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«Transit for National Parks and Gateway Communities: Impacts and Guidance A Dissertation Presented to The Academic Faculty By Anne E. Dunning In ...»

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Transit for National Parks and Gateway Communities:

Impacts and Guidance

A Dissertation

Presented to

The Academic Faculty

By

Anne E. Dunning

In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology

January 2005

Copyright © Anne E. Dunning, 2005.

Transit for National Parks and Gateway Communities:

Impacts and Guidance

Approved by:

Dr. Michael D. Meyer, Advisor Dr. Michael O. Rodgers School of Civil and Environmental School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology Dr. Adjo A. Amekudzi Dr. Anne C. Steinemann School of Civil and Environmental College of Architecture Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology Dr. Cheryl K. Contant College of Architecture Date Approved: January 2005 Georgia Institute of Technology DEDICATION For Michael Meyer here, Though eighteen years between This book must go. It’s clear.

Us typically would mean Above the rest, he’s reached a crest He’d hold things back and simply stack And to my soul endeared.

My point of view unseen, Instead, he gave me heed, No other could have won Respecting me indeed.

My work because my conI’d proof his work. He’d seek my quirky fidence was gone and I’d moved on… View as if a colleague’s gift With academe was done, I gave, and he’d give creed.

But Mike gave me support Mike set a standard high When I had no resort.

For interactions. I He’d seen it, too, and so I knew Will now endeavor That he could help me sort

To be so clever:

Through what I’d seen. What did it mean?

Actions observed, treatment deserved.

Mike did

–  –  –

Perhaps to an atypical degree, this dissertation emerged from the in-depth support of a vast number of people. On professional levels, this interactive research necessitated the participation of stakeholders in each of the case study locations, as well as at and around Glacier National Park, which served as a pilot case study to establish areas of inquiry and a methodological approach. Almost universally, people contributed their experiences with far more enthusiasm and detail than expected, and the richness of their contributions added depth and context to make the final research results far more valuable than any standardized survey responses could have offered. Lou DeLorme, Jim Evans, and Kevin Percival of the Washington office of the National Park Service all provided information on the needs, motivations, and actions of central decision making in their agency, which guided the focus of this research work and added practical considerations to the ultimate recommendations. The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation funded this research, enabling interactive data gathering and extensive analysis of information.

This research was made possible in part by grant from the National Park Foundation through the support of the Ford Motor Company, a Proud Partner of America’s national parks. Stewart Butler, Bob Armstrong, and Gary Ritter of the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center all contributed professional review and guidance from the perspective of transportation economists to assure the quality and defensibility of the final research product.

This dissertation benefited from the review of a hand-picked committee of academicians at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Associate Professor Anne

–  –  –

she held this research to the highest standards of methodological scrutiny for qualitative research. Assistant Professor Adjo Amekudzi contributed her zeal for prioritizing and sorting through vast amounts of information to come to the most relevant findings and recommendations. Professor Cheryl Contant brought her passion for planning and her financial prowess. Strengthening both the depth and breadth of this project’s research content, Dr. Michael Rodgers alternated between the focus of a mathematician scrutinizing detail and the broad viewpoint of a competent public policy analyst who demands consideration of far-reaching ramifications of policy recommendations.

Dissertation committee members contributed far more than their professional roles suggest. They provided personal support and career perspective characteristic of true mentors, rather than mere academic advisors. They willingly offered some of their own most painful and promising experiences and decisions to give perspective and to help put situations in the larger context of transportation research and academic careers.

Above all, this dissertation’s committee chair, Professor Michael D. Meyer, devoted himself to this project both professionally and personally beyond the scope of professional requirement, financial reward, and reasonable personal demand. His professional oversight shaped the dissertation into a research piece at the forefront of the field. His academic guidance insisted on consideration of all relevant areas of inquiry.

His administrative acumen saw the project through academic and contractual processes.

His personal involvement led the student through the maze of discouragement to new lands of professional possibilities. No better dissertation advisor could have done this work. Both Michael Meyer and I relied heavily on the strong and organized support of

–  –  –





and held them together with the tenacity of superglue.

