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There is no mention about the discovery of a road principle in the article. Is it because a road is a basic idea, known since all times? As well as a wheel have had to be discovered once, a road as an exact path staked out between two points was not always a public knowledge, was it? Also, when an animal starts a road, it uses it as long as it is on it. But another animal will probably start its own one, unless it accidentally finds itself on a road already. But, a human rather uses a road of someone else, even if it means increase of distance. -- jsimlo 18:25, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, you have to distinguish between trails and roads. Trails are for individuals to walk on, while roads are large enough for wheeled vehicles. Animals follow trails or routes but not with the precision that humans have when they stick to roads or trails.
I assume trails have been in use since prehistory (since many indigenous peoples still use them), but I don't know when roads got started. I assume they came along with the invention of wheels and wagons, but I'm not sure. Does anyone know? --Coolcaesar 19:51, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
The wheel is not the only one thing that needs a road. Assume a group of hunters that goes hunting. They followed a well known path/road to a territory inhabited by a herd. They left the path only when they started to follow trails of the herd. Also, people in ice ages could not move their settlement, because they could not move their fire. But, the herds were moving and so they had to travel long distances for hunting. My question was about whether they used the same single path every time, or they simply started a new one each time. -- jsimlo 12:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
If you're interested in the Road principle, "a geographically defined route," then they've been around hundreds of millions of years. If you're interested in the word "road" and its usage, then you'll want to consult the Oxford English Dictionary. Rklawton 19:58, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Hundreds of millions of years seems to be too much. I am interested in the idea of using a well-known path/trail/road vs. starting many one-off trails. --jsimlo 12:28, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


I placed the unreferenced tag on the top of this page. I also added the <references/> to the reference section of the page. IF you use the wiki format of <ref></ref> to enter references they will be properly listed. It think this a great page with lots of good information. It looks like most of the information came out of a single book, but it is hard to tell. Roads (and lack of) are something of a hobby of mine. I am going to try to find some .gov references for some of the statements and post those. Jeepday 19:16, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Here I go[edit]

Ok, this has been on my "To Do" list way to long and as User:Zoney has pointed out the article still needs work. So here is my plan, as I move Road to the front of my list.

1. Go through and place {{fact}} on everything that at first glance needs to be referenced.

2. Use and to find reference for everything tag with {{fact}}

3. Make little or no text changes during the initial reference gathering sweep. Unless a found reference is clearly different then current text. Other editors are welcome to change text based on the new references It's just that I want to stay on track for getting the references first.

4. Use my preferred cite formats (from Wikipedia:Citation templates) to list the references.

Web cite

<ref Name="NAME">{{cite web
  | last =
  | first =
  | authorlink =
  | coauthors =
  | title =
  | work =
  | publisher =
  | date =
  | url =
  | format =
  | doi =
  | accessdate =  }}</ref>

Second cite of same web

<ref name="NAME"/>

Book Cite

<ref Name="NAME">{{cite book
  | last =
  | first =
  | authorlink =
  | coauthors =
  | title =
  | publisher =
  | date =
  | location =
  | pages =
  | url =
  | doi =
  | id =  }}</ref>

Second cite of same book

<ref name="NAME"/>

Here I go, Apologizing in advance for any toes I step on, giving forgiveness in advance for the reverse and embracing the Assumption of good faith Signed Jeepday 16:02, 24 March 2007 (UTC)


Not a good broad parent article[edit]

This isn't a good broad parent article on the subject of roads. It is not complete enough, and over-focussed in other ways. This is evidenced by the degradation to just a large list of terms at the end.

Wikipedia seems to have problems with broad subject area articles unless there is a sustained effort to create them from the ground up - they do not just "happen" organically like specific topical articles. Maybe a look at how other encyclopaedias deal with this subject area would be good, although part of the problem is probably that they have an article of several pages on the general topic of roads, with a clear country-specific initial focus.

