California Highways: End Of An Era?

As California searches for alternatives to freeway-building, here is a look at the cultural impact of highways on American culture and the implications of ending new highway development.

Read Time: 1 minute

September 4, 2001, 8:00 AM PDT

By Abhijeet Chavan @

Americans have long regarded the highway as sacred space, a place of romance, solitude and self- discovery, and the healing, redemptive power of the road has spawned a genre of literature -- not to mention television shows, films and pop music... The dark side of highway culture...arrived with all the subtlety of a 24-hour mini-mart. The destruction of historic urban neighborhoods, the relentless franchising of the American landscape, the rise of road rage and vast empty commutes... As Californians contemplate alternatives to brand new highways, including bike paths and light rail, the cultural implications loom large."

Thanks to Abhijeet Chavan

Sunday, September 2, 2001 in The New York Times

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