Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO CENTER HOME  
skip navigation
CEE by AASHTO Home | Compendium Home | Online Compendium Help | Recent Updates | Inquiries | FAQs | State DOT Links
About Best Practices | Comment on Best Practices | Suggest A Best Practice | Volunteer to Vet Best Practices
Printer Friendly Version Print This Page    
« Back to Chapter 8 | Go to Chapter 10 »
Chapter 9
Roadside Vegetation Management
9.7. Management of Visual Quality of the Roadside

Visual quality of the roadside is a topic of increasing interest, and several DOTs have conducted surveys to try to identify the nuances of driver preferences. The following stewardship guidelines were developed by WSDOT to maintain the visual quality of the roadside: [N]

  1. Identify opportunities to partner with adjacent land owners to preserve or reveal desirable views and roadside segments that enhance or maintain corridor continuity. (It is not WSDOT policy to remove vegetation to open up views toward commercial properties.) Balance desirable visual functions with the needs of roadway users and adjacent land owners. Coordinate with the regional or headquarters Landscape Architect. On Scenic Byways coordinate with the Heritage Corridors Program Office.
  2. Enhance or retain vegetation to screen undesirable views and to meet the requirements of the Roadside Classification Plan (corridor continuity, blending with, and buffering adjacent land uses).
  3. Maintain low growing vegetation or limb up trees to retain desirable views.
  4. Carefully consider actions before removing vegetation to open up views. Consider whether development adjacent to the highway is likely to eliminate the view after removing vegetation. Analyze the angle of view from the driver's perspective and minimize removal of vegetation to meet the view objective. Consider selective removal of tree limbs or removal of only the limbs on the lower one third of the tree to reveal desirable views.

Construction projects, transportation systems, spraying and mowing operations, use of forage mulches that have not been certified weed-free mulches and other erosion control products can facilitate the spread of plant and animal species outside their natural range, exacerbating the costs imposed by invasive species. In the past, erosion control has involved the planting of many species that are now controlled as invasives, including aggressive sweet clovers, alfalfa, smooth brome, trefoil, and perennial rye. Importation of topsoils to projects often increases ragweeds, thistles, and sweet clovers. Ill-timed maintenance disturbances like blading, mowing, ditch dredging, and bare-grounding have been known to increase weeds such as kochia, foxtails, thistles, and milkweeds. Movement of construction equipment from a weedy site to a non weedy site can transport undesirable seeds. [N]


< back to top >
Continue to Section 9.8 »
Table of Contents
Chapter 9
Roadside Vegetation Management
9.0 Introduction
9.1 Inventory of and Management for Rare Species and Sensitive Resources in the ROW
9.2 Growing Threats Drive Expansion of DOT Invasive Species Practice
9.3 Practices for Prevention of Roadside Infestations
9.4 Statewide Inventory of Invasive or Noxious Species in the ROW and Update of Databases
9.5 Planning for Invasives Control
9.6 Roadside Vegetation Control Methods and Resources
9.7 Management of Visual Quality of the Roadside
9.8 Staffing, Training, & Partnerships
Lists: Examples | Tables | Figures
Website Problems Report content errors and/or website problems
PDF Document Download Adobe Acrobat Reader