Landscape Architecture and Community Livability
Livability within transportation describes the degree to which transportation facilities improve human quality of life. Caltrans strives to provide efficient and comfortable multi-modal travel facilities that enhance the aesthetic, environmental, scenic, and cultural values of the local community.
The topics below illustrate how state transportation infrastructure can reflect and align with local community needs and goals.
Blue Star Memorial Highways
Blue Star Memorial markers pay tribute to the nation's armed forces by designating various State and national routes as "Blue Star Memorial Highways." The Headquarters Landscape Architecture Program coordinates the Blue Star Memorial program, and the District Landscape Architect approves proposed locations for markers in cooperation with the California Garden Clubs, Inc.
Community Identification provide communities with a way to enhance existing transportation facilities to reflect that community’s aesthetic, environmental, scenic, and cultural values. Community identification includes visual images, graphics, sculptural artwork, or text placed on a required engineering feature that expresses unique attributes of a community’s identity, history, resources, or character.
District landscape architects act as the single focal point contact to assist a local agency with a Community Identification proposal - helping them develop, evaluate, qualify, and process a Community Identification submittal as an Encroachment Permit.
Classified Landscaped Freeways
A Classified Landscaped Freeway is a section of freeway with planting that meets the criteria of California's Outdoor Advertising Regulations. It is used in the control and regulation of Outdoor Advertising Displays.
Gateway monuments provide communities with a way to enhance existing transportation facilities to reflect that community’s aesthetic, environmental, scenic, and cultural values. Gateway monuments include any freestanding structure or sign, non-integral or non-required highway feature that communicates the name of the city, county, or township.
District landscape architects act as the single focal point contact to assist a local agency with a Gateway Monument proposal - helping them develop, evaluate, qualify, and process a Gateway Monument submittal as an Encroachment Permit.
Communities with main streets that also serve as a California State Highway are challenged with balancing competing needs. Landscape Architecture helps incorporate livability and sustainability principles into main street designs.
Landscape Architecture administers the research program for the Division of Design. Research is conducted to find innovative, practical and cost effective methods of improving project delivery and professional practices.
Landscape Architecture and the Division of Design support California's goals related to conserving resources and assets. Through administering the Resource Conservation Program, Landscape Architecture provides support to the Caltrans districts through partnerships with the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
The Safety Roadside Rest Area (SRRA) System provides opportunities for travelers to safely stop, stretch, take a nap, use the restroom, get water, check maps, place telephone calls, switch drivers, check vehicles and loads, and exercise pets. Safety Roadside Rest Areas reduce drowsy and distracted driving and provide a safe, convenient alternative to unsafe roadside parking. Landscape Architecture manages this program.
Created by the State Legislature in 1963, the purpose of California's Scenic Highway Program is to protect the natural scenic beauty of California highways. Highways may be designated as scenic depending upon how much of the natural landscape can be seen by travelers, the scenic quality of the landscape, and the extent to which development intrudes upon the traveler's enjoyment of the view.
Transportation art provides a community with a way to enhance an existing transportation facility to reflect the local community’s aesthetic, environmental, scenic, and cultural values. Transportation art may include graphic or sculptural artwork, either freestanding or placed on engineering features such as sound walls, retaining walls, or bridges.
District landscape architects act as the single focal point contact to assist a local agency with a Transportation Art proposal - helping them develop, evaluate, qualify, and process a Transportation Art submittal as an Encroachment Permit.Vista Points
Vista points are designated pullouts where motorists can safely view scenery or park and relax. They do not include restrooms. Vista points may have facilities including walkways, interpretive displays, railings, benches, interpretive information, trash receptacles, monuments and other pedestrian facilities that are accessible to all persons. Landscape Architecture manages this program.