- Awards and Recognition
- Annual Reports
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- Blue Star Memorial Highways
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- Erosion Control Toolbox
- Gateway Monuments
- Highway Planting
- Mission Bells
- Nonstandard Specification Info
- Policy, Manuals and Procedures
- Roadside Toolbox
- Safety Roadside Rest Area System
- Scenic Highways
- Standard Specifications and Plans
- Transportation Art
- Visual Impact Assessment Outlines
- Visual Impact Assessment Training
- Water Conservation
Questionnaire to Determine Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) Level
Use the following questions and subsequent score as a guide to help determine the appropriate level of VIA documentation. This questionnaire assists the VIA preparer (i.e. Landscape Architect) in estimating the probable visual impacts of a proposed project on the environment and in understanding the degree and breadth of the possible visual issues. The goal is to develop a suitable document strategy that is thorough, concise and defensible.
Enter the project name and consider each of the ten questions below. Select the response that most closely applies to the proposed project and corresponding number on the right side of the table. Points are automatically computed at the bottom of the table and the total score should be matched to one of the five groups of scores at the end of the questionnaire that include recommended levels of VIA study and associated annotated outlines (i.e., minor, moderate, advanced/complex).
This scoring system should be used as a preliminary guide and should not be used as a substitute for objective analysis on the part of the preparer. Although the total score may recommend a certain level of VIA document, circumstances associated with any one of the ten question-areas may indicate the need to elevate the VIA to a greater level of detail.
Calculate VIA Level Score
Select An Outline Based Upon Project Score
The total score will indicate the recommended VIA level for the project. In addition to considering circumstances relating to any one of the ten questions-areas that would justify elevating the VIA level, also consider any other project factors that would have an affect on level selection.
No further analysis is required. Print out a copy of this completed questionnaire for your project file.
A brief Memorandum (see sample) addressing visual issues and providing a rationale for why no formal analysis is required.
An abbreviated VIA is appropriate in this case. The assessment would briefly describe project features, impacts and any avoidance and minimization measures. Visual simulations would be optional. A Minor VIA Annotated Outline can be found online and is recommended for use.
A fully developed VIA, that meets or exceeds FHWA requirements, is appropriate. This technical study will likely receive extensive public review. A Moderate VIA Annotated Outline can be found online and is recommended for use.
Prior to preparing a VIA, a formal visual scoping study that meets or exceeds FHWA requirements is appropriate to alert the Project Development Team to the potential for highly adverse impacts and to consider project alternatives to avoid those impacts. An Advanced/Complex VIA Annotated Outline can be found online is recommended for use.