What if, instead of roads and the smog-producing cars that occupy them, the entire U.S. took a page from its big cities and installed a transcontinental subway system? It's a pretty unrealistic idea, but that doesn't mean we can't dream. Australian graphic designer Cameron Booth has sketched out the U.S Numbered Highway System as if it were the London Tube. "Stylistically, the map definitely borrows from the London Underground 'Tube' map, although the final look is somewhat different due to the complexity of my map," Booth wrote by email. The map's detail only gets the justice it deserves in the high-resolution version available on Booth's Flickr account.
"I have to say that without a doubt, this is the most complex network that I have yet attempted," Booth writes on his blog. Indeed, the U.S. Numbered Highway System, dating back to the 1920s, is much more complex than the Autobahn-inspired and more efficiently designed U.S. Interstate System created by the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s (which Booth also reimagined as a subway system back in March). And we have to say, the tangle of U.S. Routes -- such as the one to right around Memphis, "most complex intersection of roads on the map" according to Booth -- is a bit easier to understand with his map. Now all we need is the real-life high-speed rail system promised by President Obama earlier in his term to use it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.