Freeways and Farms: Prusch & Taylor Street Urban Farms Study

Transporting goods and people, roadways are linchpins of a city's economy. Though critical to a city's economy, freeways and other roadways negatively impact people as well, by creating noise and pollution. Roadways can also adversely impact urban natural resources (Franklin & Fruin, 2017) including urban farms. Busy roadways close to urban farms generate higher rates of pollution and soil contaminants (Zhao, Li, & Wang, 2011). Impacts of city roadways on urban farms require examination given that urban farms are food sources (Dobernig & Stagl, 2015) and spaces for social interaction and community building (Agnotti, 2015). In addition to biophysical research on traffic impacts on soil and plants, we need to understand social impacts of roadways on urban farmers. This study proposes an exploration of the ways in which freeways and surface roads in San Jose, CA impact urban farmers' attitudes and behaviors. Our objective is to contribute to sustainable city management and social justice efforts by looking at how a growing trend towards urban sustainable farming is impacted by ubiquitous city roadways.


Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility
San José State University

Principal Investigator: 

Joshua Baur, Ph.D.

PI Contact Information: 

Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
210 N. 4th St., 4th Floor
San Jose, CA 95112

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization): 

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology – $6,082 

Total Project Cost: 


Agency ID or Contract Number: 



January 2019 to March 2020

Project Number: