Woman Honor Thyself

When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking. --Elaine Boosler

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy BirthdaY HighwaYs!

“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.”-Charles Kuralt-

The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it. -Dudley Moore-

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. -Albert Einstein-

Next time your'e stuck in a traffic jam on the HighwaY..PondeR the following (while your'e muttering under your breath)..

The Interstate Highway Act was passed in 1956. The proposed system supplanted many of the U.S. routes with divided Interstate highways.
Highway System

Of what possible significance is this you ask?

Quick history lesson.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, automobiles were a novelty, which only the very wealthy could afford. It may be hard to imagine but most Americans either used the good ole horse and buggy, bicycles or the railroads when they needed to go on long journeys.
Actually, getting around in large cities was relatively easy due to comprehensive networks of streetcars as well as subways.
gbcnet American Highways
Believe it or not - it was initially thought that cars would never even catch on. Go figure..Heh..

So basically, in the early part of this century, a good system of roads was simply not sorely needed.
But that changed dramatically with Henry Ford's introduction of the Model "T." To state that it was a "popular"automobile is a masterpiece of understatement. Over 16.5 million were sold.(a record, incidentally which was not broken until 1972 when the Volkswagen Beetle surpassed that!.Raise ya hand if u had one..heh)

Hence, the need for a good "road" emerges.

Roads up until then were either unpaved wagon trails or cobblestone. The invention of concrete improved roads from mud bogs into passable, all-weather highways.

Roads of asphalt or concrete were built but lack of coordination between states through which the transcontinental routes ran caused confusion since the route was often not even straight. Hence the need for a system of standardized interstate highways had evolved.

By 1924 it became clear that a single, unified system of highways was necessary. In that year, the American Association of State Highway Officials passed a resolution requesting the Secretary of Agriculture to investigate the possibility of creating a system of standardized highways.

The legislation of 1956 encouraged by President Eisenhower,also provided for an extended network of 66,000 km (41,012 mi) and nationwide design standards, including:

a minimum of two lanes in each direction
lanes that were 12 ft in width
a 10-foot right paved shoulder
design speeds of 50–70 mph (for those of you wondering where the speed limit even came from?)

These highways now gave Americans unprecedented mobility and easy access to any part of the country. Did you ever realize that You can literally go anywhere at anytime with just a moments notice.

So Happy 50th Birthday U.S. Highways!

“Modern man drives a mortgaged car over a bond-financed highway on credit-card gas.”- Earl Wilson -

When buying a used car, punch the buttons on the radio. If all the stations are rock and roll, there's a good chance the transmission is shot. -Larry Lujack-

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.
-Bill Vaughan-

And mah fave..heh
Remember folks, street lights timed for 35 mph are also timed for 70 mph. -Jim Samuels-



  • At 3:34 PM, Blogger kevin said…

    As you know, I'm a big fan of the road trip, so I enjoyed you little history lesson. I've traveled route 66 "The Mother Road" many times with this in mind, where would we be without the highway system?

    ps, who knew that "Uncle Albert" was such a romantic?

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger maccusgermanis said…

    Happy Birthday!

    This post hits me where I live, "playing Frogger for a living as I do" as a surveyor invovled in highway construction.

    Adding another integral component to the increasing of our mobility was (the now maligned) Thomas Midgley, Jr. who invented lead additives to gasoline. (And later CFC's) At the time his discovery was important to the conservation of gasoline supplies. But then H. Ford was selling all those model T's.

  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger Karl m said…

    on the road again..willie nelson
    take it easy...the eagles
    long and winding road.....etc..
    so many good songs about the highways and byways..

    but my favorite of all time...
    gift from m.scott peck m.d.
    THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED...enjoy the trip....

  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said…

    Kevin, Mac, and KarlM..."If life is a highway..I wanna ride it alllllllllllll night long!"

  • At 10:04 PM, Blogger The MaryHunter said…

    Whoooodathunk. Heh, the Interstates have been good to me and my pretties... we've treked all over the mid-Atlantic and central south, through MD, DE, PA, VA, TN, NC, and all without a DVD player for the wee goyls! Next, onward to ME.

    First test of the Significant OtherHunter and moi waz a pre-marriage I-enabled trek from Bawlmer to Houston via the Is, a straight 25-hr drive. Still married these 11.72 yr, together longr. :D

    And long before the Heirs of MaryHunter were born, the Is brought me from the fruits n nuts of CA to the shores of Mary Land. Imadin dat! ;-)

    PS the Einstein was pricelessssss. So human wuz he.

  • At 3:17 AM, Blogger friendlysaviour said…

    I do envy the wide open drives I see in documentaries and movies, (esp. B/W) in US.
    Trouble is in uk that most new roads are 4 lanes wide and swallow up huge green areas,just so bad drivers can sit bumber to bumper in traffic jams as they drive from city to city.
    I just remember the days of un-regulated driving, with no speed limits and cars you could fix yourself when they went wrong.
    Now it's down to the garage and out with the cash when it stops working. (bloody electronic controls!)
    They are planning to install number-plate recognition cameras every 400 yards on main roads and satellite trackers fitted to all, linked to speed controllers eventually.
    I will stop driving then or buy some really weird old classic vehicle that doesnt go above 40 mph.!
    I hope one day before I croak or the gas runs out, to get to USA and do a month driving as far as the road takes me. What car would you recommend for such a trip? Something that would make me smile whenever I got in it!

  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said…

    Well bld,Hmmmm convertible...or mebbe a porsche...oh how bout an ole Mustang..lolz

    Aww TMH u sure do get around..grinz


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