On the 40th anniversary of the interstate highway system, it can be said that the interstates brought the nation unexpected wealth, mobility, and sprawl. Although the interstates account for only 1 percent of the nation's roadway, they account for 23 percent of total vehicle miles traveled and nearly half of all truck miles traveled. This article reports that the German autobahn inspired American engineers and policy makers initially, but it was the Cold War and perceived military needs that made the interstate system a reality. This article describes some of the positive and negative effects of the interstate system as well as the cost of maintaining the 68,865-km (42,800-mi) system.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    American Planning Association

    122 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1500
    Chicago, IL  United States  60603-6107
  • Authors:
    • Jacobson, L
  • Publication Date: 1996-6


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 19-21
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00729985
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 12 1997 12:00AM