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Friday, March 11, 2011

Who Is The Father Of The U.S. Interstate System?

Here's a fun fact that BiketoWork Barb sent me: do you know why Dwight D. Eisenhower is called the 'Father of the Interestate System?' After taking office in 1953, President Eisenhower made revitalizing the Nation's highways one of the goals of his first term.

In the army in 1919, Eisenhower had travelled across the U.S. and saw the poor condition of our roads. During his World War II stint as Commander of the Allied Forces, his admiration for Germany's Autobahn highway network reinforced his belief that we needed a better road system.

When elected president, Eisenhower formed committees to study the idea and met with Members of Congress to promote the proposal. When legislation failed in 1955, observers predicted that in the presidential election year of 1956, the Democratic Congress would not approve such a significant plan sought by a Republican President. Eisenhower continued to urge approval though and worked with Congress to reach compromises that made approval possible, signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act on June 29, 1956.

Here are some more fun interestate facts from the Federal Highway Administration website.

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.