A Method for Decisions Among Freeway Location Alternatives Based on User and Community Consequences

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Highway Research Board Award

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A method is proposed that can be used in decision making among freeway location alternatives in urban areas and that incorporates both user and community consequences. It also proposes a step-by step procedure that can both systematize and simplify the decision making process. The proposed method presents a list of user and community factors as a basis for analysis. These are separated into (1) The direct economic effects, and (2) The community effects. In order to make the community effects more understandable, a graphical procedure called the factor profile is offered as a tool for analyzing them. In addition, tentative numerical measures for quantification of community factors and an indication of the effect of the factors over time are suggested. The method of decision-making is a series of paired comparisions and uses engineering economic analysis and factor profiles. When 2 alternatives are compared, the incremental costs or benefits from the economic analysis are weighted against the differences in community impact between the alternatives as shwon by the factor profiles. An attitude survey of highway planners, community officials and citizens showed the importance of recognizing different viewpoints in the analysis. Comparisons should therefore be made from the viewpoint of each group in the community and these preferences considered in making the final decision. The factor identification and factor profile approach can also be a useful tool during the planning process in defining factors important to community groups, establishing goals, and developing alternatives.

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