Anyways, as is, this is fairly pants. I'd love to have a go at a rewrite myself, but unfortunately I have enough "real world" writing to be getting on with relating to my studies!

zoney talk 16:29, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Merge oiled road to road[edit]

The article oiled road is too short and should be merged with the main article (road). Any comments or suggestions? - Hdt83 | Talk 03:17, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I think a redirect to Bitumen, on my way to do it now. Jeepday 03:23, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

No supporting references found for these bits in history[edit]

Note that I am removing these only because I did not find references. If reference can be found they would be welcome on the main article. Jeepday 13:18, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Engineered roads in the age of horse-drawn transport aimed for a maximum gradient of 1 in 30 on a macadamized surface, since this was the steepest a horse could exert to pull a load up hill, which it could manage easily on the flat. Notable road engineers from this period are Pierre Marie Jérôme Trésaguet (1716-1796) in France and John Loudon McAdam (1756-1836) in Scotland.
  • During the industrial revolution, the railway developed as a solution to the problem of rutting of the road surface by heavy carts. Instead of trying to build a strong surface across the whole road, the cart was constrained to run either on rails or grooves which could be made of much stronger, wear resistant material.
  • Today, roads are almost exclusively built to enable travel by automobile and other wheeled vehicles. In most countries, road transport is the most utilized way to move goods. Also, in most developed countries, roads are formally divided into lanes to ensure the safe and smooth movement of traffic.

Citations needed?[edit]

I don't think we need citations for all those statements, for example, just one I picked up, that "the road will be compacted by a road roller." That really needs a citation? Someone citation-request spammed this article. Not now, but I'm going to go through and remove many of those citation requests if there is no problem with removing say, a lot, of them if someone doesn't do it before me. Honestly, that's ridiculous. --MPD T / C 01:39, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I would appreciate if you did not remove the citation requests unless you are replacing it with a reference. The section you are talking about Road#Construction is completely without reference. Jeepday 01:52, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
  • "Removal of earth and rock by digging or blasting, construction of embankments, bridges and tunnels, and removal of vegetation (this may involve deforestation) are often needed."
Seriously...that needs a specific citation backing that up? I'm not saying that every citation request be removed, not at all- there is a lot of stuff I don't know and would like a citation for. I'm sorry if I'm getting an attitude, and since you clearly oppose, removing anything right now would be against consensus and honestly right now I don't have the will to fight it, but last I checked, roads were often cut through mountains, leveled out, built over rivers and through moutains, and were free of grass, bushes, and trees. Granted that's if you're looking at a modern road in say, any modern civilization. --MPD T / C 01:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you in principle. I am just trying to clean up what has become a very expanded unreferenced mess. As I move through I am knocking them off. Keeping in mind that verifiability is a core content policy, I am doing my best to validate this article. Take for instance the opening paragraph of history That the first pathways were the trails made animals has not been universally accepted, arguing that animals do not follow constant paths. others argue that some roads originated from humans following migrating animals. By about 10,000 BC, rough pathways were used by human travelers. The sentence about original roads following animal paths, seems self evident to anyone who has every walked through the woods. But so far I have not found where anyone has written it down as their assertion. Lay, Maxwell is arguing against the assertion, but who is he arguing against? What is the other side of the argument? If you use the Cite this article [1] you will find IMPORTANT NOTE: Most educators and professionals do not consider it appropriate to use tertiary sources such as encyclopedias as a sole source for any information — citing an encyclopedia as an important reference in footnotes or bibliographies may result in censure or a failing grade. Wikipedia articles should be used for background information, as a reference for correct terminology and search terms, and as a starting point for further research. pointing out that Wikipedia is only starting point. In my opionion reference provide not only verifiability they provide the next step. Jeepday 02:30, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay. See, the animal-path-following example is something that I would agree needs a source, while it makes sense, it may not be entirely correct. I can, however, appreciate your continuing work on the article. I'm not going to remove anything now if you are working on the article anyway. I'll wait and see what it looks like in a few days or weeks, and if I run across something that could serve as a source, I'll certainly add it. There have been times where people have inserted citation requests at the end of every sentence just for the heck of it, which is why I brought it up here, and I appreciate your politeness. It goes a long way. Cheers, --MPD T / C 02:37, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Your welcome anytime but it is likely to be a few weeks before I get references for everything. If you get some good references bring them on! When I started this a month ago I thought I would be done finding references by now and be well into the rewriting. Obviously that is not the case :) Jeepday 02:56, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


It says about corduroy roads in Glastonbury in 4000bc and the corduroy page said the first corduroy was made in manchester in the nineteenth century... ...???? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

In keeping with WP:V the citation is referenced and you can validate for yourself page 43 of Ways of the World: A History of the World's Roads and of the Vehicles that Used Them By Maxwell G Lay The confusion may be that that link to Corduroy in the article is to "Corduroy" and should be to "Corduroy road". I will go fix that, thanks for pointing out. Jeepday 13:07, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Citation Needed Removed[edit]

