JOSEPH F. ZIMMERMAN
The transportation system is undoubtedly the major force among the dynamic forces that influence the rate and pattern of the development of urban areas. A natural harbor facilitated the settlement and rapid development of New York City, and the construction of the Erie Canal—now part of the New York State Barge Canal System— was a major force in promoting the settlement and development of the New York City-Albany-Buffalo corridor. The canal was the principal passenger and freight route between the Northeast and the Midwest from 1825 until competition from railroads in the midnineteenth century began to reduce its commercial importance and change the nature of urban development in the state.
The invention of the motor vehicle and its widespread use increased the mobility of citizens and lessened dependence upon railroads for the transportation of people, raw materials, and manufactured products. The automobile and truck had an even greater impact than the railroad on the pattern of urban development by making possible the rapid and relatively uncontrolled growth of suburban areas since 1945. This development often resulted in an injudicious use of land and the creation of serious public transportation problems, especially in central cities of metropolitan areas.
Although a few perceptive observers had earlier called attention to____________________