Long-Term Impacts of Access Management on Business and Land Development along Minnesota Interstate 394

Understanding the relationship between changes in transportation infrastructure and the surrounding commercial economy is important for completing improvement projects successfully. Owners of businesses located along major highway corridors considered for improvements often suggest that changes to the existing street network will reduce property values, reduce retail sales, or cause the business to fail. This is particularly true when direct access between the roadway and commercial land parcels is modified and controlled. Little information exists about the economic impacts of roadway improvements, though studies in Iowa, Texas, and Kansas have indicated that there are few or no adverse economic impacts to most businesses. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) comprehensively and systematically analyzed the economic impacts associated with converting arterial US Highway 12 to freeway-standard I-394, between Minneapolis and Wayzata in the Twin Cities metro area. The I-394 study first developed an overview covering both the transportation and business conditions in the entire corridor before and after conversion. The second step focused on the details (travel times/distances, land use/values, business turnover) of a representative sample of parcels in the corridor. The selected parcels represent a cross section of corridor business types, including offices, auto dealerships, retail, hospitality, restaurants, and gas stations. Secondary data were gathered and in-depth interviews of business owners were conducted. The I-394 study found that all transportation performance measures improved when US 12 converted to a limited-access interstate freeway, though traffic volumes almost doubled due to regional and corridor growth. The business performance measures also improved: the amount of vacant land in the corridor has significantly declined, new businesses have been added, business turnover was below statewide and national averages, and employment and adjacent commercial land values are up. Interviews with 14 of the selected business owners/managers indicated that most are doing well and most agreed that the I-394 corridor is a good place to do business, even after much greater access control was put in place. These results are consistent with the findings of the previous research and indicate that the dire predictions of a few of the business owners prior to construction about long-term adverse economic impacts associated with the conversion of US Highway 12 to I-394 did not prove to be true.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the 2005 Mid-Continent Transportation Research Symposium

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01004328
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780965231084
  • Files: HSL
  • Created Date: Sep 28 2005 9:45AM