Transportation Structures:
Evolution / Chronology


An esoteric, detailed analysis of a mundane, commonplace thing: roads...

Evolution / Chronology of Route Structures

Vernacular Roads to Engineered Roads : a gradient from no design and massive design and construction involvement. Bridges are a good indicator of the level of infrastructure.

A theoretical route could evolve through the following progression of development. Dates are exemplary of Ohio, especially south-central Ohio. Each era lasted far beyond the next era; many are still running in remote areas.

Aboriginal Era - 10,000 ybp

Only Native Americans present, or the few European-Americans who shared their culture.

Pioneer Era - c1774

Infiltration of European-American culture.

Settlement Era - 1795

Establishment of European-American culture.

Pike Era - c1820

Advancement of European-American culture (Establishment Era).

Railroad Era - c1850

Hibernation (or lethargy) or roads due to popularity of railroads (e.g. Shank 42).
Though there is lesser through travel, there is continued local transportation. (Industrial Era)

Automobile Era - c1910

Thoroughly industrialized European-American culture increases its infrastructure

Freeway Era - c1947

Infrastructure freed from wartime restrictions and invigorated by war industry and technology. Specialized roads have been developed purely for the automobile, without consideration for foot traffic, horses, or horse-drawn vehicles: the freeway and the suburban street.

Interstate Freeway Era - c1970

Increasing urbanization (or rather, suburbanization) creates feedback loop with expanding infrastructure.

...also the evolution of the parking lot? (cf. gas station development)

  • Way up to "Geography"
  • Up to "Transportation"
  • Over to "Transportation Structures: Nomenclature"

  • You are at "Transportation Structures: Evolution/Chronology"

  • Over to Route Typologies, Part 1: Introduction and Outline of Lists
  • Over to Route Typologies, Part 2: Descriptive Lists
  • Over to Transportation Structures: Route Elements and Glossary (Route Typologies, Part 3)

  • Way over to "Architectural Locations"
  • Way over to Place Types
  • Way over to Architectural Location Types
  • Way over to Structure Types
  • Way over to Building Types
  • Way over to Houses
  • Way over to Barns
  • Way over to Objects and Building & Structure Elements
  • Way over to Inventories and Nominations

    "Transp - Evol-Chrono.html" v1.3 - 2/4/03, 10/25/02, 7/17/02
    Intrepid Historical Services - Kevin B. Coleman - Columbus, Ohio, USA
    (Adapted 06/22/02 in part from "Route Types - A Suggested Typology" v 4.1 -
    Second Draft: August 17, 1999 - Original: May 21, 1998