Interstate Highway System 50th Anniversary
The interstate highway sytem was born half a century ago today.
Fifty years ago today, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill that transformed South Florida and the United States. With the possible exception of the Internet, no innovation over the last 50 years touched more American lives on a daily basis, via commerce and culture, than the advent of the interstate highway system.
The 47,000-mile network of limited-access highways knit the country together, forging a common sense of the American identity, much like the transcontinental railroad in the mid-1800s and television after World War II, said Doug Callaway, executive director of Floridians for Better Transportation.
The piece notes that the Interstates helped spawn the car culture, mass migration to the suburbs, and the decline of downtown areas.
These are not universally good developments, obviously. Stil, the life we live today, including the abundance of fresh meats, fruits and vegetables even far from farmland, would not be possible without the rapid transportation permitted by the interstate highways. Anyone who has ever tried to drive several hundred miles along the state highways knows how maddeningly slow that can be. Add in all the traffic currently diverted to the interstates, including the 18-wheelers, and it’s not a pretty thought.
via Bill Jempty