California Department of Transportation

VIA Links

General Links

Listed above and hyperlinked below are some on-line resources that can assist you in developing a VIA.

Standard Environmental Reference (SER) Chapter 27: Visual and Aesthetics Review

NCHRP Evaluation of Methodologies for Visual Impact Assessments

FHWA Visual Impact Assessment Manual

Caltrans Visual Impact Assessment Checklist

CEQA Resources

Caltrans SER Volume 1, Chapter 2 provides information and links regarding State laws and regulations including CEQA as they apply to transportation projects.

CEQA (Public Resources Code section 21000 et seq.) and the CEQA Guidelines (California Code of Regulations section 15000 et seq.) are available on the "LUPIN" website: The Public Resources Code is also available at:

Various technical memos regarding CEQA from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research are available on the LUPIN website:

A good basic book is CEQA Deskbook: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, Bass, Herson and Bogdan, Solano Press Books (2001). And, Guide to CEQA (11th Edition), Remy, Thomas, Moose and Manley, Solano Press Books (2007).

A more thorough treatment can be found in Practice Under the California Environmental Quality Act, California Continuing Education of the Bar (updated annually).

CEQA Training at Caltrans and at several UC Extensions

Caltrans internal training: Please check availability on the LMS website:

UCLA Extension CEQA courses offered through open enrollment Winter 2009. Please check website at Go to this website and do a search under keyword CEQA and click on course listings.

UC Davis Extension CEQA courses offered through open enrollment Winter 2009- Please check website at:
Go to this website and click on A-Z course list and see those relating to CEQA topics.

UC Riverside Extension CEQA courses offered through open enrollment Winter 2009- Please check website at: Go to search and type in CEQA and find CEQA course listings.

Selected Books on Aesthetics and Visual Impact Assessments

Dutton, Denis, 2009. The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution. Bloomsbury Press, New York. An examination of why human beings evaluate the landscape aesthetically and what attributes of that perception are universal.

Graves, Maitland, 1951. The Art of Color and Design. McGraw-Hill, New York. Classical analytical approach to understanding visual character based on art theory.

Hopper, Leonard, editor, 2007. "Applying Visual Resource Assessment for Highway Planning" in Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards. Grant Jones, David Sorey, and Charles Scott. J. Wiley and Sons, New York. An update of the FHWA process by the firm that developed the original guidance.

Jakle, John, 1987. The Visual Elements of Landscape. University of Massachusetts Press. Amherst. Explores how humans perceive and cognitively map their environment.

Nasar, Jack, editor, 1988. Environmental Aesthetics: Theory, Research, and Applications. Cambridge University Press, New York. A wide-ranging compendium of research on visual perception.