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Can’t Get There From Here — 6 Comments

  1. “How to find their way thence?” It’s usually a trivial side-effect of finding a way thither.

  2. Thanks, Anton. All one can say is “Uff-da.” Corrected above.

  3. One of my correspondents (thanks starc@!) sent a link to a Washington Post piece from yesterday, recounting the first attempt to send a military convoy across the US by road, in 1919. It took two months! Brevet lieutenant colonel Dwight Eisenhower, age 28, accompanied the convoy. Nearly 40 years later he would institute the Interstate highway system.

    Money quote from the article: “One Army captain described the weeks on the road as ‘comparable to those generally experienced in the advance zone of battle operations.’ (This was coming from a World War I combat veteran, no less.)”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/07/07/driving-cross-country-was-crazy-idea-an-army-convoy-set-out-show-it-could-be-done/

  4. There are also spots in MA where one one is traveling in 2 opposite directions on the same road. For example, one can be on Rte 95 North and Rte 128 South at the same time.

  5. Yes, there’s an infamous stretch south of Boston where one must choose between I-95 North and I-93 South. Both choices run counter to intuition and to the actual geography.

    For years I have sought a singular occurrence: four highway signs in a cluster, marking the same road as (e.g.) 15 North, 38 East, 22-A West, and 193 South. Have never seen such. For what was the internet invented if not this?

    Art M., you are well traveled on the lost byways of this continent. Any joy here?

  6. Here’s a most thought-provoking Atlantic article on the ways the law in the US has evolved not only to favor, but to require automobile ownership and driving. The NYTimes’s take on the 1919 military convoy across the US (see the WaPo’s coverage linked three comments above) highlights how the US gasoline-dominated culture was not inevitable; the early 1920s were the fulcrum point.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/car-crashes-arent-always-unavoidable/592447

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/07/opinion/the-most-important-road-trip-in-american-history.html

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