Monday, April 1, 2019
Impact of Interstate Highway System
Impact of interstate highway lane SystemAs the considerablest public works project in the Statesn history, the Dwight D. Eisenhower depicted object System of interstate and Defense Highways not however changed trans expressionation methods in the joined States, solo systematically affected definite cultural decorates across divers(prenominal) regions of the country. When the act was signed into federal police force in 1956, both the public and officials were unaware of the potential blackball and arrogant influence of highways oer urbanism and urban centerscape issues such(prenominal)(prenominal) as the creation of the reckon American Suburbia, the reduction of urban downtowns, and the destruction of scenic and holidaymaker locations in the joined States. These study highway-influenced landscape changes can be categorized into a end point called roadsteadcapes.In order to research adequately on what these roadscapes are, the history of the interstate system must be examined in order to understand how it influences certain cultural and urban landscapes. Although invented long time prior, the automobile was introduced into the American mainstream market in the early 1900s, closely influenced by the invention of the mass production conference line. As a direct byproduct of the use of automobiles, safer roadways became a furbish up for public officials across the United States, as most cities and rural infrastructures were motionless solely suitable for horses and carriages. about of these r bulgees, which were for the most voice unpaved, were created as a event of how the population moved inwardly and between cities, with oftentimes major roads connecting nodal points in downtown districts. When the automobile became the primary use of transportation among most of these unpaved roadways, travel became dangerous due to inconsistent quality measures. During the 1920s, in that location were no uniform construction methods over these trails, leading to what Dan McNichol stated in his book, The Roads That Built America, chaos reigned over the road (Reid 3).From the 1920s until the mid(prenominal) 1950s, there were multiple parts that convinced public officials and engineers in establishing and constructing a federally controlled highway system that stretches from coast-to-coast America. During World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower moved his armies tardily along routes in Nazi Germany, on expressways known as the autobahns. As his signature legislation when elected into office, Eisenhower decided that the United States was in select for a public highway infrastructure similar to that of Germany (Reid 4). Although the superhighways of America were marketed as a public use to boost automobile transportation, Congresss decision during the Eisenhower ecesis to enact the law was agitaten by the ability to move convoys and animal foot units much faster across the country than ever before. An another(prenomina l) factor that played into the creation of the highway system were alarming anxieties about the wintry War, with the public fearing that Americans needed to quickly be able to evacuate large cities under threat of nuclear attacks. These major possibilities allowed the highway system to be pushed as a defensive measure in Congress, as the Dwight D. Eisenhower depicted object System of Interstate and Defense Highways (Blas 128).Within the first few years modernr the construction of the Interstate in some parts of the country, flying impact on economic growth allowed certain industrial and manufacturing markets to grow, such as farming (Blas 129). However, the highway system led to long-term negative impacts on not only the natural landscape it is built upon, but the cultural and urban landscapes of the already quick cities and communities it connects, or does not connect, in some cases. Despite having legion(predicate) effects, the three significant changes further examine as part of the roadscape phenomena are the reductions of the importance of urban downtowns, the creation of view suburbia, and the lack of access to scenic routes and rural towns along previously brisk Federal Routes.The first major roadscape is the Interstates general disregard for existing urban downtowns. Urban downtowns are generated by concentrated populations and also the connections within major points of such city. The determining factors of most urban downtowns and the growth of cities in America are credited to the location of rivers and railroads (Voss 33). However, population changes in most American cities followed the creation of the Interstate System, affecting the importance of urban downtowns. When the Federal Highway Act was being countered in Congress during the early 1950s, traffic was of major concern. One of the primary opposition to the Highway Act was that it should focus to a greater extent on improving the conditions of the existing Federal Route system, whi ch already generally connected cities and their urban ranges.However, Eisenhower believed that with the rise of the automobile, about 5 million exchange annually during the 1950s, the network of in the altogetherbornly created superhighways should connect cities, but not into their downtown regions, to prevent escalation of traffic problems (Reid 4). Financially, though, the decision to not place the Interstate within highly concentrated urban areas were largely based upon the amount of get out civilian properties to replace with the Interstate. Both rural areas and lower income districts contact downtown areas, which consisted of weaker opposition from the community, were cheaper locations to construct the highway.Therefore, constructing what is known as beltways virtually cities such as Houston and Washington D.C. led to the first major roadscape phenomena the fall of urban downtowns and the rise of providence around these once previous rural locations, creating pseudo-urb an forms. Houston is a primary example of having major Interstate routes existing as material belts around the downtown district. Originally designed as a port city connecting to the Gulf of Mexico through the Houston Ship Channel, the downtown area face economic downfall as the primary modes of industrial transportation shifted to the Interstate, rigid in the surrounding suburbs. This led to the rise of major pseudo-downtown business districts straight connected to the Interstate such as Southwest Houston and the Energy Corridor. speckle the beltway concept is use in demonstrating negative roadscapes around cities, two other city interstate systems were generally also constructed the loop and the spur. The loop system, for example, used in Philadelphia, is similar to a beltway however, a loop is constructed to bypass the city entirely primarily for traffic concerns. Loops affect downtown areas in the uniform way beltways do. A spur, which is less common than all three, is co nstructed as a highway entering from a beltway into a downtown area and terminates into a standard roadway. While all three causas of techniques yields different results, the introduction of the Interstate in these cities changed how the urban downtown functions