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A roadgeek (from road + geek) is an individual involved in "roadgeeking" or "road enthusiasm"—an interest in roads, and especially going on road trips, as a hobby. A person with such an interest is also referred to as a road enthusiast, road buff, roadfan or Roads Scholar, the latter being a play on the term Rhodes Scholar.
Roadgeeks view their interest as an appreciation of engineering and planning feats:
However roadgeeks are not necessarily interested in motor vehicles; there may also be an interest in cartography and map design. Enthusiasts may focus on a single activity related to roads, such as driving the full length of the highway system in a specific area, researching the history, planning and quirks of a particular road or national highway system. They occasionally are quoted in the press on topics related to the history of roads. Sometimes, road geeks are called "highway historians" for the knowledge and interests.
Even the numbering system can be a subject of deep interest, as Joe Moran describes in his book "On Roads: A Hidden History":
Example activities include:
In 2002, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that road enthusiasm was an Internet phenomenon. There is a Usenet newsgroup, misc.transport.road, where participants discuss all facets of roads and road trips from "construction projects to quirks and inconsistencies in signage". These individuals who anticipated each Rand McNally road atlas release each year found a community of others online who were also interested in roads as a hobby. These communities of people could share photos, swap their thoughts on the highways in their areas and "debate the finer points of interchange design."
There are several Yahoo Groups dedicated to Roadgeek activities, including the "Roadgeek YahooGroup". group itself and many regional or special interest groups.
- Creating fonts and other graphic elements to share with other enthusiasts
- Taking road trips for the roads rather than for the destination, sometimes referred to as roadgeeking or Roads Scholaring
- Comparing the extent of their travels with other enthusiasts, such as the number of Interstate Highway sections that have been wholly traveled.
- Photography of road signs, bridges or various highway artifacts
- Collecting old road maps
- Writing about the history of highways,highway terminology and the design of graphics or fonts to facilitate the work of others.
BR-485, providing access to the interior of Itatiaia National Park, is the highest highway in the country. The highway's highest point is at kilometer post 36 (22 mi) (with the count starting in the city of Itatiaia), beyond the third entrance to the park (called Posto Avançado das Agulhas Negras), just northeast of the Eletrobras Furnas radio broadcasting station.
BR-488, in Aparecida, São Paulo, is the shortest federal highway in the country, at 5.9 kilometers (3.7 mi).
BR-116, the longest highway in the country.
Trans-Amazonian Highway (BR-230), the longest highway that crosses the Amazon Rainforest.
- The Belém-Brasília Highway has many decommissioned stretches along its route.
BR-363 is the only highway in the country that is located on an oceanic island, Fernando de Noronha.
- The Mad Cow Roundabout located at junction 9 on the M50 was notoriously congested and locally known as the Mad Cow roundabout instead of its actual name the Red Cow interchange.
Interstate 15 only traverses 30 miles through the northwest corner of the state, but is considered one of the most scenic interstate routes as it winds through the Virgin River Gorge.
Interstate 19 is signed in metric units.
- The Ridge Route, the first paved highway directly linking the Los Angeles Basin with the San Joaquin Valley over the Tejon Pass, a portion of which is in the National Register of Historic Places. It was documented by author and roadgeek, Harrison Irving Scott, in 2002, in Ridge Route: The Road That United California.
State Route 35 (Skyline Boulevard), the road that spans the highest ridge of Santa Cruz Mountains, making it possible to see the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay simultaneously.
Decommissioned portions of U.S. Route 6, now part of State Route 14, are the subject of significant roadgeek interest.
Zzyzx Road, a landmark about halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, known for its unusual name. It is the last place on Earth in the English language alphabetically.
Interstate 238 in the San Francisco Bay Area which defies numbering logic both by location and the absence of its parent, Interstate 38.
- The portion where Interstate 580 and Interstate 80 run concurrently (through Berkeley), which happens to be a wrong-way concurrency. This means that one road goes east and the other goes west at the same time.
- Galena Y-Bridge, an unusual bridge with three land connections.
NJ 495 travels through a helix on approach to the Lincoln Tunnel providing an uninterrupted view of the Manhattan, New York skyline.
I-95 parallels itself as it exists in two unconnected sections. This will be corrected in 2018 when an interchange between I-95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike is opened, allowing I-95 to be rerouted onto both state's turnpikes.
Interstate 82, which is not only completely north of Interstate 84, but also runs predominantly north–south, despite its even number.
Floating bridges are numerous in the state of Washington. Four of the five largest floating bridges in the world are located there.
Beresford, Kevin (2004). Roundabouts of Great Britain (Hardcover ed.). London: New Holland. ISBN .
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