Definitions, Concepts, Terms, and Observations
An esoteric, detailed analysis of a mundane, commonplace thing: roads...
The architectural/geographical/cultural resources that are the focus of this nomenclature and discussion are predominantly "historical," i.e., more than 50 years of age. A better absolute closing date is World War II, which ended many architectural, structural and technological trends.
The following typology / nomenclature is for Vernacular Routes / Roads. [source? coordinate with nomenclature]
- Route = Way; path of travel; pathway? Includes paths, trails, and roads of any design or width. (In this discussion "route" is not the same as a government-designated route on one or more different roads.)
- Route Structure = Physical aspect, physical evidence, and /or artifact of a transportation structure - ranging from a beaten-earth footpath, to a hard-surface engineered reinforced concrete pavement interstate freeway on superelevated earth fill and prestressed cable-stayed ferroconcrete bridges.
- Transportation Structure = Physical aspect of a form of transportation; its artificial (i.e., human-made) imprint on the natural landscape.
Transportation Structures include roads (the roadbed, right-of-way, signage etc.), as well as canals (prism, locks, towpath etc.), Railroads (tracks, switches, signage, right-of-way etc.).
Paths and trails verge on this concept; they are not quite a structure, but they are a cultural artifact, an imprint on nature.
- Road = Specifically, the pathway of travel used and/or designed primarily by and for vehicles - ranging from beaten earth to engineered reinforced concrete pavement on superelevated earth fill; and used by vehicles ranging from from sledges and carts (horses aren't vehicles* (?!)) to mobile homes and triple-trailer semi trucks. "Road" is a deceptively inclusive term, especially in common language; it includes abandoned roadways to interstates.
Route vs. Road...
- Vernacular Route = Routes not designed or with made with little design. Includes Native American Trails and Settler Roads. Excludes studied and surveyed routes; the nineteenth century "Improved Road" and Turnpike type roads are on the upper limit of its range.
Vernacular routes respond to the terrain in a natural, organic way in their inception and during their lifespan. They "happen" to develop on ideal routeways such as ridgetops or valleys. If something disturbs the route, such as windfall trees, landslides, or bank erosion, than the vernacular route simply shifts like a snake to avoid and detour the affected area.
- Engineered Road / Engineered Route = Routes made with intent and design. Includes Auto Roads, which includes Freeways; the nineteenth century "Improved Road" and Turnpike type roads are on the upper limit of its range. Excludes Vernacular routes such as Native American Trails and Settler Roads.
If any of the following are present in a route, then it is an Engineered Route:
- Rules or laws regulating the route, beyond simply protecting a primitive path from alteration (e.g. British trail preservation)
- A study made before construction as to the route the road takes, including such activity required for 'road establishing' in territorial and early statehood eras of Old Northwest and Appalachian states: public announcement in a newspaper or on broadsides; committee formed of local landowners; published description of the established route
- Preparation beyond primitive necessity: excluding trace-building because although trees are cut down for the route, their stumps are left in situ; excluding removing windfall trees from a trail
- Construction activity beyond primitive necessity; if there is any earth moved or stone quarried, than it is an engineered route
- Structures built to carry the road over or through obstacles, such as bridges and tunnels; excluding the rough and temporary bridges in millitary "War Roads" / Traces
- Buildings to service the road, such as tollbooths, maintenance sheds
Definitions (most are noun forms) adapted from Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, 1996.
Terms are listed in chronological or some other roughly logical order under their question:
- A direction or route taken
- The path, route, or channel along which anything moves
- Advance or progression in a particular direction
See way, track, passage, road
14th century Middle English, from Old French, from Latin "cursus," from "currere" to run -- related to "car"
- A way for passing on foot
- A way beaten, formed, or trodden by the feet of persons or animals
- A narrow walk or way
- A route, course or track along which something moves
See footpath, pathway, lane, trail
- A path, course, or way
- Course, way, or road for passage or travel.
- Customary or regular line of passage or travel.
- Specific itinerary, round, or number of stops regularly visited by a person in the performance of his or her work or duty.
Derived from Latin rupta (via), "broken (road)." ...!
- A road, route,, passage or channel
- A legal right-of-way
- A space for passing or advancing
What exactly do the names for transportation structures mean?
- Trail or path made by animals, people or vehicles, especially through open territory
- Surviving mark, sign or evidence
- Footprints left by an animal
Unsatisfactory: does not mention that a trace is a route cleared of vegetation for travel; see also trail
- A spot or mark made on a tree, as if by painting or notching or by chipping away a piece of bark, to indicate a trail or boundary.
- To lead in forming or finding (a new method, course, etc.).
Clearly the historical meaning has been obscured: a trail marked by marks made on trees.