and interacts with the rest of the city proper. Therefore, pseudo-downtowns are part of the roadscape phenomena.The second major roadscape analyzed is the role of the Interstate in the idealized American Suburbia. The notion of suburbia indirectly correlates to the rise of economic action outside of the urbanized form. However, the idea of suburbs can be traced back to the 1920s, as a result of rapidly growing cities. Generally, civilians of inner-city areas did not move out to the suburbs because of the lack of ease of transport, even with the automobile. Suburbs were being slowly developed around World War I, but it was the introduction of the Interstate that greatly change magnitude the suburbanization process, in rela tionship to the rise of automobile production.As the beltways around choke off cities were constructed, businesses and job opportunities grew away from the inner-city (Blas 130). The idealized American Suburbia was then born, an area that was not densely populated, consisted rows of picturesque houses, and did not suffer congested animal(prenominal) conditions of the urban landscape. The major factor introduced in separating the ideal American Suburbs from the contextual meaning of 1920s suburb is the ability to access the interstate tardily and travel to and from urban areas, which became locations not for living and culture but for work and business ventures. The interstate eventually would lead to the destruction of the city as the center of life and culture (Cioc 676).Most Federal freeways are rigid in small-scale to medium-scale residential zones, which ties directly to suburban locations in larger cities. In fact, in most of the urban metropolitan areas in the United St ates, the interstate only accounts for 3% of all roadways within the urban landscape, only they yield 40% of daily traffic (Brown 174). Highways also promoted the creation of entirely new suburban locations in the United States. In the early 1970s, the interstate allowed people to move from older-created urban cities in the north and northeast states, such as Philadelphia and Boston, to generally newer states in the Sunbelt region, where climates were favored, such as Miami and Phoenix (Blas 130). before the Interstate, migrating from Megalopolis to newer urban cities such as those in California were too expensive and too timely. While the American Suburb is a unique type of roadscape, it can be seen as a direct correlation to the demise of urban downtowns and creation of pseudo-downtowns, as previously analyzed.However, the final and vastly different major roadscape phenomena involves the relationship of the Interstate and the once used scenic and tourist routes. Predating the c reation of the Interstate Act in 1956, one chief design envisioned by Thomas MacDonald, the head of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, was that the US Route roadways, built in the mid 1920s, should simply be repaved and ameliorate with modern construction, in order to handle the ever increasing shoot of vehicular traffic. However, headed mostly by engineers, the proposal to build superhighways across the landscape and connect urban areas without increasing traffic on currently existing roadways, such as the US Route system, was eventually favored by the Eisenhower administration (Reid 3).However, since the 1920s, the US Route system connected not only existing urban landscapes, but spurred scenic and tourist growth in rural towns and locations alongside these routes. When the Interstate paved way for the ability to drive over rivers and through mountains, some cities grew, but even more places declined economically as traffic passed further away (Blas 131).There are many cases in which cities became ghost towns due to the realignment of traffic due to the Interstate system, such as Route 66 and Highway 301. Route 66 was colloquially known as the Main Street of America, which connected Chicago, ran through atomic number 42 and Arizona, and into Santa Monica, California. During the Dust Bowl, Route 66 grew in popularity as people migrated west. Most of the Scenic Route designations alongside Route 66 were located in New Mexico and Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert. However, when the Interstate was established, most of these towns, which were economically supported by gas, declined and eventually a few of these towns were deserted, such as Montoya, New Mexico, and canon Diablo, Arizona. Route 66 usually took two weeks during its heyday, whereas the trip from Chicago to Santa Monica on the Interstate can be completed in 29 hours. some other example is Highway 301, which caused similar fates in cities along the route, such as Starke, Florida. However, when the In terstate expanded even further away years after the traffic declined on Highway 301, Starke city officials did not object to the new proposal. They foresaw that despite lower traffic numbers, the economy of Starke would still strive on the charm of Highway 301, a scenic attraction (Blas 131). By the late 1970s, it was clear that the accessibility of the Interstate system was greatly favored over scenic routes, causing Starke to essentially turn into a ghost town. This leads to the overt difference that scenic highways, which were hampered by the lack of advanced civil engineering science techniques during its construction in the 1920s, are contoured by the landscape it sits on, whereas Interstates were simply tunneled through mountains and bridged over rivers and valleys where deemed necessary for shortage of travel time. As the third major phenomena, abandoned scenic routes and the disregard to small rural towns can be considered another type of roadscape.During the research of t he Interstate system the United States, it became unadorned that even though it is one of the most, if not, the most innovative application of engineering science and systematic networking in the United States, it led to a different and new phenomena known as roadscapes. These roadscapes were changes in cultural and urban landscapes directly influenced by the establishment of the Federal Highway system, whether positive or negative. However, while it generated numerous ghost towns along scenic routes and toppled the organizational strategies of urban cities, it allowed the United States economy to succeed under the modern way of life, including the automobile and fast travel.ReferencesBlas, Elisheva. The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways The Road to Success? The History instructor 44.1 (2010) 127-42. Ebscohost. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.Brown, Jeffery, Eric Morris, and Brian Taylor. Planning for Cars in Cities. Journel of the American Planning Associa tion 75.2 (2009) 161-71. Ebscohost. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.Cioc, Mark. The Culture of Highways. Environmental History 10.4 (2005) 675-76. JSTOR. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.Reid, Robert. Paving America From sailing to Coast. Special Report Civil Engineering (2015) 1-9. Ebscohost. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.Voss, Paul R., and Guangqing Chi. Highways and race Change. Rural Sociology 71.1 (2006) 33-58. Print.