STUDY OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL EFFECTS OF HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS

AN ANALYSIS WAS MADE OF A SERIES OF ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDIES WHICH "WERE AN OUTGROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF WORK THAT HAD BEEN GOING ON FOR SOME YEARS IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF EXPRESSWAYS, BYPASSES AND OTHER MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS." THE DATA ANALYZED WERE COMPRISED OF ALL RELEVANT EFFECTS OF HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS RECEIVED BY NON-HIGHWAY USERS. THE INDIVIDUAL STUDIES WERE OF THREE KINDS: (1) THOSE DEVOTED TO THE COLLECTION OF ON-THE-SPOT DATA ABOUT CHANGES IN LAND VALUES, LAND USES, AND OTHER EVIDENCES OF THE ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF SPECIFIC HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT: (2) THOSE UTILIZING STUDIES MADE AT SEVERAL LOCATIONS, OR DESIGNED ON AN AREA RATHER THAN A PROJECT BASIS, TO DEVELOP GENERALIZED CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS UPON SPECIAL INDUSTRIES, OR PARTICULAR ECONOMIC OR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES: AND (3) THOSE DESIGNED TO EXPLORE THEORIES AND CONCEPTS REGARDING THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT. IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT: (1) VERY OFTEN, ALTHOUGH NOT INVARIABLY, HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS OCCASION INCREASES, SOMETIMES VERY GREAT, IN THE VALUE OF PROPERTY NEAR THEM, (2) THROUGH SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS OR AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAXES, GENERALLY AT THE COUNTY OR LOCAL LEVEL, PROPERTIES BENEFITED BY HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS SHARE WITH USER TAXATION THE BURDEN OF THEIR FINANCING, (3) IMPROVEMENTS IN HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION ARE A PRINCIPAL MEANS BY WHICH THE FORCES OF POPULATION GROWTH, INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY, AND HIGHER LIVING STANDARDS FUNCTION TO TRANSFROM THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PATTERNS OF AMERICAN LIFE. THIS ACTION IS BROUGHT ABOUT BY (1) HIGHWAY-INDUCED REORGANIZATIONS OF LAND USE, AND (2) HIGHWAY-ORIENTED REORGANIZATIONS OF THE PROCESSES OF PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, AND CONSUMPTION. (4) STRATEGIC RELOCATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MERCANTILE, AND SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS MAKES POSSIBLE THE REALIZATION OF ECONOMIES OF SCALE AND OTHER BENEFITS, (5) HIGHWAYS HAVE PLAYED A LARGE PART IN THE REDISTRIBUTION AND OUTWARD EXPANSION OF THE URBAN POPULATION, (6) RURAL HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS DECREASE THE EFFECTIVE DISTANCES TO MARKET CENTERS AND WIDEN THE CHOICES BETWEEN THEM, THEREBY CONDUCING TO ADVANTAGEOUS CHANGES IN THE USE OF FARMLAND, (7) BOTH EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES BENEFIT FROM THE EFFECTS OF HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR CONDITIONS, (8) HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS ALSO BENEFIT PUBLIC AND INSTITUTIONAL SERVICES BY PROMOTING EFFICIENCIES AND ECONOMIES THAT COULD NOT OTHERWISE OCCUR. (9) IT IS INEVITABLE THAT THERE SHOULD BE SOME UNFAVORABLE EFFECTS RESULTING FROM HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS, AS THERE ARE BOUND TO BE FROM ALMOST ANY INVESTMENT, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE. THEY OCCUR CHIEFLY BECAUSE OF INEVITABLE DISLOCATIONS RESULTING FROM CHANGES IN LAND USE. THE NET EFFECT OF HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS IS THAT NON-HIGHWAY USER BENEFICIARIES SHOULD PAY ABOUT EIGHT PER CENT OF THE COST OF THE FEDERAL AID PROGRAM. /VHRC/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • House DocumENT NO 72, 82 PP
  • Corporate Authors:

    United States Congress

    87th Congress, 1st Session
    Washington, DC  USA  20510
  • Publication Date: 1961-1

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201461
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Virginia Highway Research Council
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 20 1970 12:00AM