Today's society relies heavily on roads, and today just about all roads are paved, and we have the convenience of Interstates and US Highways to travel on. Before Dwight Eisenhower's Interstate System, and before the United States Numbered Highway system, there were no standards to which roads were built, most were not even paved, there were no required numbering systems, and ones that did exist were not organized in efficient ways. The US Route System, and later The Interstate System, have promoted massive growth, easier travel, greater tourism, and easier logistics in the United States.
The United States Highway system came out of a necessity to be able to travel across the country as fast as possible, for both civilian and military
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Many felt that naming the highways would allow attachment of the highway to the area they ran through, but numbering them according to their location allowed for an unbiased numbering system that would qualm the fears of the critics of the numbered system (Weingroff). The new federal highways were paved, had a lane of travel in each direction, and had a grade limit when climbing, so through mountainous areas, switchbacks, which would later be eliminated when Eisenhower's system was implemented, were needed to climb steeper grades (Weingroff). The final highway system was approved in 1926 (Weingroff), and remained the premier system of highways in the western hemisphere until the 1960s.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States and retired Army General created the brainchild of a system of highways in the United States that were similar to the Autobahn in Germany, which he visited while fighting in WWII, which had 2 travel lanes in each direction, and allowed fast speeds, allowing for more efficient travel across Germany (“Hitler's Autobahn?”). Eisenhower was also driven to streamline interstate travel because he had experienced the troubles of the early auto trails firsthand when he took part in the army's motor convoy across the Lincoln Highway, arguably the most famous early auto trail (Eisenhower).
Funding the interstate system