Planning of Rural Road Networks

C. F.Jaarsma

This section presents the motives for rural road planning.

Traffic and transportation should be conceived as derived functions rather than as objectives in themselves. They originate from social activities, the volumes and characteristics of traffic depending on both location and type of activity. The location of the various land uses is a task of spatial planning. As a result, spatial planning forms an important determinant of traffic volumes and characteristics.

Many rural areas around the world are used as farmland. In the early days, the opening up of the farms to the fields and to the villages and towns was the most essential traffic aspect in these areas. It is still very important. However, the extent of importance varies from nation to nation, depending on the level of development.

The function of traffic is characterized by continuing development in the rural areas. In densely populated and well-developed countries, space has always been scarce. So, much attention has been paid recently to having a diverse, liveable, and sustainable rural area. Apart from the dynamic agricultural activities, many societal demands have arisen (e.g., for outdoor leisure activities) as well as demands for nature conservation and development outside the cities. These developments have had a clear impact on the rural road traffic. These other uses have increased the impacts of traffic on the rural landscape, especially the ecological system. Consequently, a good traffic system depends on a careful land-use planning system. This section deals with such a system. Some examples of planning systems and cases are described to give an adequate view into the international planning for rural roads.

First, the specific road planning for farming is elaborated. Then, a more integrated approach of planning for rural roads in developing countries is outlined. A description of the planning for multiple uses of rural areas is the third part of this section. In that part, ecological habitat fragmentation and different concepts for traffic planning are presented, illustrated with case studies for solving traffic problems through a regional approach.

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