The Village’s 'Main Street' is Arizona’s 1st All-American Road
How did this happen, what’s the vision, mission?
During last month’s Big Park Council meeting, there was a monthly report from the All-American Road Committee (AARC). During a Q & A it became obvious that many people do not know what the AARC is and what it’s does. This month’s column is devoted to shine some light on the AARC and its vision & mission.
The AARC grew out of a grassroots effort in the Village in 2005 to obtain a National Scenic Byway & All-American Road designation for AZ Hwy 179 from milepost 302.5 to milepost 310.
Such designations are part of a national program administered through the Federal Highway Administration of the US Dept of Transportation (US DOT).
A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the by US DOT for one or more of six "intrinsic qualities": archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic.
The program was established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation's scenic roads and promote tourism and economic development.
The most scenic Byways are designated All-American Roads, which must meet at least two out of the six intrinsic qualities.
The designation means they have features that do not exist elsewhere in the United States and are unique and important enough to be tourist destinations unto themselves. There are currently 120 National Scenic Byways and only 31 All-American Roads in all 50 states.
Our Red Rock Scenic Byway (RRSB), 1 of 5 Byways in AZ, runs through the Village business district and is the first in AZ to receive the All-American Road designation. The designation will remain effective as long as the three (3) intrinsic values (scenic-recreational-natural) remain intact and adequately maintained. These values, and actions to protect, preserve and promote them, are documented in depth in the RRSB Corridor Management Plan (CMP), a 100+ page document required for each Byway and approved by ADOT and the Federal Highway Administration.
The AARC, in partnership with Yavapai County, obtained road enhancements over $1,000,000 for the sidewalks, landscaping and other enhancements to SR 179 you see on the upgraded highway project from the Village to the north and south boundaries along the Byway to the US Forest Service. In addition to these enhancement grants, the AARC, the RRSB designated agent, is eligible for yearly grants for maintaining and furthering the RRSB’s intrinsic values and achieving the goals outlined in the CMP. The main goals of the CMP at this point is to support economic development along, and enhance the travelers experience on, the RRSB.
The Vision of the All-American Road Committee is to ensure a Red Rock Scenic Byway that provides an unforgettable, user-friendly scenic and recreational destination for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists visiting or residing in our world-famous Red Rock Country. Our Mission is to preserve and enhance in perpetuity the unique scenic, natural and recreational values of the Red Rock Scenic Byway through self-sustaining stewardship, partnership and volunteer programs. The mission is further supported on its website for byway travelers, be they local or tourist, at RedRockScenicByway.com.