"Rural" is a term we use to characterize areas with large expanses of undeveloped or agricultural land, dotted by small towns, villages, or any other small activity clusters.
Article / Paper / Report
Planning for Transportation in Rural Areas
This document is designed as a resource to rural planners, city and county engineers, stakeholders, local officials, and other decision-makers involved with developing rural transportation plans. It is intended to foster a better understanding of the characteristics, issues, and trends affecting rural transportation systems and the benefits of good rural system planning. It provides approaches and case study profiles for public consultation, environmental review, transit system planning, intelligent transportation system planning, and access management.
Federal Highway Administration
Methods to Reduce Traffic Speed in High-Pedestrian Rural Areas "A number of techniques have been used to reduce speed in urban areas where the pedestrian-vehicle problem is more frequent, but little has been done to minimize these conflicts along rural roadways where the problems is much more severe. ...This paper reports on the effectiveness of the deployed reduction techniques at two selected study sites with high-pedestrian activities during the summer." more...
Pedestrians and Bicycles 2003
Roads in the Open Countryside Signage and other equipment are kept at a minimum and the absence of billboards, art, and other distracting and defacing elements in the road's immediate vicinity emphasizes the desire for clarity and simplicity. Lighting fixtures illuminate feeder lanes and exits, but otherwise there is almost no artificial lighting in the open countryside. more...
Beautiful Roads, pp. 27-32
Article / Paper / Report
The Countryside Assessment report resulted from a series of Rural Design Demonstration projects completed in 1992, sponsored by the NRCS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The intent of the assessment procedure is to provide flexible, conceptual framework to use in any countryside setting. It was designed to work at various scales and for a variety of objectives. By Carolyn A. Adams, ASLA and Gary W. Wells, ASLA, USDA Natural Resources conservation Service.
Article / Paper / Report
A Road to Match Mountains
The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway is such a technological marvel that it points to a plight of this profession - a job so well done that, to the untrained eye, the hand of the landscape architect is never seen. In this new century, when landscape architects are rewarded for projects where their mark is obvious and avant-garde, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a paragon of a time when design appeared subordinate to nature - and to people's pure enjoyment of it.
"The parkway," noted its chief designer and landscape architect Stanley Abbott, "has but one reason for existence, which is to please by revealing the charm and interest of the native American countryside...The idea is to fit the parkway into the mountains as if nature has put it there."
-- Kim OﾒConnell and Mary Myers
The Paris-Lexington Road: Community-Based Planning and Context Sensitive Highway Design
"This case study focuses on the reconstruction history of the Paris Pike, now renamed 'Paris-Lexington Road,' and critically investigates the role of landscape architects in context sensitive design. Of particular emphasis is the work of [landscape architects], and other collaborating designers, planners, engineers, community organizations, and property owners responsible for the project's success. The research focuses upon the community-based planning approach... including public workshops and electronic polling that built consensus among property owners; the design philosophy and practices of the [landscape architecture] firm; as well as the technology used to facilitate and communicate the development of road alignment and design alternatives."
-- Krista L. Schneider
Paris Pike - Kentucky Lexington-Paris, KY
Paris Pike is a US urban/rural primary route between the northern limits of Lexington and the southern limits of Paris, serving commuters as well as through travelers on a segment officially designated as a scenic route. The project involved reconstruction of an existing two-lane road into a four-lane over a distance of approximately 13.5 miles. The need for this improvement is based on Paris Pikeﾒs importance in the regional transportation system, i.e. its system linkage, its lack of sufficient capacity to adequately serve not only projected travel but also existing traffic demands, inadequate existing roadway geometrics and design features, safety considerations, and social demands. A wide range of context sensitive issues were addressed as part of the construction, impacting both the natural and human environments.
State Route 89--Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe El Dorado County, CA
Construction of this project involved a stretch of State Route 89 along Emerald Bay near Cascade Lake and Eagle Falls on the southwestern shore of Lake Tahoe, CA. The purpose of this project was to upgrade a stretch of the existing narrow two-lane section of Route 89 to a more modern two-lane cross section. The primary goal of the proposed design was to address slope stabilization and erosion control issues to reduce rock slides that frequently closed this section of the highway, the only all-weather route around the west side of Lake Tahoe. Secondary goals of the project were to improve safety, enhance roadway drainage, and minimize potential negative impact on the water quality of Lake Tahoe. The physical location of the project, combined with the climatic conditions of the region, presented a number of unusual issues and constraints that had to be addressed during the design and construction phases of the improvement. The reconstruction of State Route 89 was nominated for an FHWA Design Excellence Award in 1994.
Historic Columbia River Parkway Columbia River Gorge, OR
The first paved highway in the northwestern United States, the Columbia River Highway was conceived, designed, and constructed as both a scenic attraction and as a means of facilitating economic development along the Columbia River corridor between the Pacific Ocean and the areas to the east of the Cascade Mountains. The history of the development, decline, and continuing rebirth of the Columbia River Highway is particularly instructive to the highway engineering community as we approach the beginning of a new century and a future of increasing reliance on the rehabilitation and restoration of existing infrastructure instead of the construction of new highways. This study also illustrates the manner in which state and local governments can preserve and enhance existing highways that possess unique scenic and historic qualities within the framework of modern design criteria.
Route 215 - Ozark National Forest - Arkansas AR
Route 215 is an improved 2-lane facility of approximately 15 miles in length following along the Mulberry River (providing a scenic overlook) with its steep slopes and providing access to the Redding and Wolfpen Campgrounds in the White Rock Wildlife Management Area of the Ozark National Forest. The previously existing route was not adequate for the current or anticipated future traffic. The reconstructed roadway is meant to reduce dust and siltation thereby enhancing the personal experience and improving the water quality of the area.
"It is believed pedestrian accidents most frequently occur in urban areas, yet 40% of pedestrian fatalities and 15% of injuries occur in nonurban areas. A more recent study, however, indicated a decrease in the number of rural pedestrian fatalities. According to this study, 70% of pedestrian fatalities occur on urban roadways, leaving a 30% occurrence on rural roadways."