Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Our man in San Diego

SDB thinks he's safe from the fires, for the most part, and he also provides a handy map that shows where the fires are (or were, at the time of the map).

He also provides a brief explanation of the numbering system for the Interstate Highway system: odd-numbered interstates are mainly north-south routes, while even-numbered interstates are east-west routes. I'd also add that when a relatively short "spur" or "loop" is added, a third digit is added to the front of the number, with the last two remaining the same as the "mainline" highway with which the spur or loop is associated. Thus, by way of example, in Buffalo we have the following:

I-90: This is the mainline Interstate that traverses the Buffalo region.

I-190: This is the spur that branches off I-90 and leads downtown and then to Niagara Falls.

I-290: This is a loop that branches off I-90 and curves around the northern suburbs of the city (Williamsville, Amherst, Tonawanda).

I-990: This is a spur that branches off I-290 and leads to the University at Buffalo's North Campus and a couple of miles beyond.

So, a "spur" will usually have an odd first digit while a "loop" will have an even first digit. (Strangely, this isn't the case in Syracuse, where I-690 is, despite its even first digit, a "spur" and not a "loop". I-490, though, is indeed a "loop".)

And if you find all this just incredibly fascinating -- and why wouldn't you? -- then you'll just love this page, which has more than you'll ever want to know about the Interstate Highway System, of which Charles Kuralt once said: "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything."

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