Highways in Our National Life - A Symposium
Not only is the Road one of the great human institutions because it is fundamental to social existence, but aIso because its varied effect appears in every department of the State. It is the Road which determines the sites of many cities and the growth and nourishment of all. It is the Road which controIs the development of strategics and fixes the sites of battles, It is the Road which gives its frame-work to all economic development. It is the Road which is the channel of all trade and, what is more important, of all ideas. In its most humble function it is a necessary guide without which progress from place to place would be a ceaseless experiment it is a sustenance without which organized society would be impossible thus, and with those other characters I have mentioned, the Road moves and controls all history. Today Americans are conscious of the importance of roads as never before. During the recent war everyone necessarily recognized the role that roads played in the grand strategy of the conflict and the Burma Road, the Libyan Road, and the Alcan Highway became expressions as commonly used and as familiar as, say, the Lincoln Highway had been before. Both here and abroad motor transport played an all-important part in the winning of the war, whether in the logistics of supply or in the invasion of a continent. Since then, the domestic scene has caught and demanded our attention. Whereas in 1921 American motor vehicles traveled some 55 bilIion miIes on 387,000 miles of surfaced roads, today they are traveling about 368 bilIion miles over 1,500,000 miles of surfaced roads the result is a congestion that affects, or disaffects, almost everyone. Motorists have become aware of the limitations of highways built only a decade or two ago, and are generaLIy interested in the problems of planning, design, and engineering. Parkways, scenic routes, and roads to our neighboring countries have greatly stimulated pleasure driving for tourists, Freight traEc has increasingly turned to the highway from the railroad, even for long hauls and of the total tonnage of the nations freight......
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