Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science in Geoscience


Congested roadways and declining air quality standards are major concerns for many communities faced with the challenges of suburban growth and city decay. How each community chooses to fight the problems created by urban sprawl depends greatly on individualized characteristics of the community. Analyzing and understanding unique values of each community provides a sound foundation for measures designed to promote sustainable growth initiatives. The Evansville, Indiana, region is experiencing many of the growing pains associated with increased residential, commercial, and industrial development. Many roadways are currently strained near capacity, and traffic problems are anticipated to increase over the next 20 years. Evansville was ranked 68 out of the 271 worst sprawling MPOs, and Vanderburgh County will be designated as "non-attainment" with the next EPA air quality ruling. This research demonstrates that the Evansville region has problems with urban sprawl, air quality, and roadway congestion. Local air quality data, roadway congestion, employer and employee surveys, and commute patterns are all analyzed to determine the existing characteristics of the community. As a means to mitigate current and future concerns, Travel Demand Management (TDM) strategies such as park and ride facilities should be utilized. Implementing shared used park and ride facilities will provide an effective and relatively inexpensive method of congestion reduction by providing motorists with a different commute option.


Environmental Health and Protection | Geography | Transportation