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The South Freeway planning process and residential relocation in Houston
Horovitz, Bernard Nathan
Cannady, William T.
Master of Architecture
The planning of freeways typically revolves around cost-benefit analysis; the route that serves the highest number of users and costs the least is the route selected. One concern in this type of analysis is the cost of obtaining the required right-of-way for the freeway. To beep acquisition cost low, freeways are frequently routed through low income areas, forcing out residents in the path of the freeway. This thesis analyzes the freeway planning process and the problem of relocation, with particular attention to low income neighborhoods, and the effects of relocation on displaced individuals and businesses in these neighborhoods. A review is given of federal legislation as it relates to highway relocation assistance. Selected case studies of new trends in freeway planning illustrate the growing awareness of the seriousness of dislocation of people by new freeways. In conclusion, an in-depth study is made of a proposed freeway in Houston, Texas, the South Freeway, and the effects of relocation from this freeway on displaced individuals. A questionnaire sent out to displaced individuals illustrates how the process of relocation has affected the lifestyles of this lower income group. From this study recommendations are made as to how the relocation process can be improved.