Monday, February 25, 2008

Interstate Highway System - Part1 (About America)

Now that the writers strike is over and done with, some of my favourite sitcoms are back in action. But this is not about that.

There are two things that have fascinated me from the time i have landed in US. 1) Freeways and 2) Sports. Sports will have to wait since am still hiding from the Suns loss from yesterday.

When i was in Germany for the first time, all i could think about was the AUTOBAHN. My colleague had given me some information about this system of highways/freeways/expressways, but nothing would have prepared me for what i saw. Plus the topping was there was no speed limit as long as you were within the German Borders. Can you beat that?

So i did not find it surprising that the US Freeways take a leaf from that book. Apparently, the Interstate Highway system was lobbied by President Eisenhower who was influenced by his experiences as a young soldier fighting the World War II and was in Germany crossing the Autobahn. Initially, what was commissioned as a means to aid military transport has become an integral part of the country's day to day transport mechanism.

Some facts about the freeways.

a)Most of them need you to maintain a 65mph speeding or you will have a cop chasing your wheels.
b) Primary Interstates are assigned a number less than 100
c) East-West highways - Even numbers
d) North South highways - Odd numbers

There are still some disputes about which was the first interstate highway to be commissioned and which was the last act of completion. Nevertheless this system proves that the leaders of this country had a vision and they started a plan that went well beyond their term of power, something that speaks for the country as well.

When i get back to Bengalooru, i will again wonder how much longer should we wait?


Anonymous said...

Yes, you got it right. This Interstate maze is copied shamelessly from Germany. For sometime in some of the states, there was no speed limit. It turned out to be a bad idea. US is no Germany. You didn't mention sister interstates, can you decode 'em?

-We met recently

Mom Mac said...

Meera, I am wondering if you are the same Meera that I met when I was in India in Dec 2005? I am pretty sure you are not. Do you know Ruth or Praveen? I see that you come to my blog occasionally and wondered what brought you there.

As for "freeways".. haha.. good luck with them. In Missouri where I live they are called "Interstates".. same deal though. I had to adjust my verbage after moving here in 1979 from San Diego.

I found Indian roadways chaotic and a little scary but I really liked how SLOW the traffic moves. I think that American freeways are, for the most part, scarier.


Meera said...

@anonymous: Sister interstates :) Cant recollect, who is this?
@mom mac: oh yes, am surprised you remember me. Sandhya's college friend. I really liked reading about your posts and some of them were so well written that i kept coming back.