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Lansing requests scenic byway designation

Originally published: Jan. 17, 2013
Last modified: Jan. 17, 2013

Adam Orr

Lansing is requesting scenic byway designation for portions of 194 that runs through, and beyond, portions of town according to Ashe County Planner Adam Stumb during a work session briefing with the Ashe County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 7. 

“The majority of (byway designation) will be outside of town but within the county,” said Stumb. “They’ll be working with the High Country Council of Government on the application, but (Lansing) will be looking for support (for the designation) from Ashe County.” 

Stumb said Lansing will work with HCCOG’s new transportation planner beginning in early February on the application. 

“They may also need some small commitment of staff time (from Stumb) to get that application together, and to sort out any ordinance issues,” said Stumb. 

Fifty-four scenic byways are designated across the state by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to “give visitors and residents a chance to experience a bit of North Carolina history, geography, and culture while raising awareness for the protection and preservation of these treasures.”

Routes are selected to give travelers a taste of the state's beauty, diversity and culture, in addition to providing a safe and interesting alternate route.

 Former Ashe County Planner Zach Edwardson told commissioners in August 2012, the NCDOT expects local government to pass resolutions of support for the scenic byway designation by county and town government. 

In August, commissioners unanimously endorsed an extension of the New River Scenic Byway to include US 221 in Ashe County. 

The resolution protected Highway 221 from Deep Gap to the intersection of highways 221 and 163 entering West Jefferson from billboards and off-site signage, and opened the stretch of road to additional state and federal funding. 

“The application that Ashe County has in the pipeline is currently scheduled to be reviewed by the North Carolina Transportation Board in early summer,” said Stumb. “On thing we’re trying to figure out, is making sure those two (applications) don’t come into conflict.”

Ashe County Manager Pat Mitchell said so little of Lansing’s 16-mile scenic byway designation will inside Lansing that Stumb will need to ensure the two designations will not conflict. 

“I’m not sure there would be any conflict, but we’re going to check on that,” said Mitchell. 

“Lansing has requested a new scenic byway that will run through town. I do have the route they have provided to us, the majority of it will be outside of town but within the county,” said Stumb. “They will be working with the High Country Council of Governments on the application. Their new transportation planner will come on Feb. 1, and that will be one of (their) roles. The majority of work will be with the HCCOG, but they will be looking for support from Ashe County. They also may need some small commitment of staff time to get that letter, any sort of ordinances, that kind of thing.”

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.