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Seven metropolitan areas were studied to determine the impact of freeways upon the location of office development and to estimate the economic impact of this development upon the community. Findings indicated a suburbanization of office space. New locations were heavily influenced by radial freeway corridors although circumferential corridors were proportionately more attractive (1970-1976 office site growth rates of 562% and 273% respectively, with 101% for non-interstate radial corridors). Freeways which increased accessibility of office workers and improved access to vacant land tended to attract office development; investment funds often were more readily available for radial freeway sites. Other factors--price of land, tax differentials, levels of air and noise pollution, distance from the CBD--were less important.

Office developments did not contribute significantly to air and noise pollution. Their contribution to municipal revenues varied depending upon the city's reliance on property taxes for its revenue. Fire and police protection expenditures were related to the general development of an area rather than being specifically attributable to office development. Freeway-oriented office developments generated considerable income for the local retail sector. These findings suggest that office development is an eminently suitable land use for radial freeway corridors.


Prepared for Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Programming and Policy Planning, Socio-Economic Studies Division

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