Guide to the James J. McDonnell transportation collection, 1939-1995

James J. McDonnell transportation collection C0104


Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444

USA

Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911

Email: speccoll@gmu.edu

URL: http://scrc.gmu.edu

Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Special Collections Research Center.
Creator James J. McDonnell
Title James J. McDonnell transportation collection
Date 1939-1995
Physical Characteristics 6 linear feet (9 boxes
Abstract The McDonnell collection contains materials related to McDonnell's work on the Shirley Highway project and other materials from his work at the United States Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Types of materials include correspondence, reports, government publications, black-and-white photographs, and 35mm black-and-white negatives.
Collection number C0104
Language English

Biographical Information

Born in 1930, James McDonnell worked as a civil engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s, then built an extensive career as a highway engineer for the Bureau of Public Roads (which would become the Federal Highway Administration). During his 33-year career with U.S. government transportation agencies, McDonnell was recognized as a national expert in transportation data collection and use. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he directed the Shirley Highway corridor study in Northern Virginia. His study led to the widening of the four-lane, World War II-era freeway into the first freeway with reversible high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes in the median. In 1964, McDonnell was called back to Washington to fill a key vacancy as Chief of BPR's Planning Procedure Branch. During his 20-year tenure in this position, he became nationally recognized for his many accomplishments, one of which was the development of a new Home Interview Survey Manual, that brought the practice of conducting surveys, and analyzing results into the computer age. He died in 1995.

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Scope and Content

The McDonnell collection contains materials related to McDonnell's work on the Shirley Highway project and other materials from his work at the US Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Types of materials include correspondence, reports, government publications, black-and-white photographs, and 35mm black-and-white negatives.

Series 1: Printed Materials contains studies, reports, correspondence, and conference proceedings on highway and urban transportation planning mostly in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Included are statistical studies of the Public Roads Administration from the 1940s, reports on a Pentagon area transportation study from 1960-61, several Fairfax, Virginia household surveys from 1986, and McDonnell's 1958 Master's thesis, "Characteristics of Traffic on a 3 Lane One-Way Roadway Entering a 2 Lane Constriction."

Series 2: Photographs contains photographs, negatives, and presentation slides of various junctures on the northbound and southbound routes of Shirley Memorial Highway. Some of the pohotgraphs show heavy traffic on Shirley Highway and the bridge leading to US 1.

Series 3: Oversize contains oversized printed materials including transportation studies and reports. Some of the reports include maps of roadways in the National Capital Region and charts and graphs of traffic patterns.

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Arrangement

This collection is divided into three series according to media format. Each series is arranged by subject.

Series 1: Printed Materials, 1939-1995 (Boxes 1-5)
Series 2: Photographs, 1949-1960 (Boxes 6-7)
Series 3: Oversize, 1959-1967 (Boxes 8-9)

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center also holds many other transportation collections.

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Index Terms

Corporate Names:

United States. Bureau of Public Roads.
United States. Federal Highway Administration.

Geographical Names:

Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway (Va.)--Photographs.

Subjects:

Highway engineering--United States.
Transportation--United States--Planning.

Document Types:

Negatives.
Photographic prints.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

James J. McDonnell transportation collection, Collection #C0104, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by Laurie McDonnell through John Gifford in February 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections Research Center staff. Additional processing by Eron Ackerman in 2010. EAD markup completed by Eron Ackerman and Jordan Patty in August 2009. Additional EAD markup by Eron Ackerman in 2010.

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Contents List

Series 1: Printed Materials, 1939-1995 5 boxes
This series contains studies, reports, correspondence, and conference proceedings on highway and urban transportation planning mostly in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Included are statistical studies of the Public Roads Administration from the 1940s, reports on a Pentagon area transportation study from 1960-61, several Fairfax, Virginia household surveys from 1986, and McDonnell's 1958 Master's thesis, "Characteristics of Traffic on a 3 Lane One-Way Roadway Entering a 2 Lane Constriction."
Box Folder
1 1 Publications by J. J. McDonnell, 1986, 1995
Paper list of publications by McDonnell and summary of travel surveys
2 Census Data and Urban Transportation Planning in the 1980s, 1984
3 Use of Census Data in Urban Transportation Planning, 1971
Report of a conference held July 9-10, 1970
4 Analysis of Urban Highway Needs, 1988
5 The Graying of America and Its Implications for Travel, September 1, 1988
6 Supply and Use of the Nation's Urban Highways, June 1988
Draft
7 Continuing Transportation Planning Data Requirements, 1970
Prepared for a Highway Research Board Conference, June 9-10, 1970
8 Demand: Populations, Households, Employment ..., ca. 1987
9 Review of Paper: "Things Won't Get a Lot Worse: The Future of US Traffic Congestion," 1990
10 Travel Characteristics in Urban Areas; Forecasting for Highways, 1958, 1960
Highway Research Board, Bulletins 203 and 257, facsimile
11 Tri-State Transportation Study: Home Interview Survey, 1964
12 Thesis Original: Development of Capacity Factors for Lane 2 in Construction, ca. 1958
Includes photographs and map of Queens County Grand Central Expressway
13 Thesis Equipment and Data, 1958
14 BHT Thesis Analysis, 1958
15 Characteristics of Traffic on a 3 Lane One-Way Roadway Entering a 2 Lane Constriction, 1959
16 National Trends: Population, Employment and Vehicle Ownership, 1987
17 National Data Sources and Their Usefulness to Metro Area Planners, 1987
18 Reflections on the Passenger Flow Survey: Issues as Developed by by Phil Fulton, 1993
19 Report of the Association of Public Data Users Conference (APDU), 1986
Box Folder
2 1 List of Macdonald's Speeches
List of speeches by highway planner Thomas H. Macdonald from 1919 to 1952
2 National Conference on Decennial Census Data for Transportation Planning, 1984, 1993
3 Shirley Highway, 1960
4 Pentagon Area Transportation Study, 1960-1961
Contains two photographs mounted on paper
5 Pentagon Area Transportation Study, 1961
6 Pentagon Area Transportation Study, 1960-1961
7 Pentagon Area Transportation Study, 1960-1961
8 Pentagon Area Transportation Study, 1960-1961
Box Folder
3 1 Pentagon Area Transportation Study, 1960
2 Washington Bypass Study, 1989
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
3 Virginia Shirley Highway Improvement - Preliminary Engineering, undated
4 New Jersey Citizens Highway Committee, 1962
5 The NCTA Plan for Transportation, 1962
6 Traffic Forecasting and Origin-Destination Trip Assignment Techniques, 1958, 1961
7 Use of the Telephone in Gathering Data in Transportation Studies, 1966
8 Bias Control of a Bus-Rider Origin-Destination Postcard Survey, 1967
9 Cost-Saving Techniques for Collection and Analysis of Origin-Destination Survey Data, undated
10 The Ohio Procedure ... New Concepts in Home Interviews and Automatic Zoning for Origin-Destination Studies, 1966
Cleveland
11 Computer Coding of Origins and Destinations, undated
12 1986 Household Survey Special Report on Income, 1987
County of Fairfax, Virginia
13 1986 Household Survey Special Report on Rental Housing, 1987
County of Fairfax, Virginia
14 1986 Household Survey Special Report on Household Size, 1987
County of Fairfax, Virginia
15 1986 Household Survey Special Report on Employment, 1987
County of Fairfax, Virginia
16 1986 Household Survey Special Report on Households with Children, 1987
County of Fairfax, Virginia
Box Folder
4 1 1986 Household Survey Special Report on Age, 1987
2 1986 Household Survey Special Report on Mobility, 1987
3 Recent Origin-Destination Surveys and Data Collection in North Carolina, ca. 1987
4 Sampling Strategies for Small Sample Surveys, 1987
5 Metropolitan Planning for Land Use and Transportation, 1959
6 Toll Roads and Free Roads, 1939
7 Evolution of Urban Transportation Planning, 1976
8 Work of the Pulbic Roads Administration, 1949
9 Work of the Public Roads Administration, 1947
10 Public Roads Administration, 1944
11 Public Roads Administration, 1946
12 Twentieth-Century Experience in Urban Transit, 1960
13 Highway Statistics, 1945
Public Roads Administration
