Evaluating success in urban freeway planning

John M. Blair, David Pijawka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


There are clear benefits to the urban freeway mode of transportation, including increased mobility and accessibility. Historically, however, they have often brought adverse impacts to the communities that they traverse. There are signs that the 1990s generation of urban freeways has been more environmentally sensitive to neighborhoods. This study tests success in urban transportation planning by evaluating the impacts of the Squaw Peak Parkway in Phoenix, Arizona. Strategies within four thematic areas characterizing urban freeway planning are examined to explain success. The household survey in adjacent neighborhoods suggests that most freeway impacts were successfully mitigated. The article concludes that important lessons were learned from the earlier decades of freeway building. At the same time, broader issues surrounding more sustainable forms of transportation were not explored, and the authors speculate that success was obtained at the project level but question the freeway's success at the larger urban policy level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-51
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies

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