National Scenic Byways revival bill passes House

Program preserves some of motorcyclists’ favorite roads

AMA News Author (no byline)

An effort to revive America's Scenic Byways program passed the U.S. House of Representatives today, with strong bipartisan support.

H.R. 831, the Reviving America's Scenic Byways Act of 2019, would direct the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to reopen nominations for the National Scenic Byways Program, which has been closed for six years.

The American Motorcyclist Association was part of the coalition that helped create this program in 1991 and is part of a group now hoping to revive it. Many of the country’s favorite motorcycling roads are National Scenic Byways and benefit from the resources provided to preserve and enhance them.

“As part of the coalition that helped create the National Scenic Byways Program in 1991, the American Motorcyclist Association is excited about today’s passage of H.R. 831," said Mike Sayre, AMA government relations manager for on-highway issues. "Today’s vote moves us one step closer to reopening the National Scenic Byways Program, which has preserved and enhanced many motorcyclists’ favorite roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching from North Carolina to Virginia, and the Beartooth Highway between Montana and Wyoming. The AMA would like to thank U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) for sponsoring this important legislation.”

There are 150 designated National Scenic Byways. The program provides resources that help communities along these byways benefit from the tourism they generate, while preserving the characteristics of the roads that made them destinations in the first place.

According to a recent survey, officials are prepared to seek National Scenic Byway designation for 44 roads in 24 states as soon as the program is restarted. The Federal Highway Administration has stated that reopening this program would not require any additional funding. It simply requires approval from Congress.

The Senate version of the bill is S. 349. The AMA is asking motorcyclists to support this legislation, as well.