Saturday, December 20, 2014

Open Roads

My relationship to cars.
Cars are the worst. Not only do they contribute to climate change, but the care and feeding of cars has led to sprawling landscapes that we can only get around by car. This has set up a positive-feedback loop that only makes the climate problem worse, and actually causes many to pretend to believe it does not exist, because the alternatives are so unthinkable.

But cars, alas, are also the best. I have to confess that I love few things better than the open road, explored by car, and just about every county visit I have made has been in a car. I plan to use some form of automobile -- if they still exist -- when Pam and I celebrate our 66th birthdays on Route 66.

Until then, shorter road trips will have to do, and the vicarious enjoyment of such photography projects as Scenes from the American Road from The Atlantic (which is a great font of good writing, especially for geographers). This splendid collection of photographs and accompanying thoughts was gathered from creative thinkers in a variety of fields, from comedy to philanthropy.

I am fortunate to have been on some of these very roads, and look forward to exploring more of them.

Near Chillicothe, Ohio. Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

1 comment:

  1. But the roads also create their own geography. I remember a paper that I developed about 20 years ago where I identified that expansion of a metropolis by the extension of the road network.
    Basically it was an expansion of Christaller. The Metropolis grows because of the highway network. As the Metropolis grows, the support systems for goods brought in by trucks result in sub-urban locales for the distribution of the goods. As these distribution centers cannot be supported by the infrastructure of the inner city, they form on the outskirts of the Metropolis. Then there develops a support structure for the distribution centers and the trucks moving the goods. This is most obvious with the large "Truck Stops" located just outside of the Metropolis. Then a community grows up around the distribution locale and the truck stops to provide the workers. Thus the Metropolis grows outward along the established roads.

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