There was a request for a fact check that Bermuda used to be a part of Virginia. Since our Bermuda page shows that it was once a part of the Virginia colony, I removed the 'citation needed' alert. (talk) 10:19, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Nautical Meaning?[edit]

From the book Robinson Crusoe, "The sixth day of our being at sea we came into Yarmouth Roads." What is a road in this context? Harold14370 16:32, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Essentially a harbour. Like Hampton Roads- the body of water- is a natural harbour. I'm actually surprised there is no mention of that anywhere on Wikipedia. calls it "Often, roads. Also called roadstead. Nautical. a partly sheltered area of water near a shore in which vessels may ride at anchor." The link is there. I will update the "road" dab page accordingly. --MPD T / C 16:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Here is another tidbit of info I found. The word roadstead is not derived from "road" but "rode," meaning "A cable, chain, or rope, especially one attached to the anchor of a small boat." So, roadstead is a place for anchoring your boat. Harold14370 23:55, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, only true insofar as the nautical "road" does not come directly from "road" (on dry land), but if you look a little further you will find that both are ultimately from the same Indo-European root reidh-. A (land) road is a place where your horse can ride, a nautical road (or roadstead = riding place) is a place where your ship can ride (at anchor). The fact that "rode" means "an anchoring cable" comes from "road" (= anchorage) rather than the other way around. -- Picapica (talk) 15:02, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Construction section[edit]

Attempting to find references for the construction section as written has been challenging. It looks like the work is done most recently by one or two editors and may represent original research. While I don't find anything wrong with the assertions of the article section, I am not able to reference it as written. I am using a couple (mostly one, currently) online references to do a major rewrite on the section. Please be aware that any unreferenced changes to this section will likely be over written as soon as I finish (maybe a week?). You are welcome to visit and contribute to the rewrite in my sandbox User:Jeepday/Sandbox. Signed Jeepday (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the section needs a re-write. However, based on what you have in your sandbox, you seem to be taking out a lot of what I consider to be interesting information. Is that because you can't find references or because you think that information doesn't belong here?
I can find references for many of your citation needed tags (except in cases where the statement is wrong), though not necessarily online references. It will be a fair bit of not very fun work though - referencing the obvious is more difficult than refrencing the non-obvious. You seem to be primarily using a reference from rural Western Austrailia, which is odd. I've done some work for Main Roads Western Austrailia, and the way they do things in that neck of the woods is not very representative of the rest of the developed world. You shouldn't be using any single agency's guidelines in a general article. Toiyabe 15:26, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I pretty much just took out everything and started over, expecting to rewrite the whole process. I am not a road construction expert, so any referencing you could do or provide to the construction or maintenance sections would be greatly appreciated. Book references are generally preferable to online for articles, so if you have access to good reference by all means use them. Feel free to delete anything that is wrong, or what ever other steps you feel are appropriate. As MPD pointed out (correctly) in "Citations needed?" above the use of fact tags is excessive, and referencing the obvious is really overkill. The construction or maintenance sections are the parts of this article I am finding most difficult, I would be more then happy to leave them to you Toiyabe or other editors and work on the other areas of this article. Jeepday (talk) 02:53, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I completed my rework of the construction section to include references. There clearly remains room for improvement and additional references. Now we have a completely referenced section to build from. Jeepday (talk)

I wrote one of the verisons of the construction section, after I found the original to be quite limited in scope. The assertions were based on how I build roads. The current version is excellent. Well done to the author. I could not have put it better myself! Buka001


I think I am done, now. There remains room for expansion and word smithing (there always is), but I think I have pretty much finished what I started out to do. Thank you all for your patience and comments while I was working on this article. Jeepday (talk) 01:37, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Historical timeline[edit]

The history section has large lagoons or many centuries interruptions, it could be edited in a way that chronology keeps more flowing and not so interrupted. There is also no mention to celtic tribes roads which were the base over which romans built their own in many places.I didn't see the need to flag the page but please review these remarks within reasonable time Librarian2 17:01, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

It could, if one had references to support the addition of new text. Jeepday (talk) 15:09, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Cost of roads[edit]

It would have been helpful if a cost of roads was tabled. These costs would have differences from nation to nation but a cost representation could be worked out. I wanted to know how much a two laned road cost per 100 meters. (talk) 21:45, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I know that it's a little late, but I'll see if I can make it. Njaohnt (talk) 00:30, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


The Carriageway article was proposed for deletion; I have suggested a merge to Road#Construction. —Snigbrook 20:18, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

After a little research I redirected to Dual carriageway, seemed a better match. Jeepday (talk) 23:03, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

(removed an edit by a banned user (by78/Ouyuecheng))[edit]

The material that was re-instated looks very dubious to me - moreover the link that was cited appeared to be dead. Maybe the material that was re-instated shoudld be re-assessed. Martinvl (talk) 06:31, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

2010 book[edit]

  • Conover, Ted (2010). The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 1400042445. 

