Lincoln's Current Roadside Challenges
While most of Lincoln’s roads have retained their original alignment, width and corridor characteristics, the intensity of use by both traffic and utility infrastructure has increased dramatically. The impact of these two forces, coupled with a much more wooded landscape, means that the roadway scene of today faces challenges in retaining its historic character and beauty. Preserving their rural character while accommodating necessary modern use remains a constant challenge. Current challenges are described in detail in the full report and include:
1. Impacts of increased traffic volume which contributes to the rapid deterioration of the road and roadside path surfaces in many locations. Includes traffic signs, lane striping, street lighting, guardrails, speed bumps, curbing and traffic signals (often related to public safety), and the effects of winter-time sand/salt runoff.
2. Impacts of utility infrastructure which did not exist in the historic road layout, the most damaging to visual quality being the overhead wire system. Modern requirements for public utilities such as water supply, communications, electricity, gas, and fire protection are accommodated within the public right-of-way.
3. Impacts of increased or unmanaged vegetation from the increased forest growth within and adjacent to the public right-of-ways. Some trees have grown on the edge of pavement, creating a safety issue for motorists and a poor environment for the trees. Volunteer trees grow in or adjacent to stone walls and eventually disfigure or destroy them. More and more invasive plants have found their way into Lincoln landscapes causing roadsides to suffer visually and ecologically, literally choking out the native trees, shrubs, and ground cover.