Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Systems - (Ph.D.)


Joint Program in Urban Systems

First Advisor

Lyna Wiggins

Second Advisor

Karen A. Franck

Third Advisor

Wansoo Im

Fourth Advisor

Robert J. Czerniak


Passed by the US Congress in 1995, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), requires Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to further the trend of collaboration by employing visualization techniques for Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs). In the first part of this two-part research, three New Jersey MPOs are investigated to understand how accessibility is considered by their organizations, how TIPs are evaluated, and how collaborative planning and visualization techniques are used to evaluate TIPs. In the second part of this study, a small segment of a MPO's jurisdiction is selected to develop a visualization of the change in accessibility brought about by a TIP.

Suitability analysis, a method commonly used for collaborative decision making in land use planning, is employed to develop the accessibility measure from service areas generated by ArcGIS Network Analyst. Service area values are calculated by a gravity- type model that decay inversely to network distance and network time and are dependent on the travel mode desires of the residents of the region. The resultant accessibility raster, a product of collaborative planning, is dependent on the physical characteristics of the region and the people residing there. This accessibility raster is used to visualize change in accessibility before and after a TIP. Zonal statistics may be applied on this raster to evaluate environmental justice concerns by MPOs.