Highway Politics and Policy since 1939
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Preface to the Third Edition
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In June 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and members of Congress approved construction of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Journalists and ordinary Americans named those roads the Interstate Highway System, or simply the Interstate. Whatever the exact...
Preface to the Second Edition
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During the summer of 1987, I was a member of a research group seeking to account for the experiences of senior road engineers who had been involved in constructing the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. My encounter with members of this group...
Preface to the First Edition
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Transportation is a key element in the social and economic organization of any industrially developed society. As the construction of railroads in America influenced the location of cities, so the development of streetcar lines helped to shape them. Both forms of...
1. Rebuilding America: Express Highways and Visions of Reform, 1890–1941
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By 1960, a recorded voice promised visitors to General Motors' Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair, fourteen-lane express roads would accommodate "traffic at designated speeds of 50, 75, and 100 miles an hour." Spectators, six hundred at a time...
2. Planning for Postwar America, 1941–1944
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Basic problems—jammed highways and urban decay—continued during the war years. Because of the huge migration of men and women to defense jobs and military bases, because of rationing and restrictions, homes and highways went unrepaired and traffic on...
3. The Politics of Highway Finance, 1945–1950
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Economic growth during the postwar years exceeded wartime hopes dramatically. The years after 1945 were especially prosperous for members of the road transport and highway construction industries. Truck operators increased the size of their fleets and sought new...
4. Project Adequate Roads: Traffic Jams, Business, and Government, 1951–1954
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By late 1951, truckers and highway engineers sensed major changes in the dimensions of the traffic tangle. Congestion, National Highway User Conference Director Butler told heads of the conference on October 11, 1951, had "grow[n] worse." Shippers and carriers...
5. The Highway and the City, 1945–1955
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After World War II, urban businessmen and residents continued to flee to the suburbs, leaving behind declining property values, falling retail sales, and an unsightly collection of decayed buildings and unrented space in the cities. Traffic congestion, since the 1920s a...
6. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Express Highway Politics, 1954–1955
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For years leaders of the highway transport and road construction industries had argued and complained about the pace, direction, and financing of new highways, particularly costly express highways. Farm group executives, heads of in-state and national road-user associations...
7. The Interstate Highway Act of 1956
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Defeat of all road legislation did not soften the opinions of competing highwaymen and political leaders. Beginning in August, 1955, they lobbied for their version of good highway programming, once more debating the virtues of national control of road construction...
8. The Interstates and the Cities
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In postwar America, mass production of automobiles and tract housing signaled the beginnings of urban decline and suburban sprawl. It was an era of unrivaled prosperity for most Americans, but major spatial and demographic shifts were taking place. The populations of older industrial...
9. Stop the Road: Freeway Revolts in American Cities
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Beginning in the late 1950s, a nascent freeway revolt emerged in San Francisco and a few other cities. Typical of the countercultural sixties, the anti-freeway movement accelerated nationally as Interstate highway construction began penetrating urban America and knocking down neighborhoods...
10. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Freeway Revolt, 1966–1973
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The Freeway Revolt that began in San Francisco in the late 1950s eventually spread across urban America. Citizen activists in many cities challenged the routing decisions made by state and federal highway engineers. By the late 1960s, freeway fighters began to win a few battles...
11. ISTEA and the Reframing of American Highway Politics, 1956–1995
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On December 18, 1991, President George H. W. Bush addressed transportation officials, members of Congress, and ordinary highway workers at a road construction site located on State Highway 360 in Euless, Texas. Bush was about to sign the Intermodal Surface Transportation...
12. The Freeway Teardown Movement in American Cities
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Now, at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the nation’s Interstate Highway System has entered a new era in its relatively short half-century life. The system is aging, its bridges collapsing, and its maintenance long deferred. Traffic everywhere overwhelms capacity...
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Page Count: 306
Publication Year: 2012