Date of Award

3-2015

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning/MS in Engineering (Transportation Planning Specialization)

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Chris Clark

Abstract

The stretch of California Route One (Highway 1) from the City of San Luis Obispo reaching north to the Monterey County line is one of the most scenic drives in the United States. This stretch of highway is a destination in its own right; so much so, the San Luis Obispo North Coast Scenic Byway is federally designated as an All-American Road, the highest scenic designation of any road or highway in the nation. There has been a history for funding the preservation and enhancement of these roads; however, it was removed in 2012. Even with the lack of current funding opportunities, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) continues to recognize the importance of the corridor in attracting valuable tourism revenue thus commissioning this update and economic analysis. Through the economic analysis it was found that visitor spending in the byway region increased by 23% from over $500 million in 2006 to almost $656 million in 2012. In 2012, visitor spending related associated with scenic recognition and enhancement projects along the corridor was about $217,000 in direct revenue. As a result of research, outreach, and data analysis, this project did find that being scenic does make “cents.”

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