The Interstate Highway System is famous for traffic. Or maybe infamous is a better word. Despite the frustration associated with long trips and longer delays, its impact on the country is unquestionable. Let’s try our best to celebrate 60 years since President Eisenhower signed the act into law. And maybe wonder what the next 60 years will bring too.
Before he was President Eisenhower he was General Eisenhower. While in Europe serving in World War II, he marveled at the intricate web of high-speed roads in Germany. This first impression provided the seeds of motivation that would one day culminate in America’s grandest transportation plan.
America’s roads lagged behind the rest of the world for the first half of the 20th century. But the threat of nuclear war made accessible roads extremely desirable. And the car was democratic – allowing anyone to go anywhere, not simply where the railroads took them on a set schedule. People wanted to travel on their own accord and these roads connected parts of the nation once either ignored or inaccessible.
There’s no telling what the future of our highways will bring. We hope they won’t be neglected, so countless generations of car lovers can ride anywhere and do anything. How will technology affect the roads as driverless cars progress?
The legacy of the Interstate Highway System is a complicated one. Some people hate it, while many curse it. One thing is certain: the nation that built it was irrevocably changed by it.
How does the Interstate Highway System usually make you feel? Let us know by replying to this blog post on Facebook or Twitter. We can’t wait to hear from you!