|Abstract or Summary
- The impacts of modern limited-access highways on the spatial distribution of non-agricultural development, and their influence in the shaping of occupancy patterns, are far-reaching and should be of eminent concern to all Americans. The location of the Interstate routes, with 80 percent of their 41,000 miles crossing rural localities, renders large areas of previously inaccessible agricultural and other rural land accessible to the urban-related land uses of commercial, residential, and industrial developments. The very nature of the spatial interaction of rural lands with these urbanizing forces (as a result of Interstate Highway construction), reresults in the creation of a problem of national importance -- the increasingly rapid and usually uncontrolled conversion of some of the nation's prime agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses. The nature and extent of the dynamic effects of increasing encroachment by urban-related spatial systems into agricultural areas are exemplified by the route of National Interstate 5, from Salem to Portland, Oregon. Previous to the transgression by this segment of Interstate 5, the area was predominantly devoted to agricultural uses. Since urban-related development adjacent to this highway has occurred during the last ten years, it provides an excellent focus for the study of highwayrelated land uses similar to those occurring on the national level. The purpose of this study, therefore, is twofold: An examination and evaluation of the present and possible future impact of the recently constructed limited-access highway, Interstate 5, on adjacent nonagricultural land uses from Salem to Portland, Oregon. The extent and nature of this development is evaluated in the light of such influential factors as the nature of access, topographical features, distance and relation to urban centers, entrenchment of prior or present land uses, and real estate values. An examination of the problem of disorganized and uncontrolled commercial sprawl in the vicinity of interchanges, and in areas of ribbon development adjacent to the freeway. The possibilities of utilizing land use controls, particularly progress being made in the formulation of zoning provisions, are also examined. The analysis revealed that, aside from the removal of productive farm land taken by the right-of-way, the aggravation of existing drainage problems, and the parceling of farms and farm operations, the construction of Interstate 5 set dynamic forces in motion that are completely altering the existing spatial organization of land uses and economies along its route. It was concluded that Interstate 5 has become a dominant influence in the shaping of non-agricultural occupancy patterns on adjacent lands. The economic and land use changes appear to result from the stimulus provided by the highway for commercial, residential, and industrial development, and from the attending changes in existing land ownership, land values, and in existing land use controls. In view of the realization that the effects of limited-access highways are far-reaching and extend much beyond the immediate properties from which right-of-way was acquired, several recommendations are presented for consideration: When acquiring lands on which modern highways are to be constructed, consideration should be given to the character of land capabilities near the right-ofway, and to the impact the highway will have upon spatial organization and use systems. A program should be initiated by responsible agencies to inform and educate the public as to the total implications of the present trend of rapid conversion of large quantities of prime agricultural land to non-agricultural uses 3. The public at large should be made to realize that money spent now on the examination of alternative Interstate routes to utilize lands of limited agricultural capabilities and the employment of land use controls are actually investments for the future.
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