Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation


Department 1

Environmental Studies


The advent of the automobile transformed the American landscape in the 20th century. In conjunction with the increasing importance of the automobile, numerous post-WW II government programs such as the Interstate Highway System encouraged suburban sprawl. Towns and cities adjacent to tourist attractions, known as gateway communities, face unique problems caused by sprawl. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is an example of a gateway community as it includes the Gettysburg National Military Park. Two study sites, portions of Steinwehr Avenue and York Street, were studied to analyze the effects of sprawl in Gettysburg. The sites were analyzed using ArcGIS, data compiled from historic phonebooks, and discussions with local business owners. Development along York Street exemplifies an auto-centric culture with many regional and national chain establishments set back from the road. Steinwehr Avenue represents a walkable community comprising on-street parking, sidewalks, and local “mom-and-pop” establishments. Trends associated with categories of businesses varied between the two sites and revealed different development patterns. We predict that that York Street will continue to sprawl while Steinwehr Avenue development will be limited due to its close proximity to the battlefield.


Environmental Studies Thesis