- A rough way made or worn through unraveled regions
- A path or track made across a wild region, over rough country, or the like, by the passage or people or animals
See track, trace, path
- Bridle Path
- Wide path for riding horses
1805-1815. Evidently a more cultured, designed concept.
- Structure consisting of a pair of parallel lines of rails with their crossties, on which a railroad train, trolley, or the like runs.
- Wheel rut.
- Evidence, as a mark or series of marks, that something has passed.
- Footprints left by an animal, person or vehicle.
- Path made or beaten by or as if by the feet of people or animals; trail.
- Line of travel or motion.
- Course or route followed.
- Path or course made or laid out for some particular purpose.
Derived from Old Norse trathk, "trodden spot;" akin to tread.
- A long, narrow stretch [of land] with a smoothed or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, etc.
- Street or highway
- A way or course
Derived from Rade, a journey on horseback, akin to Ride
- The land over which a road is built
- A road together with land at its edge
- The part of a road over which vehicles travel (= road)
- A high-speed highway, especially one maintained by tolls
Clearly, the historical meaning has been obscured.
- A toll road or highway
- Turnpike road
1820-1830 American term; short for "turnpike."
- A main road, especially one between town and cities
- Any public road or waterway
- Any main or ordinary route, track or course
See expressway, freeway, thruway, interstate
Before 900 AD: Old English "heiweg" --> Middle English "heyewei"
- An express highway with no intersections, usually having traffic routed on and off by means of a cloverleaf
- A toll-free highway
1925-1930 American term
- Highway especially planned for high-speed traffic, usually having few if any intersections, limited points of access or exit, and a divider between lanes for traffic moving in opposite directions. Also called "Limited Access Highway."
- Thruway (also "Throughway")
- A limited-access toll highway providing a means of direct transportation between distant areas for high-speed automobile traffic
- A highway serving two or more states
- A highway that is part of the nationwide U.S. interstate system
1835-1845 American term. Yes, that is the date stated.
What names are avaliable for the starting and ending points of routes, and meeting points?
- Something from which anything arises or is derived
- Rise or derivation from a particular source.
- The first stage of existence.
Source, fountainhead, beginning, ancestry, parentage, extraction, root, foundation
- Place to which something travels or is sent.
- Purpose for which something is destined.
from Latin for establishing, purpose
- End or extremity.
- Either end of a railroad line.
- Station of town at end of a railway or bus route (British).
- The point towards which anything tends.
Boundary, limit, goal, end.
How to describe the concept of a route: movement from "Point A" to "Point B"?
- Mathematics: A quantity possessing both magnitude and direction, represented by an arrow (which indicates the direction) whose length which is proportional to the magnitude.
- Direction or course followed by an airplane, missile, or the like.
Derived from Latin "vec-," "one that conveys."
- In immediate physical contact; touching.
- Touching at a single point, as a tangent in relation to a curve.
How do modern roads on the same routes as ancient trails relate? Is it ancestry, descent...?
- A person from whom one is descended; forbear; progenitor.
- The actual or hypothetical form or stock from which an organism has developed or descended (biology).
- An object, idea, style, or occurrence serving as a prototype, forerunner, or inspiration to a later one.
- A person who serves as an influence or model for another; one from whom mental, artistic, spiritual, etc. descent is claimed.
- Preceding; prior.
- A preceding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon, etc.
- The history, events, characteristics, etc. of onešs earlier life.
- Person of thing that precedes, as in a job, method, etc.
- That which goes before and indicates the approach of someone or something else
- Chemical that is transformed into another compound, as in the course of a chemical reaction, and therefore precedes that compound in the synthetic pathway.
- Cell or tissue that gives rise to a variant, specialized or more mature form.
Predecessor Harbinger, Forerunner.
- Omen, sign or indication of something to follow.
- That which goes or is sent in advance to announce the coming of someone or something that follows.
Portent, herald, harbinger, predecessor, ancestor, forbear, precursor
- Person or animal that is descended from a specific ancestor; an offspring.
- Something deriving in appearance, function or general character from an earlier form (biology).
- An adherent who follows closely the teachings, methods, practices, etc. of an earlier master; disciple.
- That which succeeds or follows.
< "Transp - Nomenclature.html" >
v1.6 - 2/4/03, 10/25/02, 6/27/02
INTREPID HISTORICAL SERVICES -
Kevin B. Coleman
Chillicothe, Ohio, USA
(Adapted 06/22/02 in part from the Word Perfect document "Route Types - A Suggested Typology"
v 4.1 - Second Draft: August 17, 1999 - Original: May 21, 1998
and from the Word Perfect document "Route Terminology"
"Routes: Paths, Trails, Roads: Terminology for Development of Routes" -
First Draft - v 2.6, June 26, 2002)