Road transport
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Road transport or road transportation is a type of transport using
roads A road is a linear way for the conveyance of traffic that mostly has an road surface, improved surface for use by vehicles (motorized and non-motorized) and pedestrians. Unlike streets, the main function of roads is transportation. There are ro ...

roads
. Transport on roads can be roughly grouped into the transportation of goods and transportation of people. In many countries licensing requirements and safety regulations ensure a separation of the two industries. Movement along roads may be by
bike
bike
,
automobile A car or automobile is a motor vehicle with Wheel, wheels. Most definitions of ''cars'' say that they run primarily on roads, Car seat, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport private transport#Personal transport, pe ...

automobile
,
bus
bus
,
truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo, carry specialized payloads, or perform other utilitarian work. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, but the vast majority feature body-on-frame construction ...

truck
, or by
animal Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and go through an ontogenetic stage i ...
such as
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a Domestication, domesticated, odd-toed ungulate, one-toed, ungulate, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two Extant taxon, extant subspecies of wild horse, ''Equus fer ...

horse
or
ox
ox
en. Standard networks of roads were adopted by Romans,
Persians The Persians are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group who comprise over half of the population of Iran. They share a Culture of Iran, common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language as well as of Iranian languages, t ...
,
Aztec The Aztecs () were a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300 to 1521. The Aztec people included different Indigenous peoples of Mexico, ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those g ...

Aztec
, and other early
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...

empire
s, and may be regarded as a feature of empires.
Cargo Cargo consists of bulk goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for Commerce, commercial gain. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, includ ...

Cargo
may be transported by
trucking companies
trucking companies
, while passengers may be transported via
mass transit Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport for passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public unlike private transport, typical ...

mass transit
. Commonly defined features of modern roads include defined
lanes
lanes
and
signage Signage is the design or use of signs and symbols to communicate a message. A signage also means signs ''collectively'' or being considered as a group. The term ''signage'' is documented to have been popularized in 1975 to 1980. Signs are any ...

signage
. Various classes of road exist, from two-lane local roads with at-grade intersections to
controlled-access highway A controlled-access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow—ingress and egress—regulated. Common English terms are freeway, motorway and expressway. Other similar terms i ...
s with all cross traffic grade-separated. The nature of road transportation of goods depends on, apart from the degree of development of the local infrastructure, the distance the goods are transported by road, the weight and volume of an individual shipment, and the type of goods transported. For short distances and light small shipments, a
van
van
or
pickup truck A pickup truck or pickup is a Truck classification#Light duty, light-duty truck that has an enclosed cabin (truck), cabin, and a back end made up of a cargo bed that is enclosed by three low walls with no roof (this cargo bed back end sometimes ...

pickup truck
may be used. For large shipments even if less than a full truckload a truck is more appropriate. (Also see Trucking and Hauling below). In some countries
cargo Cargo consists of bulk goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for Commerce, commercial gain. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, includ ...

cargo
is transported by road in horse-drawn carriages, donkey
cart A cart or dray (Australia and New Zealand) is a vehicle designed for transport, using two wheels and normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals. A handcart is pulled or pushed by one or more people. It is different from the flatbed tr ...

cart
s or other non-motorized mode. Delivery services are sometimes considered a separate category from cargo transport. In many places, fast food is transported on roads by various types of
vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor vehicles (motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses, mobility scooters for disabled people), railed vehicles (trains, trams), watercr ...

vehicle
s. For inner city delivery of small packages and documents bike couriers are quite common. People are transported on roads. Special modes of individual transport by road such as
cycle rickshaw The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport. It is a type of hatchback tricycle designed to carry passengers on a vehicle for hire, for-hire basis. It is also known by a variety of other names such as bike taxi, velotaxi, ...
s may also be locally available. There are also specialist modes of road transport for particular situations, such as ambulances.


