84th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 14 January 2004: 9:00 AM
Toward Decision Support Tools in the Shenandoah Valley
Room 401
Jim Giraytys, Consultant-CCM, Winchester, Va; and J. S. Bauserman
Poster PDF (225.4 kB)
The Shenandoah Valley is in the midst of dramatic change due to development. Many communities have population growths in the 3-4% per year range, with some higher. The road and highway system is facing major construction beginning with a widening of I-81 from four to possibly ten lanes. Circumferential bypasses have been built and are planned for major cities along the route. Major commercial development is occurring at each of the interchanges. Air quality has been rated by the Environmental Protection Agency in parts of the Valley to be in the lowest 20% for all counties in the US. The comprehensive plans for local jurisdictions appear inadequate to deal with the changes. Decision support tools are needed that will meld the transportation and planning information with environmental and demographic information. This will give the local decision makers the ability to project "what if" to determine future impacts on such things as air quality, traffic patterns, land use, and taxes. At present, there is no readily available decision tool that can meld that information and project into the future for local policy makers. This paper describes an effort in the Shenandoah Valley to develop such supporting tools beginning with observations and meteorological models through to the incorporation of GIS-based information on demographics, transportation and land use patterns. The ultimate goal is to put science to work effectively for decision makers.

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