During this year’s solicitation of FHWA Byway Grant Applications we were asked how our application would incorporate “livability” criterion. My response was, “The way the Byway program is structured how could it not meet the ‘livability’ criterion. It’s a grass routes local effort… at least our Mohawk Towpath Byway has been.” So what does this term “livability” along our Byway mean? The best definition I have encountered is as follows.
“It’s about encouraging growth in historic small town Main Streets across America and a high quality of life with ample green space, biking or walking paths, and shopping, restaurants or health care located nearby and easily accessible.” says Steven Lee Davis in a Transportation for America blog published on August 26, 2010.
At first glance this description seems consistent with the objectives and purposes of the Mohawk Towpath Byway Corridor Management Plan, the backbone of the Byway since attaining status of one of the network of New York State Scenic Byways seven years ago. Further it seems at the root of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition’s Action Plan that we update annually. But is it?
Perhaps this is one of the concepts we should consider as we move forward with our scenic conservation action plan. We ask you to think about it and provide your thoughts either by e-mail to me or at the public workshops that are envisioned as we flesh out the Byway’s Scenic Conservation Action Plan.