History


Early roads

The first methods of road transport were
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a Domestication, domesticated, odd-toed ungulate, one-toed, ungulate, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two Extant taxon, extant subspecies of wild horse, ''Equus fer ...

horse
s,
ox
ox
en or even humans carrying goods over
dirt tracks
dirt tracks
that often followed
game A game is a structured form of play (activity), play, usually undertaken for enjoyment, entertainment or fun, and sometimes used as an educational tool. Many games are also considered to be work (such as professional players of spectator s ...
trail A trail, also known as a path or track, is an unpaved lane or small road usually passing through a natural area. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, a path or footpath is the preferred term for a pedestrian or hiking trail. The ...

trail
. The
Persians The Persians are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group who comprise over half of the population of Iran. They share a Culture of Iran, common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language as well as of Iranian languages, t ...

Persians
later built a network of Royal Roads across their empire. With the advent of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...

Roman Empire
, there was a need for armies to be able to travel quickly from one region to another, and the roads that existed were often muddy, which greatly delayed the movement of large masses of troops. To resolve this issue, the Romans built solid and lasting roads. The
Roman road Roman roads ( la, viae Romanae ; singular: ; meaning "Roman way") were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, and were built from about 300 BC through the expansion and consolidation of the Roman Re ...

Roman road
s used deep roadbeds of crushed stone as an underlying layer to ensure that they kept dry, as the water would flow out from the crushed stone, instead of becoming mud in clay soils. The Islamic
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
later built tar-paved roads in
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...

Baghdad
.


New road networks

From the 17th century, road transport throughout the Ashanti Empire was maintained via a network of well-kept roads that connected the Ashanti mainland with the
Niger river The Niger River ( ; ) is the main river of West Africa, extending about . Its drainage basin is in area. Its source is in the Guinea Highlands in south-eastern Guinea near the Sierra Leone border. It runs in a crescent shape through Mali, ...

Niger river
and other trade cities.Davidson (1991), p. 240. After significant road construction undertaken by the kingdom of
Dahomey The Kingdom of Dahomey () was a List of kingdoms in pre-colonial Africa, West African kingdom located within present-day Benin that existed from approximately 1600 until 1904. Dahomey developed on the Abomey Plateau amongst the Fon people in th ...
,
toll road A toll road, also known as a turnpike or tollway, is a public or private road (almost always a controlled-access highway in the present day) for which a fee (or ''Toll (fee), toll'') is assessed for passage. It is a form of road pricing typically ...

toll road
s were established with the function of collecting yearly taxes based on the goods carried by the people of Dahomey and their occupation. As states developed and became richer, especially with the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a Periodization, period in History of Europe, European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an e ...

Renaissance
, new roads and bridges began to be built, often based on Roman designs. Although there were attempts to rediscover Roman methods, there was little useful innovation in road building before the 18th century. Starting in the early 18th century, the
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of We ...
began to pass a series of acts that gave the local justices powers to erect toll-gates on the roads, in exchange for professional upkeep.Webb. English Local Government. pp. 157-159 The toll-gate erected at Wade's Mill became the first effective toll-gate in England. The first scheme that had trustees who were not justices was established through a Turnpike Act in 1707, for a section of the London-
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...

Chester
road between Foothill and Stony Stafford. The basic principle was that the trustees would manage resources from the several parishes through which the highway passed, augment this with tolls from users from outside the parishes and apply the whole to the maintenance of the main highway. This became the pattern for the turnpiking of a growing number of highways, sought by those who wished to improve flow of commerce through their part of a county. The quality of early turnpike roads was varied. Although turnpiking did result in some improvement to each highway, the technologies used to deal with geological features, drainage, and the effects of weather were all in their infancy. improved slowly, initially through the efforts of individual surveyors such as John Metcalf in
Yorkshire Yorkshire ( ; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a Historic counties of England, historic county in northern England and by far the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its large area in comparison with other Eng ...

Yorkshire
in the 1760s. British turnpike builders began to realize the importance of selecting clean stones for surfacing while excluding vegetable material and clay, resulting in more durable roads.


