FOR CONSERVATION OF PROPERTY VALUES AND HUMAN LIFE
In any discussion of broad-scale planning of highways and associated developments, we are all concerned with a completely functioning modern highway; and we are concerned specifically, of course, with the way the highway is fitted into its environment through planned alignment, profile, and cross section. Time does not per-
mit discussion of all of these basic features; therefore these remarks are limited to the three factors common to highways:
1) Width of right-of-way;
2) Protection of the highway against encroachments;
3) Development of adjacent property along the higheay borders
Senior Landscape Architect, Bureau of Public Roads, Washington, D. C. Secretary, Committee on Roadside Development American Association of State Highway Officials Fellow, American Society of Landscape architects
This concept of the modern highway is relatively new
in highway engineering. The following statement from
the 1944 Bureau of Public Roads Report on Interstate
Highways shows how appropriate application of land-
scape principles can relieve the monotony of the highway
environment and promote the safety of traffic by re-
awakening interest and attention of dri.
The Westchester County parkways influenced the de-
velopment of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway.
Highway engineering and landscape design functions were
integrated. Methods and techniques were improved on
an organized engineering basis. For example…
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 provided for
designation of the National System of Interstate High-
ways not exceeding 40,000 miles in extent. This system
includes the most important routes of the…
On a mileage basis, of course, divided highway design
with full control of access and grade-separated intersec-
tions represents but a limited portion of the over-all sys-
tem of highways in the United States.
Co-operation with the Civil Aeronautics Administra-
tion is another example of collaboration between agencies.
Joint co-operative planning for the location of new air-
ports and adjacent highways has for several years been
carried on by the Bureau of Public Roads and the Civil
There is no longer a simple solution to our highway
problems. Obstacles in the way of modernization are
many and complex. Nevertheless, the need for better roads to curtail the all-time accident toll must be met.
Ways and means must be found to make travel safe
through modern highway.
In the past, one big handicap in planning has been the
lack of sufficient data on topography and land use. For-
tunately, air survey methods are now available for use
in planning the complete highway
In closing, I quote a statement by Commissioner MacDonald made during the Congressional hearings in support of the proposed legislation for this great river highway:
I believe this pattern can be made applicable to other routes of like character in the United States, and that this Act would provide a precedent for future action that will give to the people of this country a highway development that is consistent on major traffic routes, and particularly on scenic and historic routes, with the future of this country. We are all concerned with the future.
Planners make plans in the present for developments to be carried out in the future, which should have been carried out in the past. To insure the realization of our mutual goal, that of completely functioning modern highways, all of our future planning must be focused upon the best in highway design, predicated upon Safety, Economy, Beauty, and Utility. Therefore, let us set our sights for the future of highway transportation upon thefirm foundation of (1) con servation of property values, and (2) conservation of human life.
Your contributions to this goal will be most constructive.
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