Mentors Leon Eplan and Professor Peter Parsonson brought patient and illuminating perspective from senior viewpoints of sometimes opposing fields. Listening to both of them has helped me to understand the sometimes conflicting needs of transportation situations. Don Durkee in the Federal Transit Administration broadened my view from the study of transportation to the implications in Washington; he helped me consider transit in parks from the viewpoint of the transit world. The members of Sustainable Transportation in Europe and Links and Liaisons with America (the STELLA network) have opened new doors for me and given me a view of my future research in sustainable transportation; in particular, I have to thank Martin Lee-Gosselin for making things happen for me after our first brief meeting and for staying by me in the last two years.

Wayne and Sara Sarasua stood by me through many years and always kept their door open to me for evenings of transportation discussions and warm friendship.

Personal support meant more than could possibly be expressed. Parents and siblings each made their own unique contributions according to their individual characters to see me through to completing the graduate program. Extended family played an important role, as well. Tom Gorin, Sydney Miller, Seonah Lee, Tracy Zafian, and Professor Cynthia Barnhart provided support through some of the darkest times. Rome Lester, Renelle Jacobson, Muthukumar Subramanyam, John Crocker, Tudor Bodea, and Deborah Alexander helped to turn the darkness to light. Quentin Kruel, Angshuman Guin, Hainan Li, Danena Lewis, Whitney Shephard, Eric Dumbaugh, and Weimin Huang all helped me learn the lessons of a senior doctoral student. Outside of academia and in the National

–  –  –

grounded in the practical realities of park and gateway community issues.

The choir at Peachtree Christian Church (particularly Carolyn Wilson, Jim Bell, Kathleen Mainland, and the Madonnas of the Prairie) helped me escape into my right brain and see the world from a different perspective. The judo communites of several cities have helped me live healthily in many different ways. I owe more than I can express to David Roxe, Sean Robinson, Jim Hrbek, Dale Swett, the MIT Judo Club, the Tohoku Judo Club, Judo America, and the Saihoku Judo Club, including the late Dan Bean and his wife, Winnie, Heidi Rhodes, Sayaka Yamaki, and Nak Jun Kim. Although I did not see Nick Hollander, Phyllis Kozarsky and her son, Aaron, very often in the melee of graduate school, I have always appreciated knowing I could call on them.

Allan Rousselle, Matt Kall, and Dustin Moskowitz have stayed with me at all proximities and distances for more than a decade. Laz Hanley, Mollie Arkin, Maggie Daane, Pat Eiseman, and Patricia Rehm gave me support from afar. Further afar, Olga Bleikhman, her late husband, Aleksandr, and their daughter, Julia, have meant more and shaped my view of the world more than I can express, and if for no other reason, I wish that I had finished graduate school earlier so I could have had one more discussion of world events with Aleksandr in the Bleikhmnans’ apartment in Russia. Finally, much closer to home, Craig, Patrick, and all of the people at the Starbucks in Midtown Atlanta supported me through long days of writing.

Thank you all. I needed the support of every one of you to help me finish this academic work and develop my future research career.

–  –  –

Dedication

Acknowledgment

List of Tables

List of Figures

Nomenclature

Glossary

Summary

INTRODUCTION

METHODOLOGY

RESEARCH RESULTS

Planning and Decision-making Inputs

Services and Strategies as Outputs

Outcomes of Transit Service Initiatives

RECOMMENDATIONS AND GUIDANCE

CONCLUSION

1.0 Introduction

1.1. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.2. METHODOLOGY

1.3. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

1.4. RELEVANCE OF THIS RESEARCH

1.5. ORGANIZATION OF THE DISSERTATION

2.0 Context and Literature Review

2.1. INTRODUCTION

2.2. POLICY CONTEXT

viii

2.3. METHODOLOGIES FOR ASSESSING IMPACTS

2.3.1. Economic Impacts of National Parks on Gateway Communities.. 16 2.3.2. Analysis Tools

2.3.3. Approaches to Monitoring the Impacts of Park Transit................ 31

2.4. CONCLUSION

2.5. SUMMARY

3.0 Case Study Selection and Methodology

3.1. CASE STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA

3.2. SITE SELECTION PROCESS

3.3. FINAL PARK SELECTION

3.3.1. Northeast Region (52,801,345 recreation visits in 2001).............. 55 3.3.2. Midwest Region (20,604,856 recreation visits in 2001)................ 57 3.3.3. Intermountain Region (41,340,097 recreation visits in 2001)....... 58 3.3.4. Pacific West Region (54,584,871 recreation visits in 2001).......... 60 3.3.5. Alaska Region (2,055,152 recreation visits in 2001)

