With the 50th anniversary of the interstate highway system, CBS News decided to take a look at its impact on society.
And it’s not been all good, says Columbia University historian Kenneth T. Jackson.
Jackson also says the highway that was supposed to bring us closer together actually pushed us farther apart, as suburbs blossomed, quirky signs for roadside stands disappeared, and American became dependent on cars and fast food.
“We now drive much more,” says Jackson. “We don’t want to walk anymore… it’s helped undermine our sense of community. It really killed the Mom and Pop stores in the United States.”
So driving historic Route 66 is way to re-connect with the people in this country. As CBS reporter Sharyn Alfonsi says:
It’s an America that many Americans have never seen at all.
The story on the page includes a link to a video of an interview with Illinois Route 66 preservationists John and Lenore Weiss, who also confirm that the Mother Road is a way to truly see the country.