Industrial civil engineering

By the late 18th and early 19th centuries, new methods of highway construction had been pioneered by the work of three British engineers, John Metcalf,
Thomas Telford Thomas Telford Royal Society of London, FRS, Royal Society of Edinburgh, FRSE, (9 August 1757 – 2 September 1834) was a Scottish civil engineer. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed nu ...
and , and by the French road engineer Pierre-Marie-Jérôme Trésaguet. The first professional road builder to emerge during the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
was John Metcalf, who constructed about of turnpike road, mainly in the north of England, from 1765. He believed a good road should have good foundations, be well drained and have a smooth
convex Convex or convexity may refer to: Science and technology * Convex lens, in optics Mathematics * Convex set, containing the whole line segment that joins points ** Convex polygon, a polygon which encloses a convex set of points ** Convex polytope, ...
surface to allow
rainwater Rain is water drop (liquid), droplets that have condensation, condensed from Water vapor#In Earth's atmosphere, atmospheric water vapor and then Precipitation, fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsib ...

rainwater
to drain quickly into ditches at the side. He understood the importance of good drainage, knowing it was rain that caused most problems on the roads. Pierre-Marie-Jérôme Trésaguet established the first to road building in France at the same time. He wrote a memorandum on his method in 1775, which became general practice in France. It involved a layer of large rocks, covered by a layer of smaller gravel. The lower layer improved on Roman practice in that it was based on the understanding that the purpose of this layer (the sub-base or base course) is to transfer the weight of the road and its traffic to the ground, while protecting the ground from deformation by spreading the weight evenly. Therefore, the sub-base did not have to be a self-supporting structure. The upper running surface provided a smooth surface for vehicles while protecting the large stones of the sub-base. The surveyor and engineer
Thomas Telford Thomas Telford Royal Society of London, FRS, Royal Society of Edinburgh, FRSE, (9 August 1757 – 2 September 1834) was a Scottish civil engineer. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed nu ...
also made substantial advances in the engineering of new roads and the construction of bridges. His method of road building involved the digging of a large trench in which a foundation of heavy rock was set. He also designed his roads so that they sloped downwards from the centre, allowing drainage to take place, a major improvement on the work of Trésaguet. The surface of his roads consisted of broken stone. He also improved on methods for the building of roads by improving the selection of stone based on thickness, taking into account traffic, alignment and slopes. During his later years, Telford was responsible for rebuilding sections of the , a task completed by his assistant of ten years, John MacNeill. It was another Scottish engineer, , who designed the first modern roads. He developed an inexpensive paving material of soil and stone aggregate (known as ). His road building method was simpler than Telford's, yet more effective at protecting roadways: he discovered that massive foundations of rock upon rock were unnecessary, and asserted that native soil alone would support the road and traffic upon it, as long as it was covered by a road crust that would protect the soil underneath from water and wear. Also unlike Telford and other road builders, McAdam laid his roads as level as possible. His road required only a rise of three inches from the edges to the center. Cambering and elevation of the road above the water table enabled rainwater to run off into ditches on either side.McAdam (1824), p.38 Size of stones was central to the McAdam's road building theory. The lower road thickness was restricted to stones no larger than . The upper layer of stones was limited to size and stones were checked by supervisors who carried scales. A workman could check the stone size himself by seeing if the stone would fit into his mouth. The importance of the 20 mm stone size was that the stones needed to be much smaller than the 100 mm width of the iron
carriage A carriage is a private four-wheeled vehicle for people and is most commonly Horse-drawn vehicle, horse-drawn. Second-hand private carriages were common public transport, the equivalent of modern cars used as taxis. Carriage suspension (vehicl ...

carriage
that traveled on the road. Macadam roads were being built widely in the United States and Australia in the 1820s and in Europe in the 1830s and 1840s.


