TITLE XX
TRANSPORTATION

Chapter 238
HIGHWAY PROGRAMS

Safety Program

Section 238:1 to 238:9

    238:1 to 238:9 Repealed by 2015, 276:161, eff. July 1, 2015. –

Traffic Safety Commission

Section 238:10, 238:11

    238:10, 238:11 Repealed by 2015, 276:161, eff. July 1, 2015. –

Section 238:12

    238:12 Repealed by 1987, 15:3, eff. April 3, 1987. –

New Hampshire Scenic Byways Planning Program

Section 238:13 to 238:18

    238:13 to 238:18 Repealed by 1992, 160:4, eff. July 5, 1992. –

Scenic and Cultural Byways System

Section 238:19

    238:19 Purpose. –
I. The scenic and cultural byways system is established to provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to travel a system of byways which feature the scenic and cultural qualities of the state within the existing highway system, promote retention of rural and urban scenic byways, support the cultural, recreational and historic attributes along these byways and expose the unique elements of the state's beauty, culture and history.
II. It is the intent of the general court that the scenic and cultural assets of the byways will be respected, that the rights of individual property owners shall be preserved, and that nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to preempt any land and zoning authority granted to municipalities under title LXIV.
III. It shall be a process of state and local identification of scenic and cultural byways that shall build a statewide system. However, nothing in this subdivision shall restrict a municipality from designating scenic byways within its jurisdiction, require that such designated scenic byways be nominated for inclusion in the New Hampshire scenic and cultural byways system, or require that the scenic and cultural byways council accept such locally designated scenic byway into the system.

Source. 1992, 160:1. 1995, 105:1, eff. July 15, 1995.

Section 238:20

    238:20 Establishment of Scenic and Cultural Byways Council. –
I. The scenic and cultural byways council shall consist of the following 15 members:
(a) Nine members appointed by the governor including one person representing regional planning, 3 persons representing municipalities, one person representing tourist and recreation interests, one person representing forests and lands, one person representing the utilities, one person representing the Outdoor Advertising Association of New Hampshire and one person representing the highway construction industry.
(b) The commissioner of the department of transportation, or designee.
(c) The commissioner of the department of business and economic affairs, or designee.
(d) The director of the office of planning and development, or designee.
(e) The director of the division of historical resources, department of natural and cultural resources, or designee.
(f) One member of the house, appointed by the speaker of the house.
(g) One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president.
II. The terms of the members appointed by the governor shall be for 3 years, except that he shall appoint the initial members for terms of one, 2 and 3 years.
III. The council shall choose its chairman annually from among its members. The chair shall serve for no more than 2 consecutive one-year terms.
IV. Except as provided in this section, no state employee or member of any state commission, federal employee, or member of any federal commission shall be eligible for membership on the council.

Source. 1992, 160:1. 1995, 106:1, 2. 2003, 319:9. 2004, 257:44, eff. July 1, 2004. 2017, 156:14, II, 41, 64, eff. July 1, 2017. 2021, 91:198, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 238:21

    238:21 Duties. –
The council shall:
I. Encourage towns and municipalities to designate scenic and cultural byways within their jurisdictions and to petition the council for the inclusion of these byways into the New Hampshire scenic and cultural byways system. Such inclusion shall enable the municipality to participate in federal funding that may be available under section 1047, Scenic Byways Program, of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. The council may also propose a statewide network of connecting highways. Proposed connecting highways shall not be designated as scenic and cultural byways as defined and controlled under section 1047, Scenic Byways Program, of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.
II. Develop the process for byways nomination and nomination criteria. Advise and consult with municipalities regarding the process of recommending municipal roads for inclusion in the scenic and cultural byways system.
III. Encourage and assist in fostering public awareness, understanding, and participation in the objectives and functions of the scenic and cultural byways system.
IV. Provide municipalities with tools and ideas for enhancement and protection of the scenic and cultural byways.
V. Review the byway system and report biennially to the governor and the general court upon the effectiveness of this subdivision and make recommendations. The reports shall indicate the status of all state and town designations and include a fiscal accounting of all moneys received and expended.
VI. De-designate a scenic and cultural byway at the request of the municipality or if its character changes in such a way that it no longer meets the criteria under which it was designated.

