What Made the Western US Highway System Possible?

There are many misconceptions regarding the Western highway system in the United States.

This is called the freeway system and it stretches all the way from the Southern tip of California, which borders Mexico all the way to Washington State which borders Canada.

If you have ever driven the highway system in this part of the country, it really is amazing. Seriously, it's another thing entirely because it is so smooth, so accessible and so easy to use.

Now, of course, there are certain exceptions. There are certain toll sections and there is also the notorious 405. 405 freeways, for better or worse, has developed the reputation over the years as a traffic magnet.

Even if you're driving down the 405, when it's not rush hour, don't be surprised if you find yourself in traffic. It's not unusual for people to find themselves half an hour to 45 minutes behind schedule because they got on the 405.

But outside of these minor bottlenecks, the great Western Highway System is one of the most efficient vehicle transport networks in the world. The only exception that comes to my mind is the Germany's autobahn.

There are all sorts of mythology that has sprung up throughout the years involving what it's like to drive the great Western highways and what they represent. It's easy to get taken in by this mythology because a lot of this is fueled by Hollywood movies. There is no shortage of songs, movies and tv shows regarding Highway 66.

For example, if you really want to get to the root of why this network exists in the first place, you'd be surprised at what you'd find out. In fact, if you have the right political inclination, you might even think that there's some dark or sinister undertones to the creation of the Western Highway System.

In fact, if you believe in conspiracies or you're kind of an agnostic when it comes to accepted conventional wisdom, you might even think that there are some parallels between 1930's Germany under the National Socialist Worker's Party in one leader whose first name is Adolf and the autobahn end the Western Highway System.

Where is the similarity? Where is the connection? Well, it boils down to one simple fact: military use. The whole point behind the autobahn, of course, was to lift Germany out of the depression caused by its wartime reparations for World War I.

It was a massive success and the Highway System also spurred the economy because now, goods can get from point A to point B very quickly. In fact, for the longest time, the autobahn has no speed limit. In fact, I still believe it doesn't.

The United States pretty much follow the same pattern. I'm sure it's not conscious, but there's still a military element to it. More specifically, the California Highway System was set up in such a way that tanks and other military assets can get from forths and other military installations where they need to go as quickly as possible.

This is why the Highway System is very wide. This is why they were set up a certain way and they truly are works of engineering genius. That much cannot be denied.