Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title Critical Area Analysis: A Geographic Perspective of Interchange Area Development
Author(s) Turk, David J.
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 1973 August
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Abstract Freeway interchanges have become the hew foci of this nation's urban access systems. As such they have become critical areas in terms of planning. Interchanges may be areas of great development opportunity, However, they may also become areas of potential congestion and nuisance as well. There is a gap in highway impact knowledge in the understanding of the dynamic aspects of urban interchange development. Experimental work has not been done with areas prone to overdevelopment, and studies of land use control, conducted in critical areas, have not differentiated specific interchange development problems. There is a need for research in urban interchange areas to: (1) provide a basis for future experimental work, and (2) provide a methodology for analyzing specific critical area problems so that land use controls may be appropriately matched to the difficulties at hand. In this research, the following steps were carried out to pursue.the above goals. (1) Interchanges were selected and study areas delineated. (2) Land use maps of the study zones around the interchanges were made. (3) Assessments were made of the land use changes occurring after interchange completion. (4) Congestion at the interchanges was assessed. (5) Zoning histories were noted for each of the areas. (6) With this data bank, the nature and origins of congestion at each of the sites was analyzed. The interchanges selected for study illustrate a great variety in development and congestion, constituting an adequate test of the methodology's ability to analyze interchange area development. The first site, while apparently overdeveloped, has had few congestion problems. It combines commercial strip, multi-family housing, and office development. The second location, although moderately developed, cannot handle the traffic needs•demanded of it. It has undergone commercial strip, highway related, and extensive residential development. The final site, is operating quite well at the present, but has experienced rapidly increasing traffic volumes. It has been developed with industrial and office park*, warehouse, and shopping center uses. It was found that congestion at the interchanges studied was not only due to the amount and intensity of development, but to the following factors as well. (1) The balance of in and out flows during peak traffic periods. (2) The degree of trip dispersal throughout the day on the interchange ramps. (3) The proportions of trips generated by the land uses of the study zones using the freeway. (4) The relative proportions of remotely generated traffic using the interchange facility.
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