Earlier this week, the RV industry was asked to contact their U.S. Representatives and ask them to vote yes on a bill to restart the National Scenic Byways Program nomination process. You acted and Congress listened.
The House bill, Reviving America's Scenic Byways Act of 2019 (H.R.831), sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Rep. Garret Graves, Republican of Louisiana, passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 404 – 19.
“As Rhode Islanders know, our state is home to some of the most beautiful scenic byways in the country,” said Rep. Cicilline. “This bipartisan bill will allow us to capitalize on our state’s natural beauty and generate millions of dollars in new economic activity. I’m pleased that this bill passed the House today and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”
“Louisiana’s historical byways weave through her natural beauty and help tell the story of our history and unique culture. They are critical to preserving our heritage, growing our economy for the future and caring for our rural communities,” said Rep. Graves.
The Senate bill, S. 349, also enjoys bipartisan support and is sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland.
“I am proud that my home state of Maine boasts not only three National Scenic Byways, but also the Acadia All-American Road. These roadways provide Mainers and tourists alike with spectacular views and memorable experiences, while at the same time spurring much-needed economic activity in the surrounding areas,” said Senator Collins. “The National Scenic Byways Program represents a true win-win scenario by protecting precious corridors and providing tangible benefits for local communities.”
“Maryland is home to 18 designated byways, and the reopening of this program will be beneficial to future development and maintenance of these important routes,” said Senator Cardin. “This program helps direct visitors to areas of interest along our scenic byways and generates revenue for the surrounding communities.”
RVers regularly drive down National Scenic Byways, like Historic Route 66, Skyline Drive, or the Blue Ridge Parkway. National Scenic Byways are some of the most beautiful roads in the country, however, Congress stopped funding the program in 2012, and that is a problem because existing National Scenic Byways are not receiving adequate federal support to promote and preserve their special characteristics, leaving them unable to attain their full potential as economic drivers.
Thanks to the action taken by Scenic America and the RV industry, America’s scenic roadways got a major boost in Congress this week and we are asking that the Senate follows the House’s lead and quickly passes the legislation.
For more information or questions on this issue, contact Samantha Rocci at [email protected].