Date of Award
Master of Science
Aelred J. Gray
Walter L. Shouse
How may highways be located in regions containing a national park so as to maximize the park as a resource appropriate to the stimulation of regional development and, at the same time, preserve the values which the park represents?
Research was conducted on the history and purposes of the national park system to determine factors which are relevant to the establishment of national parks and related areas. Available literature on the history and establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was used to supplement material obtained from personal interviews with various staff members of the park. The 1964 Master Plan for the park was studied to determine a clearer picture of development policy for the park.
The history of the development of highways and the present, emerging, and future highway system of the region were considered. Interviews with park administrators were conducted and the results coordinated with data compiled from traffic surveys by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Public Roads, and the highway departments of Tennessee and North Carolina.
Economic and population data from the Bureau of Census reports and other sources were employed to present a cursory development picture of the region.
Interior park planning should be related to, but not controlled by exterior forces and interests. The key element in the sound development of the region is a highway system designed to serve the park and the region, and planned to preserve their scenic qualities as a whole.
Because National Park Service policy requires major accommodations to be outside the park, the highway system must provide and encourage opportunities for commercial development within the region.
Because of many interests involved in locating new highways there is a need for some machinery to consider conflicts of interest and to prepare courses of action. It is recommended that a regional council be established composed of representatives from the appropriate federal, state, and local agencies and department, which would serve to resolve these conflicts and coordinate highway planning for the region.
A functional classification system for highways within the region is proposed.
Leathers, Carl Rowan, "Highway Location as a Factor in Regional Development in Areas Adjacent to National Parks: A Case Study of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Region. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1968.