TDOT Landscape Design Manual

Location: Tennessee Department of Transportation–Statewide
Client: Tennessee Department of Transportation

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) saw a need to develop a set of landscape design recommendations for the roadside environment that responds to safety requirements, design policies and maintenance needs. In August 2005, 320 online surveys were sent to community leaders, including convention and visitor’s bureaus, chambers of commerce, and parks and recreation departments across Tennessee. The survey asked questions about a statewide TDOT-sponsored comprehensive landscape program. Survey respondents believed the primary benefits of such a program would be a boost in community pride and an increase in economic development. Other benefits were improved quality of life and increased tourism. Subsequent public meetings held across the state echoed these sentiments.

Lose & Associates was asked to prepare this manual, which will provide a broad audience with recommendations to plan, design, install and manage the roadside environment for both new road projects and existing roadways. This audience includes TDOT professionals, maintenance workers, community officials, landowners, designers and anyone who wants to be involved in enhancing Tennessee’s roadways. These guidelines should also be used by groups that are preparing Transportation Enhancement and Roadscapes grants. This manual provides a new process for designing and maintaining roadway environments with respect to roadway character, the surrounding landscape, cost variables, maintenance resources, safety and time. When these factors are considered in design and maintenance plans, residents, tourists, and state and local officials all benefit. The Landscape Design Guidelines were formally adopted by TDOT in June 2010.