Relevant to article? It has as much to do with culture as roads so I'm not sure that it's a shoo-in to add. Mapsax (talk) 01:55, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

If it is a WP:RS you can use it to reference content either new or existing. DO you have a copy or is it on line? Jeepday (talk) 12:57, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Neither; I was thinking more of putting it in a new "Further Reading" section. Google Books has a review of decent length and there's also one here. Mapsax (talk) 22:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
If you have not reasd it, how do you know that it is relevant? The best thing that you can do is to buy a copy or to get a copy from your library, read it, and reference it by means of in-line references. Martinvl (talk) 06:10, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Read the reviews that I mentioned and you'll see that it is relevant, assuming that the reviews are representative. No, a review and a synopsis are not the same, and neither is a substitute for actually reading the book, but the content of the reviews leads me to believe that the book is potentially a good resource, and I wanted to bring it to the attention of editors here. Mapsax (talk) 23:39, 23 February 2010 (UTC) [Added:] Collection of reviews is here. Mapsax (talk) 00:36, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
If it is a good resource use it to reference, after you have read it. Otherwise you might as well start a list of books about roads. Jeepday (talk) 10:32, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not making myself clear. This book appears to be distinct from most books about roads because of its range of area (worldwide) and time (from B.C./BCE to now). That's why I brought it up. I don't have any intention of reading it any time soon, but it appears that nobody else does either. Does that mean that we should all ignore it even though it might help readers of the WP article explore the topic further, hence "Further Reading"? Must all books be read cover-to-cover by all editors involved before even being considered to be mentioned in articles? Mapsax (talk) 20:51, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposed move for 'Road transport economics', 'Environmental aspects' and 'Driving on the right or the left'[edit]

I suggest that we move the three sections of this article which are really only relevant to public roads to the Highway article which covers the subject of public roads exclusively. The proposed sections are: 'Road transport economics', 'Environmental aspects' and 'Driving on the right or the left'. The move would tighten up the scope of this article to be those features which are shared by public and private roads and also help broaden the Highway article beyond its current list of world records. Any thoughts? PeterEastern (talk) 10:04, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure that I agree - the scope of the article Highways covers only major roads, this article covers all roads. If you feel that these sections should be moved, then we need to change the scope of the articles from major/minor roads to public/private roads. Martinvl (talk) 10:27, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Thanks for responding. I was also of the impression that Highways was only for more major public roads until I adjusted the lead to clarify that point and was corrected on the matter. The subsequent discussion seems to have concluded that although in common usage highway means main road that the article covers all public roads. The lead now reads "A highway is a public road, especially a more major road connecting two or more destinations". My concern is that we already have some duplication between the two articles (both of which have sections of air quality for example) and there is no clear logic to what should go where. To be clear I am not proposing that the roads article should only be about private roads, I suggest that it should cover those aspects which are relevant to both forms of road (ie construction techniques, terms for features etc etc). We may choose to cover all the physical aspects of roads in this article and then all the systematic social/environment issues in the highways article. Let's not rush into a decision however. PeterEastern (talk) 12:12, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
My thought is that as 'Road transport economics' and 'Driving on the right or the left' both have stand alone articles, briefly addressing them here (and at Highway) is appropriate, with links to the main article (which exist). It might also be appropriate to create a stand alone article like Environmental Impacts of Roads, which would lead off well from the disambig page Environmental impact. Jeepday (talk) 22:56, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Ok, so you are suggesting we keeps stubs for those subjects in this article with links to the main article (keeping a similar structure). However I do think we need to avoid the possibility of serious duplication between the articles and we must think of them as a pair or try to merge them (which would be impossible); would is be appropriate to say that this article should be mainly a civil engineering and article (design, construction, maintenance etc) and also an early history of roads and that the highway article is mainly an economic/social one/legal one and covers the major modern roads of the automobile age? Possibly if I start working on the highway article then we can see how it will take shape. I am not too fussed what we decide however we do need to decide something and then acted on it. PeterEastern (talk) 04:52, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
  • One more thought; it will also be appropriate to cover the funding and regulation of roads/highways. Again, this should be covered well in only one article and I would suggest that the funding and regulation of the strategic road network is in the highway section? Incidentially I note this comment from further up this talk page 'Wikipedia seems to have problems with broad subject area articles unless there is a sustained effort to create them from the ground up' in the 'Not a good broad parent article' section which echoes roughly what I am saying. PeterEastern (talk) 05:00, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I have now created a Environmental impacts of roads article based on the content of this article as per the above discussion. I suggest that the content in this article is angled towards the construction and maintenance of roads to minimise these effects.PeterEastern (talk) 06:25, 20 April 2010 (UTC)