20th century

Macadam roads were adequate for use by horses and carriages or coaches, but they were very dusty and subject to erosion with heavy rain. The Good Roads Movement occurred in the United States between the late 1870s and the 1920s. Advocates for improved roads led by bicyclists turned local agitation into a national political movement. Outside cities, roads were dirt or gravel; mud in the winter and dust in the summer. Early organizers cited Europe where and maintenance was supported by national and local governments. In its early years, the main goal of the movement was education for road building in between cities and to help rural populations gain the social and economic benefits enjoyed by cities where citizens benefited from railroads, trolleys and paved streets. Even more than traditional vehicles, the newly invented bicycles could benefit from good country roads. Later on, they did not hold up to higher-speed motor vehicle use. Methods to stabilise with tar date back to at least 1834 when John Henry Cassell, operating from ''Cassell's Patent Lava Stone Works'' in Millwall, patented "Pitch Macadam". This method involved spreading tar on the subgrade, placing a typical macadam layer, and finally sealing the macadam with a mixture of tar and sand. Tar-grouted macadam was in use well before 1900 and involved scarifying the surface of an existing macadam pavement, spreading tar, and re-compacting. Although the use of tar in road construction was known in the 19th century, it was little used and was not introduced on a large scale until the motorcar arrived on the scene in the early 20th century. Modern tarmac was patented by British civil engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley, who noticed that spilled tar on the roadway kept the dust down and created a smooth surface.. (Details of this story vary a bit, but the essence of is the same, as are the basic facts). He took out a patent in 1901 for tarmac.


Trucking and haulage

Trucking companies (in
American English American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. English is the Languages of the United States, most widely spoken lan ...
terminology) or haulage companies / hauliers (in British English) accept
cargo Cargo consists of bulk goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for Commerce, commercial gain. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, includ ...

cargo
for road transport.
Truck driver A truck driver (commonly referred to as a trucker, teamster, or driver in the United States and Canada; a truckie in Australia and New Zealand; a HGV driver in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the European Union, a lorry driver, or driver in ...
s operate either independently – working directly for the client – or through freight carriers or shipping agents. Some big companies (e.g. grocery store chains) operate their own internal trucking operations. The market size for general freight trucking was nearly $125 billion in 2010. In the U.S. many truckers own their
truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo, carry specialized payloads, or perform other utilitarian work. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, but the vast majority feature body-on-frame construction ...

truck
(rig), and are known as
owner-operator An owner-operator is a small business or microbusiness owner who also runs the Business operations, day-to-day operations of the company. Owner-operators are found in many business models and franchising companies in many different industry (econom ...
s. Some road transportation is done on regular routes or for only one consignee per run, while others transport goods from many different loading stations/shippers to various consignees. On some long runs only cargo for one leg of the route (to) is known when the cargo is loaded. Truckers may have to wait at the destination for a backhaul. A
bill of lading A bill of lading () (sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BOL) is a document issued by a common carrier, carrier (or their Law of agency, agent) to acknowledge receipt of good (economics), cargo for shipment. Although the term historically related on ...
issued by the shipper provides the basic document for road freight. On cross-
border Borders are usually defined as geographical boundaries, imposed either by features such as ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth ...
transportation the trucker will present the cargo and documentation provided by the shipper to
customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of Interpersonal ties, social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associa ...
for inspection (for EC see also
Schengen Agreement The Schengen Agreement ( , ) is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985, near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by five of the te ...
). This also applies to shipments that are transported out of a
free port Free economic zones (FEZ), free economic territories (FETs) or free zones (FZ) are a class of special economic zone (SEZ) designated by the trade and commerce administrations of various Country, countries. The term is used to designate areas in ...
.


Hours of service

To avoid accidents caused by fatigue, truckers have to adhere to strict rules for drive time and required rest periods. In the United States and Canada, these regulations are known as
hours of service Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and govern the working hours of anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in the United States The United States of Ameri ...
, and in the European Union as drivers working hours. One such regulation is the Hours of Work and Rest Periods (Road Transport) Convention, 1979.
Tachograph A tachograph is a device fitted to a vehicle that automatically records its speed and distance, together with the driver's activity selected from a choice of modes. The drive mode is activated automatically when the vehicle is in motion, and ...
s or Electronic on-board recorders record the times the vehicle is in motion and stopped. Some companies use two drivers per truck to ensure uninterrupted transportation; with one driver resting or sleeping in a bunk in the back of the cab while the other is driving.


