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random road and geographical trivia

Zip code 12345 is Schenectady, New York.
Zip code 23456 is Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Zip code 22222 is Arlington, Virginia.
Zip code 44444 is Newton Falls, Ohio.
Zip code 55555 is Young America, Minnesota.

Interstates that end in odd numbers (such as I-90 and I-75) usually are North to South and vice versa. Those that end in even numbers are East to West and vice versa. However, for county routes and non-interstate/non-highway roads, this doesn't apply.

(I'm stating this one because I had an e-mail discussion on it with a reader.) Traditionally, all exits on interstates in the USA are supposed to be on the right. However, you will sometimes find left-side exit ramps on interstates. They are rare, but do exist.

For entrance ramps, same deal; they're supposed to enter on the right. This is why you will find tight-turn loops for many ramps of this type (so they purposely put you on the right side when entering).

If you drove on nothing but dirt roads, your tires would last at least twice as long. The surface of dirt is softer and doesn't make your tires flex as much, hence the extended lifespan. However, your car would always be dirty. 🙂

U.S. Route 491 used to be an "evil" highway, but was renamed to what it is now.

Fact: You can make any compact car built in the late 70's or early 80's easily achieve forty miles per gallon or more by having the carburetor re-tuned by a professional mechanic. Granted, you will have a large loss of power by doing this, but, high-mileage cars are low on power to begin with, so the driving experience is essentially the same.

Fact: The most fuel you expend when driving is when you start from a stop, such as accelerating from a stop light when it turns green. If you feather the gas pedal when first accelerating, your mileage will increase exponentially.

If you took out the back seat of your car, your gas mileage would most likely improve by at least one to three miles per gallon, due to the reduction of weight by not having it.

An empty trunk will usually increase your mileage by about one mile per gallon due to the fact most people keep at least fifty pounds of crap back there (not including spare tire or jack).

Most convertibles get better gas mileage due to the fact they don't have steel roofs (huge reduction in weight), but, since you pay more for convertible car insurance, you're still spending the same amount of money in the long run.

--edit--

More info added.. if you're seeing this on the home page, hit the "more" link. If not, just scroll down.

Why do some road names change? Here's some info on that:

"Promoted"

Sometimes a road, such as a county route or freeway, will be "promoted" to be part of an interstate, causing a name change. An example of this is when Route 52 was changed to I-395/I-290. In Massachusetts it took the residents several years to call the road "290" instead of "Old 52".

"Demoted"

When new roads are built, some will "inherit" names, causing the old road to be renamed to something else. Usually it will be renamed to simply "Old Route [route number]". I remember seeing "Old Route 6" in Connecticut when I lived there.

Unforseen circumstance

You would not believe how much design revisions take place before the first shovel's worth of asphalt is put to the ground. For example, if you examine the extremely long drawn out history of traveling from Hartford Connecticut to Providence Rhode Island, it's enough to make anyone's head spin. (If you click that link, look for the graphic that shows the grayed-out portion of I-84. That's what was canceled in 1983. And that's what should have been originally built.)

But even so, it's interesting to see where roads and exits could have been - but never happened that way.

If you ever wondered why the Northeastern portion of Connecticut seems so unbelievably disconnected from the rest of the state, you can point the blame directly at the highway system.

This has been an ongoing battle for years and years. The question is continually asked, How do we get this state connected with its roads? Very few been able to answer it sufficiently, and even fewer could redesign the highway to accommodate without ticking off at least 5,000 people or more.

What will happen is this: Eventually, new roads will be built there and new connectors put in place. Because of this, you'll see some radical changes in the naming of many different roads.

Unfinished projects

Some highways are built but never completed. It happens from lack of funds usually. Rather than let a road that cost millions of dollars just sit there, the state will use it. Over time it may go through a few name changes before it finally sets on a specific name that sticks.

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