The concept of carrying capacity as a tool for managing scenic roadways
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Increasing interest in driving for pleasure has put a burden of crowding and over-use on many of our nation's scenic highways. The carrying capacity concept says that there is an acceptable level of use or change for a resource beyond which that resource will be significantly degraded. This thesis examines the applicability of this concept to the problems of crowding and over-use of scenic roadways.
This study developed as an attempt to bridge the gap between recently developed carrying capacity models in recreation resource management and planning and the specific problems of scenic roadways. While carrying capacity theory and practice have produced good models, the unusual characteristics of scenic roadways challenge the direct application of these models.
A questionnaire was distributed to scenic roadway designers, planners, and managers; roadway researchers; carrying capacity researchers; and recreation resource managers nationwide. Respondents answered questions about the value of carrying capacity for managing scenic roadways, about perceived problems in implementing a carrying capacity program for scenic roadways, about the appropriate scope of a carrying capacity management tool for scenic roadways, and about needs for future research to support development of a carrying capacity model for scenic roadways.
Responses to the questionnaire indicate strong support for developing a management tool for scenic roadways based on the carrying capacity concept. Responses support a broad-based approach to addressing the carrying capacity of scenic roadways, looking at both the roadway and lands adjacent to the roadway in attempts to determine carrying capacity.
- Masters Theses