Maintaining roadsides for safety and aesthetics is an important issue for all levels of government throughout Minnesota. Vegetation is one important element of roadside maintenance. A healthy roadside environment reduces maintenance needs and costs, reduces erosion and improves water quality, improves water infiltration and reduces runoff, preserves the roadside surface, maximizes safety for vehicles and travelers, limits liability for the governing agency, maintains good public relations, improves the overall driving experience, and provides habitat for wildlife populations. This handbook was written to provide guidelines for effective management of roadside vegetation for local agencies, and highlights eight best management practices (BMPs) that were identified through research, literature review, surveys, and discussion with industry experts. The eight best management practices for roadside vegetation are:
(1) develop an integrated roadside vegetation management plan; (2) develop a public relations plan; (3) develop a mowing policy and improved procedures; (4) establish sustainable vegetation; (5) control prohibited and restricted noxious weeds; (6) manage living snow fences; (7) use integrated construction and maintenance practices; and (8) manage roadside vegetation for wildlife and vehicle safety.
The main conclusion from the handbook is that successful roadside vegetation management depends on an integrated approach. This includes a wide variety of best management practices to address the many issues involved. This integrated approach includes an assessment of the existing conditions and determination of the type of roadside environment desired. Other construction operations, including proper seeding techniques, selection of the correct plant in the right area, selection of salt-tolerant plant species where needed, and erosion control, will greatly affect the roadside condition. Use of integrated construction and maintenance practices is one of the most important best management practices identified in the handbook.
The past version of this handbook was published in September 2000 and is available at http://hdl.handle.net/11299/189413.
Johnson, Ann M..
Best Practices Handbook for Roadside Vegetation Management.
Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.