The History Of the Push for Interstate Highways

"The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways" by journalist Earl Swift examines the movement to build interstate highways well before Pres. Eisenhower's landmark legislation.

Swift's first study is bicycle racer-turned car racer Carl Graham Fisher who helped launch the 'good roads movement' by building America's first transcontinental road, the Lincoln Highway from NYC to San Francisco in 1913.

"Another of the author's visionaries is engineer Thomas MacDonald, the brilliant and methodical, but utterly humorless, head of the National Highway Commission" in 1919 that played a crucial role in shifting the nation's focus from rail to road.

"Over the next decades urban planners, including Robert Moses, and their critics, such as Lewis Mumford, would argue over how best to fight the blight of Stuckey's shops, "motor slums" and suburban sprawl" that inevitably followed the highways.

Thanks to Mark Boshnack

Full Story: Interstate Highways as a Long-Haul Project

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00