Evolution of the Twin Cities highway network (1920-2000)



Minnesota Freeway Construction Looking North - 1963

Minnesota Freeway Construction Looking North – 1963

Based on data collected for

Levinson, David, and Wei Chen (2007) Area Based Models of New Highway Route Growth. ASCE Journal of Urban Planning and Development 133(4) 250-254.

Determining where new rights of way will be located or which existing routes will be widened is a problem of significant im- portance to any effort to understand, forecast, and plan the growth of cities. However, models of network growth are few in number, most are theoretical or conceptual (e.g., Taaffe et al. 1963; Helbing et al. 1997; Yamins et al. 2003; Yerra and Levinson 2005; Levinson and Yerra 2006), while only a few are empirical (Garrison and Marble 1962, 1965; Levinson and Karamalaputi 2003a,b). As a result, there is little guidance for researchers or professionals about the significant variables or the magnitude of relations between those variables that explain network invest- ments. This study employs available empirical data and statistical models to test the factors that explain where new highway routes are most likely to be built. Binary logit models estimate the like- lihood that divided highways and secondary highways will be constructed in particular small geographic cells based on land use, population distribution, and highway network data. This analysis is intended to test particular hypotheses regarding the effect of land use and population on network investment, rather than form a general model of network growth. In the following sections, the data for modeling divided highways and secondary highways are described, and the hypotheses, models, and results are presented sequentially.