Chester Ballard

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Paul Wozniak, Kirk Dansereau, Thomas Dunn

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Anyone who has traveled through a large metropolitan area is aware of the myriad of transportation problems facing urban America today. Urban transportation problems are highly visible and touch the lives of nearly every resident. Advanced technology strives to meet the increasing demand for more and better transportation, but instead if often creates more complex urban transportation problems than those it intended to solve. Although technological answers have, at times, contributed to the problem, the true source of the problem is people – their attitudes and demands.

During the fifties and early sixties it was believed that we could build enough highways to handle demand and reduce congestion. Despite extensive highway construction we still are faced with congestion and the noxious consequences of automotive travel. Today inflation, air pollution and the energy situation dictate that we reduce transportation demand, especially in regard to the automobile. Urban planners, transportation experts and civic organizations are searching for ways to alleviate the transportation problem and plan for future needs.

As metropolitan areas continue to search for answers to transportation problems, transportation planners and urban theorists are busy developing technological and humanistic responses to this increasingly difficult situation. Their knowledge and experience has been difficult to communicate to students by conventional instructional strategies. Therefore a simulation game format has been developed for use as an instructional and training technique. METRAPLAN, an urban transportation planning simulation game, explores both the transportation dilemma we face today and the alternatives which may shape urban transportation in the future.


Civic and Community Engagement | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Urban Studies and Planning