Historical Overview + Documentation
The federal government, through the U.S. Bureau of Roads, was also promoting roadside development. In fact, by 1933 the federal government specified that a minimum of one-half of one percent of all federal highway funds be spent on roadside development. This amount was increased to one percent the following year.
A summary of the Bureau's design philosophy for roadside development appeared in an issue of the Improvement Bulletin dated May 4, 1934:
For the cost of a single mile of high grade road surfacing, 30 miles
of roadside can be improved. This estimate ... is calculated...to avoid
construction scars, with side slopes graded during construction to fit
landscape requirements, and includes the salvaging of valuable trees available...
Local materials for improving roadsides may be utilized at comparatively low cost ... Such materials include boulders or native stone for guardrails, suitable plant material salvaged in the path of construction operations, careful trimming and cutting of trees, ... and utilizing other objects naturally adapted to the landscape.
This new philosophy for highway design was also described in a 1938 study entitled the Minnesota State Park, Parkway, and Recreational Area Study in which it was noted that "... basic consideration in determining the location of new highways and the realignment of old locations are...safety, construction and maintenance costs, preservation of the character of the natural landscape…, and provision of accessory facilities for the pleasure and convenience of the public." It was noted that, "A nation-wide change is occurring in which Minnesota participates."