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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Economic and Travel Impacts of Bypass Roads: A Comparative Study of Israel and the U.S.

  • Author(s): Plaut, Pnina O
  • Deakin, Elizabeth
  • et al.

In this study we are documenting and comparing the economic and travel impacts of bypass roads in the United States and Israel on the towns near which they are constructed. Using historical research, on-site observations, interviews, surveys, and data analyses we consider the effects of bypasses on local and through traffic, travel patterns, development patterns, and the local urban economy in the immediately affected communities. We aim elucidate how road design, market forces, local politics, land use policies, planning and zoning and location-specific factors interact to produce the effects we observe. The incidence of costs and benefits upon various interest groups within the local community is a particular focus of the research.

In Israel, we are examining the impacts of a regional road affecting three towns. In the United States, we are examining the impact of two different regional roads, one in New Hampshire and the other in California, each road affecting two towns. For all the cases, the bypasses divert traffic from the centers of small communities that are along major corridors for through traffic. The bypasses have been built at different times and some towns have not been bypassed, allowing us to consider with/without effects as well as the effects of the bypasses over time. We will consider not only overall impacts of the roads but the spatial and socio-economic distribution of those impacts.

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