Scenic New York Route 97

New York State Route 97 Nomination:

Sullivan County Division of Planning and Community Development received a grant through the New York State Department of Transportation from the Federal Highway Administration to develop a Corridor Management Plan for Route 97 in Sullivan, Orange and Delaware Counties, New York.

Existing scenic byways are:

  • The Revolutionary Trail (Route 5) beginning at Broadway in Albany and going west
  • The Champlain Trail (Route 4) beginning in the town of Hudson Falls and going north
  • The Taconic State Parkway beginning at Interstate 90 in Columbia County and going south
  • The Central Adirondack (Route 9) beginning in Glens Falls and going west.

Scenic byway designation is determined by scenic, recreational, natural, cultural and/or historic/archeological value.

Local Municipal Officials Meet on Route 97 Scenic Byway Plan

Narrowsburg - Municipal Officials from Sullivan County's river towns are continuing to meet about a marketing and tourism program designed to enhance economic development and promote and preserve the Delaware River valley without new regulations.  The next session is scheduled on Tuesday, February 29 2000 at 7:15pm at the Delaware Arts Center on Main Street in Narrowsburg.

The centerpiece of the project is the inclusion of Route 97 into the New York State Scenic Byways system, which would provide a direct scenic link between Interstates 84 at Port Jervis and 86 at Hancock.

This statewide marketing program inventories an area's significant cultural, recreational, historical and natural resources, and then promotes them as a scenic highway destination.   One of the most famous existing byways is the 454-mile St. Lawrence Seaway Trail in western New York.

The towns of Cochecton, Delaware, Highland, Lumberland and Tusten have adopted resolutions in support of this project.   They are providing three representatives knowledgeable about planning, business and tourism to serve on the planning committee.   Municipal officials from Delaware and Orange Counties have also indicated their willingness to participate.   The Town of Fremont is considering what role it wants to play in the process.

Sullivan County District 2 Legislator Kathy LaBuda said participation by the towns was critical for the designation.   "Residents know what makes their towns attractive,: she said, "It's important to get people involved in promoting their community resources in ways that they determine."

NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) has provided a $120,000 grant to conduct the study necessary to have the highway included.   The Sullivan County Division of Planning and Community Development is overseeing the application process.

At the initial February 8th meeting, DOT Scenic Byways Advisory Board chair David Fasser said this was a competitive program with 10 to 12 efforts underway around the state to create new scenic byways.   In addition to the marketing benefits, he said the program offered the possibility of highway construction funds for road straightening, parking and scenic overlooks.

"It is nice to see the river towns get this attention," says District 1 Lawmaker Christopher A. Cunningham.   "The Scenic Byway program has a chance of opening the western part of the County to significant economic development in just the way that residents want it to happen."

For more information about the designation process, contact the Division of Planning and Community Development at 914.794.3000 ext. 5028.