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Title:Aesthetic-based conflict in highway planning: Federal Highway Administration putting planners at risk
Author(s):Douglas, Judy Carol
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Forrest, Clyde W., Jr
Department / Program:Urban and Regional Planning
Discipline:Urban and Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Engineering, Civil
Urban and Regional Planning
Abstract:The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration aesthetic-based legislation, policies, regulations, guidelines, and procedures as well as their implementation are not only inadequate and inappropriate for avoiding conflict, but they actually contribute to conflict. The exploration of this hypothesis included: a comparison of urban/regional planning and street and highway planning; a review of aesthetic-based conflicts in street and highway projects in San Francisco, California, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Carbondale, Illinois; a definition of aesthetics; an identification of specific aesthetic-based legislation, policies, regulations, guidelines, procedures, and litigation; and development of a questionnaire.
The definition of aesthetics developed in this dissertation includes sensory, formal, and symbolic components. In addition, an aesthetic model indicates that these components intersect and are inter-related.
Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) are the aesthetic-based legislation reviewed in this dissertation. The aesthetic definition and model were used to determine if Section 4(f) and NEPA legislation, policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures were adequate or appropriate. Although Section 4(f) and NEPA legislation and policies include all three components of the aesthetic definition and model, the related regulations, guidelines, and procedures do not. While the regulations do not include an aesthetic definition, the guidelines for complying with Section 4(f) and NEPA redefine aesthetics as visual impact.
A questionnaire was distributed to 360 environmental officials at state's department of transportation. There were 188 useable returned questionnaires. Results of the questionnaire indicate 72% of the respondents agree with the aesthetic definition and model developed in this dissertation. However, only 40% of the respondents indicated aesthetic issues were always considered while complying with the requirements of Section 4(f), and only 26% indicated that aesthetics are always considered while complying with NEPA requirements.
The results of this investigation suggest that until the Federal Highway Administration revises its regulations and guidelines to provide a definition of aesthetics that includes sensory, formal, and symbolic components, aesthetic-based conflicts in street and highway project development will continue.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Douglas, Judy Carol
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512349
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512349

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