A comparative study of aesthetic transportation designs and procedures
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State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have primarily focused their roadway corridor designs on meeting the technical criteria of traffic safety and capacity. Recent legal requirements permitting the consideration of 'aesthetics' as part of the transportation design paradigm have put DOTs in an awkward situation. Many of them do not know what 'aesthetics' are and how to handle the integration of aesthetics into the mainstream of the DOT engineering design of roadway corridors. This paper explores the question of aesthetics in transportation roadway corridors, and compares the installed aesthetic roadway designs of two DOTs (Texas and Arizona) in two urban areas (El Paso and Phoenix) located in similar natural environments (a desert region). The paper illustrates examples of aesthetic designs and presents some observations and conclusions on the emerging transportation aesthetic paradigm.