3.3.6. The Southeast Region and the National Capitol Region................ 61 3.3.7. Summary of Selected Case Studies

3.4. METHODOLOGY

3.5. PUBLIC INFORMATION COLLECTION

3.6. DATA INTERPRETATION

3.6.1. Economic Environment

3.6.2. Tourism Trends

3.6.3. Travel Behavior

3.6.4. Goals, Planning, and Strategies

3.7. PILOT CASE STUDY

3.8. CASE STUDY SITE VISITS

3.8.1. Site Visit Interviews

3.8.2. Direct Observation of Sites

3.9. PROJECT SYNTHESIS

3.9.1. Individual Case Study Results

3.9.2. Discussion of Results of All Case Studies

3.9.3. Performance Measurement Recommendations

3.10. SUMMARY

4.0 Research Results

4.1. INTRODUCTION

4.2. EXTERNAL FACTORS

4.2.1. Events Affecting National Tourism

4.2.2. National Parks Pass

ix

4.3. PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING INPUTS

4.3.1. Goals and Objectives

4.3.2. Partnering

4.3.3. Finance

4.3.4. Costs

4.4. SERVICES AND STRATEGIES AS OUTPUTS

4.4.1. Service Scope at Startup

4.4.2. Capacity

4.4.3. Effect of Frequency

4.4.4. Route Structure

4.4.5. Design of Stops

4.4.6. Vehicle Restrictions

4.4.7. Vehicle Substitutes

4.4.8. Parking Strategies

4.4.9. Communication

4.4.10. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

4.4.11. Presence

4.5. OUTCOMES OF TRANSIT SERVICE INITIATIVES

4.5.1. Visitation and Ridership

4.5.2. Rider Characteristics

4.5.3. Traffic Congestion

4.5.4. Commuters and Local Employment

4.5.5. Transit Employment

4.5.6. Local Business Impact

4.5.7. Economic Development Impacts

4.5.8. Local Parking Fee Revenue

4.5.9. Public Reaction

4.6. SUMMARY

4.6.1. Inputs of Planning and Decision Making

4.6.2. Services and Strategies as Outputs

4.6.3. Outcomes of Transit Service Initiatives

5.0 Guidance and Recommendations

5.1. INTRODUCTION

5.2. PLANNING AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING

5.2.1. Step One: Identify Partners and Stakeholders; Design a Public Involvement Strategy.

5.2.2. Step Two: Define and Address Goals and Objectives According to Stakeholder Interests.

5.2.3. Step Three: Select Performance Measures and Develop Consensus.

5.2.4. Step Four: Design the Transit System and Communication Program

5.2.5. Step Five: Consider Available Resources.

x 5.2.6. Step Six: Test and Implement the Performance Monitoring Program

5.2.7. Step Seven: Monitor and Report Performance.

5.2.8. Step Eight: Integrate Results into Transit Decision-making....... 265 5.2.9. Step Nine: Review and Update the Performance Monitoring Program

5.3. PROCEDURE IMPLEMENTATION AND ITERATION

5.4. LONG-RANGE RECOMMENDATIONS

5.5. FUTURE RESEARCH

5.5.1. Local Impacts

5.5.2. Park Funding and Allocation

5.5.3. Transportation Project Planning for Public Lands

5.5.4. Context and Further Applicability

5.5.5. Research Priorities

5.6. SUMMARY

6.0 Conclusion

Appendix A: Sectors Derived from NAICS and SIC Codes

Appendix B: Case Study of Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine.......... 312 B.1 INTRODUCTION

B.2 BACKGROUND

B.2.1 Acadia National Park

B.2.2 The Gateway Community: Bar Harbor, Maine and Mount Desert Island

B.3 THE ISLAND EXPLORER SHUTTLE

B.3.1 Current Conditions

B.3.2 History: Goals and Lessons

B.4 IMPACTS

B.4.1 External Influences

B.4.2 Employment



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