Subchapter VI. Delaware Byways Program

The General Assembly finds that certain portions of the state highway system are notable for their scenic, historic, recreational, cultural or archaeological value and worthy of designation as Delaware byways to provide special consideration of their unique features and special role in the highway system.

The General Assembly further finds that the public interest would be served by the formation of a coordinated scenic highway program to enhance recreational, cultural and archaeological resources, encourage development through tourism, and educate residents and visitors on the history, culture and natural beauty of this State.

72 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

The Secretary shall establish within the Department a program to be known as the Delaware Byways Program (hereinafter referred to as "byways program," or "program") to encourage and coordinate state actions and the activities of others which relate to the development, protection, promotion, operation and management of byways. In order to carry out the purposes of the program, the Secretary is authorized to:

(1) Plan, design and develop the Delaware byways system and to designate such highways as the Department may deem appropriate as "Delaware Byways." The process for such designation shall ensure that Delaware byways are selected and managed through a process that balances equity for property owners with the desire of the community to have a specific highway designated under this program;

(2) Ensure to the extent possible that all byway designations are continuous;

(3) Make safety improvements to a highway designated as a byway under this article to the extent such improvements are necessary to accommodate increased or reduced traffic as well as any changes necessary as a result of the types of vehicles using the highway due to such designation;

(4) Construct along such byways such improvements as may be necessary for the use and enjoyment of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists;

(5) Improve the highway to enhance access to areas utilized for the purpose of recreation, including but not limited to youth-related activities and water-related recreation;

(6) Protect scenic, historical, natural, archaeological and cultural resources in areas adjacent to the highway;

(7) Develop and provide tourist information to the public, including interpretive information about the byway;

(8) Apply for funding from any appropriate source to further the purposes of the program, including but not limited to federal grants or private contributions; and

(9) Enter into contracts with qualified and responsible not-for-profit organizations involved in byway activities for services relating to the development of the byways program or services relating to the operation, development or promotion of a specific byway.

72 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 367, §§ 3-11.;

The Secretary is authorized to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary or desirable to implement the Delaware Byways program, consistent with departmental policy and this subchapter. Such regulations may also:

(1) Encourage counties, towns and municipalities to work with the Department to designate Delaware byways within their jurisdictions and to petition for the inclusions of these highways into the byways program. Such inclusion shall enable the municipality to participate in federal funding that may be available under the National Scenic Byways Program of the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century of 1998 (23 U.S.C. § 162).

(2) Develop criteria for Delaware byway designation based upon its scenic, historic, natural, recreational, cultural or archeological qualities;

(3) Encourage and assist in fostering public awareness, understanding and participation in the objectives and functions of the Delaware Byways Program;

(4) Provide participants with tools and ideas for enhancement and protection of designated byways;

(5) Provide operation and management standards for highways designated as Delaware byways, including strategies for maintaining or improving the qualities for which a byway is so designated, for protecting and enhancing the landscape and scenic view and for minimizing traffic congestion as much as possible on such byways;

(6) Provide standards for byway-related signs, including those which identify Delaware byways;

(7) Develop and implement a byways corridor management plan that specifies the actions, procedures, controls, operational practices and administrative strategies to maintain the scenic, historic, cultural, recreational, archaeological and natural qualities of the byway; and

(8) Develop planning and design standards for development of official byways.

72 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 367, §§ 12-20.;

The Secretary shall appoint a Delaware Byway Advisory Board consisting of public and private parties, including not-for-profit organizations, to assist in and make recommendations regarding in the designation, development, operation, management and promotion of Delaware byways. Members of the Advisory Board created pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to, the Secretaries, chief administrative officers or representatives of the:

(1) Department of State;

(2) Department of Agriculture;

(3) Division of Small Business;

(4) Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; and

(5) Such other public or private members as the Secretary may determine would be of assistance in this process.

These members would include, but not be limited to, representatives from: federal, state and local governments; environmental groups; planning agencies; the real estate and outdoor advertising industries; business, farming and nature organizations; and such other groups which may be affected by a byway designation.

72 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 21; 81 Del. Laws, c. 49, § 15; 81 Del. Laws, c. 374, § 44.;

(a) Nothing in this subchapter shall authorize any removal or restriction on outdoor advertising erected or approved by the appropriate governmental authority to be erected before July 18, 2000.

(b) For the purposes of this section "outdoor advertising" has the same meaning as defined by § 1102 of this title.

72 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 320, § 1.;