The Battle Road Scenic Byway: Road to Revolutions

Project Overview

One Road, Many Revolutions! The American Revolution started here. World-renowned classic literature was written here. The environmental movement was seeded here. Innovations in aerospace and electronics technology were developed here.

The Battle Road follows the approximate path of the British regulars during the battles that marked the start of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775 – where the “shot heard round the world” was fired. The byway runs roughly parallel to Route 2 along approximately fifteen miles of roads in the communities of Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord, including part of the Minute Man National Historical Park. Not only is this route famous for its role in the American Revolution; The Battle Road Scenic Byway is a Road to Revolutions because of literary, environmental, and technological revolutions that have occurred along the Byway throughout its history through today.

The communities of Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord, the Minute Man National Historical Park, MAPC, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation are collaborating to help conserve this historic route and to highlight its archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts officially designated The Battle Road Scenic Byway on November 6, 2006. With funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s Scenic Byways program and a match from the Massachusetts Highway Department, MAPC is developing a Corridor Management Plan for the byway in conjunction with the project partners, to be completed in the spring of 2011.

The Corridor Management Plan

A Corridor Management Plan (CMP) is a written document that specifies the goals, strategies, and responsibilities for conserving and enhancing a scenic byway’s most valuable qualities. The CMP can address issues such as tourism development, roadway safety, roadway signs, and preservation of historic structures. Using words, pictures, and maps, the CMP provides an assessment of current conditions, a realistic set of goals for the future of the byway, and a commitment to taking steps towards those goals. The process of developing a CMP includes inventories of the intrinsic qualities that form the byway’s story; public outreach, involvement and participation; and developing recommendations and implementation steps.

Development of the CMP will assist the four towns and the Minute Man National Historical Park in reaching agreement about how best to preserve the area’s intrinsic resources while expanding economic opportunities, developing a balanced tourism industry, and accommodating future development. The work of creating the CMP will be carried out by MAPC staff in partnership with and oversight from a Working Group composed of representatives from each community, the MMNHP and MAPC. The CMP process and approval will occur with local participation and control, and the Selectmen in each town will have approval authority for acceptance of the final CMP.

March 31, 2011 Draft of Corridor Management Plan

The Battle Road Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan was presented to the public at an Open House on March 31, 2011. Draft documents were available for public comment until April 15, 2011.

This Open House was the final public meeting to present the four-town Battle Road Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan. It was held from 5:00pm – 8:00pm in the Minute Man Visitor Center, located on Route 2A in Minute Man National Historical Park, Lincoln, MA. The meeting featured:

  • Stations where participants reviewed, discussed, and commented on proposed corridor management strategies for transportation, tourism, and land use with Battle Road Scenic Byway Working Group Members.
  • An opportunity to view The Road to Revolution, an award-winning multimedia presentation by the Minute Man National Historical Park – will be shown every 30 minutes during the Open House!
  • virtual tour of the Battle Road Scenic Byway
  • Open House Welcome Handout

Project Vision, Goals, and Potential Action Steps

Topic-specific forums on tourism, land use, and transportation were held in October 2010, and a Public Forum presenting the Corridor Management Plan Vision, Goals, and Potential Action Steps was held on November 9, 2010.

At the November 9, 2010 Public Forum, members of the four Byway communities were invited to join the Battle Road Scenic Byway Working Group in the lobby of Cary Memorial Hall in Lexington for a Meet and Greet. Participants were given an opportunity to preview project maps as well as draft action steps and proposed strategies for the Byway, organized by topic: Transportation, Land Use, Tourism, and Intrinsic Qualities.

Photos from the Meet and Greet, November 9, 2010 

Battle Road Scenic Byway Public Forum Meet and Greet

As the Meet and Greet was winding down, participants were asked to enter Cary Memorial Hall Auditorium to watch a virtual tour of the Byway. Lexington Board of Selectmen Chair Hank Manz gave the opening remarks and the evening’s main presentation followed.

Presentations and keypad polling at the Public Forum, November 9, 2010

Presentations and Keypad Polling at the Battle Road Scenic Byway Public Forum on November 9, 2010