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

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