Source. 1992, 160:1. 1995, 105:2, eff. July 15, 1995.

Section 238:22

    238:22 Designation. –
I. The council shall designate and de-designate scenic and cultural byways of the New Hampshire scenic and cultural byways system based on criteria which include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(a) Possesses significant visible natural or cultural features along its border such as agricultural lands, farms, significant architectural attributes, historic sites, town and city centers, museums, cottage industries, panoramic views, vistas of marshes, shorelines or forests, or notable geological or other natural features.
(b) Accessible to natural and cultural features such as cultural facilities, historic sites, town and city centers, trails, lakes, rivers, streams, mountains, the seacoast, bike paths, agricultural land, parks, or protected lands that are open to the public, etc.
(c) Conforms to and does not detract from the landscape.
(d) Meets safety standards for the particular traffic encouraged.
(e) Is free from intensive commercial development and obstructive signage that would detract from the principal reason for its designation.
II. Designation of a state or local road or highway as a scenic and cultural byway under the provisions of this subdivision, and any general or special management criteria applicable thereto, shall not affect the operation, maintenance and expansion of existing public utility lines and facilities, or be construed to require any public utility to install any of its lines or facilities underground.
III. Under no circumstances shall a local scenic and cultural byway be designated without a public hearing conducted by the municipalities in the area.
IV. Nominations shall demonstrate local, private, and public support, and be reviewed to assess any traffic or other problems that may accrue to the designation as a scenic and cultural byway and propose a method to ensure the preservation and maintenance of the qualities of the scenic and cultural byway on which the nomination is based.

Source. 1992, 160:1. 1995, 105:3, eff. July 15, 1995.

Section 238:23

    238:23 Funds. –
I. The commissioner of the department of transportation, with the advice of the commissioner of the department of natural and cultural resources, is authorized to apply for and accept gifts, grants, donations, and contributions from any source, public or private, in the name of the state and to provide for technical and administrative support consistent with the resources provided to the program under this section. Any moneys accepted shall be continually and solely appropriated for the purpose of this subdivision.
II. Any funds obtained under former RSA 238:18 and not expended shall be transferred for use under this section.

Source. 1992, 160:1. 2003, 319:9. 2004, 257:44. 2007, 263:76, eff. July 1, 2007. 2017, 156:33, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 238:24

    238:24 Advertising Devices on Scenic and Cultural Byways. –
Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, advertising devices as defined in RSA 236:70, I, shall not be erected on any primary system highway that has been designated as a scenic and cultural byway, provided that:
I. The council shall remove any scenic and cultural byway designation, highway sections that:
(a) Have no scenic or cultural value; and
(b) Have been designated or would be designated solely to preserve system continuity.
II. Nothing in this section shall preclude the council from removing from any scenic and cultural byway designation, highway sections that are adjacent to property that is used for intensive commercial or industrial purposes. In this section, "intensive" means an area containing more than 5 zoned commercial or industrial activities located within one continuous mile.
III. Advertising devices erected before the effective date of this section may be maintained.
IV. On-premise signs, as defined in RSA 236:73, III, and directional, informational, or official signs, as defined under RSA 236:73, IV, may be erected and/or maintained.

Source. 1995, 106:3, eff. June 15, 1995.

Section 238:25

    238:25 Traffic and Directional Signs on Scenic and Cultural Byways. –
I. The commissioner of the department of transportation shall file with the planning board of a town a plan for any new traffic or directional sign to be placed on a scenic or cultural byway within such town with no additional cost to the department.
II. The planning board may hold a public hearing and suggest changes to the plan for the purpose of maintaining the scenic nature of the byway; however, the department shall not be required to comply with any such suggestion.

Source. 2016, 120:1, eff. July 19, 2016.