Characterizing the socioeconomics of metropolitan transportation network expansion by mining a nationwide road change database
Brown, Christopher Lowell Beal
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Whereas previous transportation network growth research has focused on long-term historical changes across selected metropolitan areas, short-term comparative explorations—especially those considering all levels of the nationwide road hierarchy—have been neglected. Therefore, a comprehensive road change database of the United States was developed through compilation of U.S. Census Bureau TIGER/Line datasets from 2008 to 2012, while annual and five-year extents of road change were derived using Python geoprocessing scripts. Aggregate percentage road change statistics were presented for each metropolitan statistical area, county, and census tract nationwide, and the data were found to exhibit moderate spatial autocorrelation. Exploratory multiple linear and geographically weighted regression models indicated that the primary mechanisms of change were income and regional differences, while the importance of population change and race increased with finer spatial resolution. Counties surrounding Atlanta, Georgia produced highly statistically significant outliers, suggesting that anomalous expansion processes have uniquely shaped this metropolitan area.