Highway Design and Beautification

May 5, 1965

Report Outline
Plans to Beautify Roads and Roadsides
Evolution of Modern Highway Design
Problem of Controlling Roadside Blight

Plans to Beautify Roads and Roadsides

President johnson's keen interest in making America more beautiful has put a new spur to a movement already under way to improve the appearance of the nation's highways. The President on several occasions has taken note of the powerful effect of road design and roadside development on the quality of the American scene. The important place of roads in his campaign to beautify America was emphasized when he instructed the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, which oversees the vast federal-aid highway construction program, to “take an active part” in a White House Conference on Natural Beauty to be held May 24 and 25.

The conference comes at a time when about one-half of the 41,000-mile National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, due to be completed in 1972, has been opened to traffic. Under this and other federal-aid road building programs, the country has acquired many miles of fine highways in recent years. But the pleasure of driving along well-designed super-highways has intensified distaste for the ugliness and traffic-jammed confusion of other roads that are traversed daily. At the same time, there is mounting criticism of the kind of highway construction that produces an efficient transportation facility at the expense of the appearance of large sections of city or countryside.

President Johnson now has joined the outspoken critics of roadside blight, of billboard defacement of the landscape, and of highway construction that slashes through built-up neighborhoods or open countryside with little regard for any consideration other than the swift movement of traffic. The President has promised to work for legislation this year to put esthetic factors on a par with technical factors in the design and maintenance of roads and roadsides.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Highways and Roads
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Sep. 11, 2017  Infrastructure
Jun. 06, 2016  Infrastructure
May 04, 2012  Distracted Driving
Sep. 28, 2007  Aging Infrastructure Updated
Oct. 06, 2000  Drunken Driving
Mar. 12, 1999  Truck Safety
Jul. 14, 1995  Highway Safety
Oct. 09, 1981  Interstate Highway System at Twenty-Five
May 05, 1965  Highway Design and Beautification
Sep. 02, 1960  Progress of the Road Program
Mar. 06, 1957  Billboards and Roadside Controls
Dec. 13, 1954  New Highways
Jul. 25, 1939  Prevention of Highway Accidents
May 13, 1935  Elimination of Highway Grade Crossings
Dec. 24, 1932  Federal Highway Aid and the Depression
Apr. 30, 1931  Billboards and Roadside Improvement
Feb. 14, 1929  Toll Bridges and Toll Roads
Jul. 11, 1927  Ten Years of Federal Aid in Road Building
Motor Traffic and Roads