Does the new Gallery section really add anything to the article? I think not. Martinvl (talk) 06:56, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Concur and remove Jeepday (talk) 23:42, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

New sections suggested: Construction types and roadway distresses[edit]

This article would be clearer if it had a heading for different types of construction, e.g. asphalt-concrete, portland-cement concrete, roller-compacted concrete, gravel, etc. Likewise, it would help to have a heading for roadway distresses, e.g. rutting, cracking, oxidation, frost heave, washboarding, etc. There then could be a category for Roadway Construction and Roadway Distresses. ---User:HopsonRoad 18:04, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Instead of sections here, how about complete article(s) on Road construction and maintenance, with just an overview here and links to the main article(s). There is enough content and references to make a pretty good article or two. Jeepday (talk) 21:52, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


This article shows a picture of a empty street block in both directions with the caption: "A busy road in Mumbai, India." Really? It may be busy generally, but not when the photo was taken... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:24, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Your impression of "busy" is influenced by the fact that the light is red, holding up on-coming traffic and having just cleared out-going traffic. However, "busy" is subjective and not appropriate for Wikipedia. The road shown is actually a city street. I have change the caption to reflect these thoughts. --User:HopsonRoad 22:53, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Road and Thoughfare[edit]

I am reverting this edit because I believe that all roads are thoroughfares but that not all thoroughfares are roads and that the original wording was therefore correct. By way of example, I don't believe that the term 'road' would be used for a route on water from one place to another? PeterEastern (talk) 15:37, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Further terminology[edit]

These might be incorporated.
A sealed road can mean a paved road. Australia. Possibly elsewhere?
An oiled road is an unpaved road that is oiled to reduce dust. We have them in Ontario but I would imagine everyone does that.
Varlaam (talk) 20:50, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

We don't have oiled roads in the UK (As far as I know), they are all sealed. Martinvl (talk) 09:19, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Oiling dirt and gravel for dust control roads was once common practice in the USA, but it has been restricted due to runoff adn air pollution.--Triskele Jim 17:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Unjustifyable amount of roads[edit]

According to the documentary "L'Homme et la mer[1]", 50% of all humans (and even higher percentages in Africa) live at less than 1 km of the sea. It can thus be argued that building so much cross-country raods (highways) is not justifyable, especially seeing the environmental damage these inflict.

Mention in article KVDP (talk) 09:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ L'Homme et la mer by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Roundabout (UK)?[edit]

Why is there "(UK)" beside roundabout? Njaohnt (talk) 00:27, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Statistics Section[edit]

The statistics section is contradictory; the text states that the Indian road network is the world's largest, but the numbers suggest that the U.S.'s is larger. (The author may have been comparing Indian kilometers with U.S. miles). The expressway section suggests that the U.S. has more miles of expressway than China, but the linked page at List of countries by road network size suggests otherwise.

Jdot42 (talk) 06:49, 26 December 2014 (UTC)


No offense, but why do we give a fuck about roads in India? There are at least two pictures and multiple references about India. Seems like an undue amount of weight in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Waynem37 (talkcontribs) 18:56, 12 April 2015

Why do we have entire subsections dedicated to the semantics of the word road in the UK and US and no other countries? Why are all the example construction costs for US projects? Probably because Wikipedia is biased and made up of the information that is accessible to the people who contribute. I'd say the India-related content in the article body is appropriate. If anyone can come up with images depicting the construction or maintenance of roads that would make this article's images more diverse, please go for it! Ibadibam (talk) 23:41, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

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Draft:Road maintenance planning[edit]

Please consider using material from this draft to improve this article. ~Kvng (talk) 16:05, 28 November 2017 (UTC)