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New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State University student awarded for study of Las Cruces traffic patterns

New Mexico State University graduate Ken Wall's study of Las Cruces traffic considerations has received the "Student Project Award" from the New Mexico Chapter of the American Planning Association.

ho graduated in May with a master's degree in applied geography, is a transportation planner for the North Central Texas Council of Governments in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

In his thesis, Wall used mathematical modeling techniques to develop a travel demand model of Las Cruces' urban area. A travel demand model is a tool used by urban planners to project future traffic in an area and to develop plans for handling that traffic, he said.

Wall said he used the model to measure the ability of proposed Las Cruces area transportation improvements to deal with future traffic patterns and to assess the effect of two different land use scenarios on traffic patterns and congestion in the area.

His study showed that the improvements scheduled in the city's "1996 Major Thoroughfare Plan" should adequately serve the traffic generated by the level of growth forecast for the area in the next 20 years. His study of two different land use scenarios -- one in which current Las Cruces development was continued unmodified for the next 20 years and a second in which all development was concentrated on the East Mesa -- showed no significant difference in the way either scenario would affect traffic, he said.