Licenses

Truck drivers often need special licenses to drive, known in the U.S. as a
commercial driver's license A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a driver's license required in the United States to operate large and heavy vehicles (including trucks, buses, and trailers) or a vehicle of any size that transports dangerous goods, hazardous materials ...
. In the U.K. a large goods vehicle licence is required. For transport of hazardous materials (see
dangerous goods Dangerous goods, abbreviated DG, are substances that when transported are a risk to health, safety, property or the environment. Certain dangerous goods that pose risks even when not being transported are known as hazardous materials ( syllab ...
) truckers need a licence, which usually requires them to pass an exam (e.g. in the EU). They have to make sure they affix proper labels for the respective hazard(s) to their vehicle. Liquid goods are transported by road in
tank truck A tank truck, gas truck, fuel truck, or tanker truck (American English) or tanker (British English) is a motor vehicle designed to carry liquids or gases on roads. The largest such vehicles are similar to railroad tank cars, which are also design ...
s (in American English) or tanker lorries (in British English) (also road-tankers) or special tank containers for intermodal transport. For transportation of live animals special requirements have to be met in many countries to prevent cruelty to animals (see
animal rights Animal rights is the philosophy according to which many or all Animal consciousness, sentient animals have moral worth that is independent of their Utilitarianism, utility for humans, and that their most basic interests—such as avoiding s ...
). For fresh and frozen goods
refrigerator truck A refrigerator truck or chiller lorry (also called a Reefer), is a van or truck designed to carry perishable freight at low temperatures. Most long-distance refrigerated transport by truck is done in articulated trucks pulling refrigerated semi- ...
s or reefers are used.


Weights

Some loads are weighed at the point of origin and the driver is responsible for ensuring weights conform to maximum allowed standards. This may involve using on-board weight gauges (load pressure gauges), knowing the empty weight of the transport vehicle and the weight of the load, or using a commercial weight scale. In route
weigh station A weigh station is a checkpoint along a highway to inspect vehicular weights and safety compliance criteria. Usually, trucks and commercial vehicles are subject to the inspection. Weigh stations are equipped with truck scales, some of which are ...
s check that gross vehicle weights do not exceed the maximum weight for that particular jurisdiction and will include individual axle weights. This varies by country, states within a country, and may include federal standards. The
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
uses FMCSA federal standards that include bridge law formulas. Many states, not on the national road system, use their own road and bridge standards. Enforcement scales may include portable scales, scale houses with low speed scales or weigh-in-motion (WIM) scales. The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
uses the ''International Recommendation'', OIML R 134-2 (2009). The process may involve a scale house and low-speed scales or higher-speed WIM road or bridge scales with the goal of public safety, as well as road and bridge safety, according to the Bridges Act.


Modern roads

Today, roadways are primarily
asphalt Asphalt, also known as bitumen (, ), is a sticky, black, highly viscosity, viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product, and is classed as a Pitch (resin), pitch. Before the ...
or
concrete Concrete is a composite material composed of fine and coarse construction aggregate, aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement (cement paste) that hardens (cures) over time. Concrete is the second-most-used substance in the world after wa ...
. Both are based on McAdam's concept of stone aggregate in a binder, asphalt cement or
Portland cement Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar (masonry), mortar, stucco, and non-specialty grout. It was developed from other types of hydraulic lime in England in t ...
respectively. Asphalt is known as a flexible pavement, one which slowly will "flow" under the pounding of traffic. Concrete is a rigid pavement, which can take heavier loads but is more expensive and requires more carefully prepared subbase. So, generally, major roads are concrete and local roads are asphalt. Concrete roads are often covered with a thin layer of asphalt to create a wearing surface. Modern pavements are designed for heavier vehicle loads and faster speeds, requiring thicker slabs and deeper subbase. Subbase is the layer or successive layers of stone, gravel and sand supporting the pavement. It is needed to spread out the slab load bearing on the underlying soil and to conduct away any water getting under the slabs. Water will undermine a pavement over time, so much of pavement and pavement joint design are meant to minimize the amount of water getting and staying under the slabs. Shoulders are also an integral part of highway design. They are multipurpose; they can provide a margin of side clearance, a refuge for incapacitated vehicles, an emergency lane, and parking space. They also serve a design purpose, and that is to prevent water from percolating into the soil near the main pavement's edge. Shoulder pavement is designed to a lower standard than the pavement in the traveled way and won't hold up as well to traffic, so driving on the shoulder is generally prohibited. Pavement technology is still evolving, albeit in not easily noticed increments. For instance, chemical additives in the pavement mix make the pavement more weather resistant, grooving and other surface treatments improve resistance to skidding and hydroplaning, and joint seals which were once tar are now made of low maintenance neoprene.


