Richmond, Kentucky has a road system that is easily clogged. This is due to the city’s fast recent growth that followed a sprawl-like pattern. This assertion was tested using two methods using a computerized Geographic Information System (GIS). The first method attempted to calculate traffic by guessing where cars would originate and where they would go. This algorithm was unsuccessful in finding traffic patterns that correlated with real-life. A second method used the ant colony algorithm to predict where volumes would be highest and use these values to calculate the vulnerabilities of these road segments. This method found a striking difference between Richmond and the nearby city of Nicholasville. Nicholasville was found to have a healthy system of roads, while Richmond’s were found to be quickly clogged and trafficked beyond their capacity. While there are many possible alternative explanations for this, the most likely is that it’s directly related to a lack of alternate routes in the system. The comprehensive plans and subdivision regulations for several cities in the area were also examined in an effort to find the root causes of these issues. This analysis showed a lack of cooperation and corroboration between Richmond’s comprehensive plan and the city’s development ordinance as well as between Richmond and the county’s comprehensive plans, that could lead to further road networking problems. There are several spots where roads could be added to improve the greater street network of Richmond, but preventing further issues requires full cooperation between city and county governments.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Tyler Huffman
Department of Geosciences
Restricted Access Thesis
Stelzer-Weise, Spencer, "Richmond Kentucky, Sprawl, and a Problem with Access" (2018). Honors Theses. 533.