The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways

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Highway Revolt
In the past seventy years the United States has evolved to become a nation of intricate roads and major superhighways. With 6,586,610 km of public roads the United States holds the leading position for the largest road network in the world. Creating such a monstrous change in a nation over a short period of time generated some disagreements between locals and politicians. In addition to disagreements, the undertaking of building an enormous network of highways held a vast number of unintended consequences. This essay demonstrates the effects and unintended consequences on locals when the government creates interstates, highways and other public roads in an area. In order to understand the background of locals revolts on various highways it is necessary to delve into the history of the highways and public road works of the United States. Additionally, it is necessary to investigate the manner in which these freeways were built, in doing so it will be more clear what caused various unintended consequences.
With production of cars increasing substantially in the early 20th century the idea of well maintained roads, or paved roads, began circulating. In 1895 there were 300 cars in the United States, and by 1905 there were 78,000, by 1914 there were 1.7 million automobiles. Although the number of vehicles in America was increasing dramatically, the number of paved roads stayed relatively low. The lack of roads led to Good Roads movements which sought to create reliable macadam paved roads throughout the United States. The first movement started in 1880 and lasted to 1921, originally for bicyclists, it had two separate parts; the first, from 1880 to 1900 and the second from 1900 to 1920. The former focused on building ...

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...mited the growth of cities. The interstates expanding into the rural areas of America did allow people to travel places easily, that would have been very difficult to navigate to in the past. Families began taking day trips from the city to the country in their new affordable cars. The expansion to rural areas increased the rate of suburbanization significantly, as well. Industries started to grow along the highways, and as job opportunities opened more and more people began moving out of the city. Studies showed that “counties with access to an interstate highway enjoyed economic and population growth.”

Works Cited “Transportation of the United States.” Last modified January 14, 2013. Accessed May 19, 2014.
Provides tons of information about America’s transportation system and highway data.

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