14 Transportation for Urban America, 1967
15 Highways, 1987-1988
Report
16 Changes in Mobility in American Cities, 1970
17 Highways and Urban Development, 1965
18 Variation of Driver Characteristics at Intersections,
Unpublished study
19 National Highway Needs Study: Nature of Urban Transportation Problem, 1967
20 Express Highways in the United States, 1945
Box Folder
5 1 Highway Travel Forecasts, 1979
2 Private Sector Involvement in Virginia's Nineteenth Century Transportation Improvement Program, undated
3 Changes in Urban Areas, 1987
4 Rapid Transit in the United States, 1967
5 Review of Papers for Theme II: Urban Transportation and Its Future, 1961
6 Highway Needs After 1972, 1966
7 Urban Transportation Planning Procedure, 1961
8 Special Reports on Major Business Problems, ca. 1964
9 Transportation Data Needs: Programs for a New Era, Proceedings of a Conference, 1993
10 Recommendations for the South Leg Freeway Alignment; Recommendations for a Freeway in the Northern Sector; Recommended action on North Leg Freeway, 1970
District of Columbia Department of Highways and Traffic,
11 Rail Rapid Transit for the Nation's Capital, 1965
12 The Regional Development Guide, 1966
National Capital Regional Planning Council
13 Public Roads, a Journal for Highway Research, Vol. 30, No. 7, 1959
14 Transportation Planning in the District of Columbia, 1955-1965, 1966
15 Secretary Skinner Salutes James McDonnell on Veterans Day, 1990
Series 2: Photographs, 1949-1970s 2 boxes
This series contains photographs, negatives, and presentation slides of various junctures on the northbound and southbound routes of Shirley Memorial Highway. Some of the pohotgraphs show heavy traffic on Shirley Highway and the bridge leading to US 1.
Box Page
6 1-9 Shirley Highway - H Road Southbound from Ridge Road to US 1, 1960
10-21 Mt. Vernon Highway - Alexandria to Key Bridge, 1960
21-23 Shirley Highway - H Road Southbound from Ridge Road to US 1 1960
23-26 End of B Road from Arlington Blvd. to Memorial Bridge, 1960
27-29 Shirley Highway - H Road Northbound from US 1 to Ridge Road, 1960
30-35 Start of Shirley Highway Northbound from Rt. 7 to 14th St. Bridge, 1960
35-41 End of Shirley Highway Southbound, 1960
41-63 Miscellaneous photographs, mostly of Shirley Highway, 1960
Photos show highway and bridge traffic
Box Page
7 1-3 Shirley Highway and Rt. 1, 1949-1952
5" x 7" photographs
4-24 Shirley Highway, 1950-1952
8.5" x 11" photos of highway traffic in different weather conditions
25-27 Shirley Highway, ca. 1950-1960
Negatives
28-34 Images from presentations on transportation planning, 1960s-1970s
Slides; includes dozens of slides for DC area studies and 91 slides from Upstate New York studies "for Crighton's AASHO talk at Portland, Oregon"
Series 3: Oversize, 1959-1968 2 boxes
This series contains oversized printed materials including transportation studies and reports. Some of the reports include maps of roadways in the National Capital Region and charts and graphs of traffic patterns.
Box Folder
8 1 The Region's Growth, May 1967
Regional Plan Association
2 Urban Transit Development in Twenty Major Cities, March 1968
Automotive Safety Foundation
3 What Freeways Mean to Your City, January 1964
Automotive Safety Foundation
4 Urban Freeway Development, August 1964
Automotive Safety Foundation
5 Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, Vol. 4: A Recommended Highway Improvement Program, 1952
Regional Highway Planning Committee
6 Public Participation in Regional Planning, October 1967
Regional Plan Association
7 Baltimore Area Mass Transportation Plan: Phase II-Long-Range Program, October 1965
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Maryland
8 Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway Improvement: Bus Facility Study, September 1964
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Highways
Box Folder
9 1 F.A.I Route 95 Cost Summary Sheets,
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Highways
2 Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway Improvement: Preliminary Engineering Report, July 1962
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Highways
3 Transportation Plan: National Capital Region, The Mass Transportation Survey Report, 1959
National Capital Planning Commission, National Capital Regional Planning Council
4 Atlas of New York City: Five Boroughs, No.1445
5 Mass Transportation Survey National Capital Region: Civil Engineering Report, January 1959
National Capital Planning Commission, National Capital Regional Planning Council
6 Mass Transportation Survey National Capital Region:Traffic Engineering Study, 1958
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