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Route 202 Parkway May Remain Free of Billboards

State Senators McIlhinney and Greenleaf want the roadway named a "scenic byway." House is expected to approve this week.

Route 202 Parkway May Remain Free of Billboards

When the Route 202 Parkway finally opens this fall, drivers will not be confronted with billboards, if local officials have their way.

State Senators Chuck McIlhinney and Stewart Greenleaf have proposed a bill that would name the new Route 202 Parkway a "scenic byway."

The designation would allow municipalities to deny permits from advertisers that want to erect billboards along the parkway connecting Montgomeryville to Doylestown, McIlhinney said Monday.

The state Senate approved the bill, SB 1551, on June 19. It heads next to the state House of Representatives, where McIlhinney said it is expected to be approved by the end of this week.

McIlhinney said the bill was introduced at the request of local officials from Montgomery, Warrington, New Britain and Doylestown townships.

"We spent all that money creating a Parkway, and a lot of time and input from the community and the task force in designing it, and the only way you could keep it from being cluttered up with billboards was through this designation," McIlhinney said Monday.

The concept of a scenic byway arose out of the community task force of local, state and federal representatives and county and state planners.

"The new Parkway is the result of a lot of careful planning and consideration of community input," Greenleaf said in a statement. "The 'scenic byway' designation would ensure a beautiful roadway and enhance the experience of both motorists and those making use of the non-motorized walking and biking trail that will run along the length of the Parkway."

Under discussion since the 1960s, the parkway design was chosen in 2005 and construction began in 2008. The nearly 9-mile parkway is expected to open in fall 2012.

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