Publication Detail

Economic Impacts of Highway Relief Routes on Small Communities



Suggested Citation:
Handy, Susan L., Scott Kubly, Michael Oden (2002) Economic Impacts of Highway Relief Routes on Small Communities. Transportation Research Record (1792), 20 - 28

Highway relief routes, more commonly called highway bypasses, may have a variety of impacts on small communities, both positive and negative. On the positive side, communities benefit from a reduction in traffic through the heart of the community and the negative impacts that such traffic brings, including noise, emissions, and safety concerns. However, the reduction in through traffic may also have negative impacts on businesses in the community, particularly highway-oriented businesses located along the old route that are dependent on pass-by traffic. At the same time, new development may occur along the relief route corridor. How these impacts play out in a particular community depends on the characteristics of the community and the new relief route, as well as larger economic and industry trends. The research sought to identify and understand the various factors that influence the economic impacts of highway relief routes on small communities through case studies of 10 communities in Texas with relief routes and 4 without. Findings on the extent and nature of the impacts of the relief routes and the key factors determining those impacts are reported.