultures. If not properly developed and vetted, CMP’s may be ignored by key players within the historic road corridor and lead toward frustration by groups that are committed to the CMP process.

Most importantly, corridor management plans represent a point of departure. They are never, by their very nature, the end of the planning process—they are the beginning. The success of a CMP for a historic road is in its ability to generate the detailed plans and studies it recommended and see those actions taken forward to the full implementation of research, construction, management and preservation activities.

14 Points to Developing a Corridor Management Plan

The National Scenic Byways Program of the FHWA requires the preparation of a corridor management plan (CMP) to be considered for designation under the program and recommends the following fourteen points:



A map identifying the corridor boundaries and the location of intrinsic qualities (scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational and archaeological) and different land uses within the corridor.

2. An assessment of such intrinsic qualities and of their context.

3. A strategy for maintaining and enhancing those intrinsic qualities.

4. A schedule and a listing of all agency, group, and individual responsibilities in the implementation of the corridor management plan, and a description of enforcement and review mechanisms, including a schedule for the continuing review of how well those responsibilities are being met.

5. A strategy describing how existing development might be enhanced and new development might be accommodated while still preserving the intrinsic qualities of the corridor. This can be done through design review, and such land management techniques as zoning, easements, and economic incentives.

6. A plan to assure on-going public participation in the implementation of corridor management objectives.

7. A general review of the road's or highway's safety and accident record to identify any correctable faults in highway design, maintenance, or operation.

8. A plan to accommodate commerce while maintaining a safe and efficient level of highway service, including convenient user facilities.

9. A demonstration that intrusions on the visitor experience have been minimized to the extent feasible, and a plan for making improvements to enhance that experience.

10. A demonstration of compliance with all existing local, State, and Federal laws on the control of outdoor advertising.

11. A signage plan that demonstrates how the State will insure and make the number and placement of signs more supportive of the visitor experience.

12. A narrative describing how the National Scenic Byway will be positioned for marketing.

13. A discussion of design standards relating to any proposed modification of the roadway. This discussion should include an evaluation of how the proposed changes may affect on the intrinsic qualities of the byway corridor.

14. A description of plans to interpret the significant resources of the scenic byway.

*14 points taken from the Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 96 / Thursday, May 18, 1995