Portal:Roads

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A road is a path connecting two points. The English word ‘road’ comes from the same root as the word ‘ride’ –the Middle English ‘rood’ and Old English ‘rad’ –meaning the act of riding. Thus a road refers foremost to the right of way between an origin and destination. In an urban context, the word street is often used rather than road, which dates to the Latin word ‘strata’, meaning pavement (the additional layer or stratum that might be on top of a path).

Modern roads are generally paved, and unpaved routes are considered trails. The pavement of roads began early in history. Approximately 2600 BCE, the Egyptians constructed a paved road out of sandstone and limestone slabs to assist with the movement of stones on rollers between the quarry and the site of construction of the pyramids. The Romans and others used brick or stone pavers to provide a more level, and smoother surface, especially in urban areas, which allows faster travel, especially of wheeled vehicles. The innovations of Thomas Telford and John McAdam reinvented roads in the early nineteenth century, by using less expensive smaller and broken stones, or aggregate, to maintain a smooth ride and allow for drainage. Later in the nineteenth century, application of tar (asphalt) further smoothed the ride. In 1824, asphalt blocks were used on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. In 1872, the first asphalt street (Fifth Avenue) was paved in New York (due to Edward de Smedt), but it wasn’t until bicycles became popular in the late nineteenth century that the “Good Roads Movement” took off. Bicycle travel, more so than travel by other vehicles at the time, was sensitive to rough roads. Demands for higher quality roads really took off with the widespread adoption of the automobile in the United States in the early twentieth century.

The first good roads in the twentieth century were constructed of Portland cement concrete (PCC). The material is stiffer than asphalt (or asphalt concrete) and provides a smoother ride. Concrete lasts slightly longer than asphalt between major repairs, and can carry a heavier load, but is more expensive to build and repair. However over the remainder of the twentieth century, the vast majority of roadways were paved with asphalt. In general only the most important roads, carrying the heaviest loads, would be built with concrete. Fundamentals of Transportation/Geography and Networks

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M62 construction, Castle Hill, in Milnrow, Greater Manchester, England.
The M62 motorway is a west–east trans-Pennine motorway in northern England, connecting the cities of Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds. The road also forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E20 (Shannon to Saint Petersburg) and E22 (Holyhead to Ishim). The road is 107 miles (172 km) long; however, for seven miles (11 km), it shares its route with the M60 motorway around Manchester.

The motorway, which was first proposed in the 1930s, and originally conceived as two separate routes, was built in stages between 1971 and 1976, with construction beginning at Pole Moor and finishing in Tarbock. The motorway also absorbed the northern end of the Stretford-Eccles bypass, which was built between 1957 and 1960. Adjusted for inflation to 2007, the motorway cost approximately £765 million to build. The motorway is relatively busy, with an average daily traffic flow of 100,000 cars in Yorkshire, and has several areas prone to gridlock, in particular, between Leeds and Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.

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Downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico Quality image
Credit: (Daniel Schwen)

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...that the Gough Map, housed at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, is the oldest surviving road map of Great Britain and is believed to date from sometime between 1355 and 1366?
... that a 25-foot (7.6 m) tall, traditionally-dressed Ukrainian woman offers bread and salt to Saskatchewan Highway 5 travelers at Canora, a town in Saskatchewan, Canada?

... that from 1945 until 1978, cars in Okinawa Prefecture drove on the right side of the road until a switch to left-hand drive as part of the 730 Conversion Plan, to match the rest of Japan?

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A new road bridge over the south approach railway line of the Hallandsåstunneln near Förslöv, Skåne Quality image
Credit: (Klaus with K)

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Here are some tasks you can do for WikiProject Highways:

  • Improve: You may always improve the quality of road articles by adding more information and references to enhance the overall readers' experience. Improvements to GA and FA quality is much appreciated! Also, nominations for Selected article and Selected picture are always needed, as with Did you know and News. Add to the Portal
  • Photo request: Just about all of them! Any pictures of Highways regions, road surface or infrastruture varieties or Highways would be useful. In particular we need Highways region maps that can be licensed for Wikipedia.
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  1. ^ "Saskatchewan's Global Transportation Hub". About Highways/Transportation Hub/. Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  2. ^ Police don't know what prompted vicious bus attack, CTV.ca, July 31, 2008. Accessed August 6, 2008.