Over four million miles of roadway span the United States. A driver in southeastern Florida City, Florida could hop in her car and 50 hours later step out into northwestern Blaine, Washington 3,435 miles away. Despite her long journey, she would have a remarkably consistent drive. She would travel on 12-foot wide interstate lanes constructed of approved asphalts, aggregates, and finishes. She would view highways signs fabricated from specified microprismatic sheeting and retroreflective paints. She would obey a nearly uniform set of traffic laws. She would experience a system that allows widespread access by nearly every shape, size, and make of vehicle, from Mazdas to Maseratis, from semi-trailers to school buses, from tower ladder firetrucks to Harley Davidson Fat Boys.
Imagine if you awoke tomorrow morning and this system had suddenly changed. Highways were six-feet wide. Roads were constructed of gooey tar and jagged rocks. Speed limits were written in tiny, white text on light gray backgrounds. Traffic laws were state secrets. This system would no longer support your needs, making your travel both difficult and dangerous. You could no longer easily get to work, visit a grocery store, or reach a hospital. How would your life change?
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