Traffic control

Nearly all roadways are built with devices meant to control
traffic Traffic comprises pedestrians, vehicles, ridden or herded animals, trains, and other Public conveyance, conveyances that use public ways (roads) for travel and transportation. Traffic laws govern and regulate traffic, while rules of the roa ...
. Most notable to the motorist are those meant to communicate directly with the driver. Broadly, these fall into three categories: signs, signals or pavement markings. They help the driver navigate; they assign the right-of-way at intersections; they indicate laws such as
speed limit Speed limits on road traffic, as used in most countries, set the legal maximum speed at which vehicles may travel on a given stretch of road. Speed limits are generally indicated on a traffic sign reflecting the maximum permitted speed - expres ...
s and parking regulations; they advise of potential hazards; they indicate passing and no passing zones; and otherwise deliver information and to assure traffic is orderly and safe. Two hundred years ago these devices were signs, nearly all informal. In the late 19th century signals began to appear in the biggest cities at a few highly congested intersections. They were manually operated, and consisted of semaphores, flags or
paddle A paddle is a handheld tool with an elongated handle and a flat, widened distal end (i.e. the ''blade''), used as a lever to apply force onto the bladed end. It most commonly describes a completely handheld tool used to propel a human-powered wa ...
s, or in some cases colored electric lights, all modeled on railroad signals. In the 20th century signals were automated, at first with electromechanical devices and later with computers. Signals can be quite sophisticated: with vehicle sensors embedded in the pavement, the signal can control and choreograph the turning movements of heavy traffic in the most complex of intersections. In the 1920s traffic engineers learned how to coordinate signals along a thoroughfare to increase its speeds and volumes. In the 1980s, with computers, similar coordination of whole networks became possible. In the 1920s pavement markings were introduced. Initially they were used to indicate the road's centerline. Soon after they were coded with information to aid motorists in passing safely. Later, with multi-lane roads they were used to define . Other uses, such as indicating permitted turning movements and pedestrian crossings soon followed. In the 20th century traffic control devices were standardized. Before then every locality decided on what its devices would look like and where they would be applied. This could be confusing, especially to traffic from outside the locality. In the United States standardization was first taken at the state level, and late in the century at the federal level. Each country has a Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and there are efforts to blend them into a worldwide standard. Besides signals, signs, and markings, other forms of traffic control are designed and built into the roadway. For instance, curbs and rumble strips can be used to keep traffic in a given lane and median barriers can prevent left turns and even U-turns.


Toll roads

Early
toll road A toll road, also known as a turnpike or tollway, is a public or private road (almost always a controlled-access highway in the present day) for which a fee (or ''Toll (fee), toll'') is assessed for passage. It is a form of road pricing typically ...

toll road
s were usually built by private companies under a government franchise. They typically paralleled or replaced routes already with some volume of commerce, hoping the improved road would divert enough traffic to make the enterprise profitable. Plank roads were particularly attractive as they greatly reduced rolling resistance and mitigated the problem of getting mired in mud. Another improvement, better grading to lessen the steepness of the worst stretches, allowed draft animals to haul heavier loads. A ''toll road'' in the United States is often called a ''turnpike''. The term ''turnpike'' probably originated from the gate, often a simple pike, which blocked passage until the fare was paid at a ''toll house'' (or ''toll booth'' in current terminology). When the toll was paid the pike, which was mounted on a swivel, was turned to allow the vehicle to pass. Tolls were usually based on the type of cargo being transported, not the type of vehicle. The practice of selecting routes so as to avoid tolls is called
shunpiking Shunpiking is the act of deliberately avoiding roads that require payment of a fee or toll (road usage), toll to travel on them, usually by traveling on alternative "free" roads which bypass the toll road. The term comes from the word ''shun'', mea ...
. This may be simply to avoid the expense, as a form of economic protest (or
boycott A boycott is an act of nonviolent resistance, nonviolent, voluntary abstention from a product, person, organization, or country as an expression of protest. It is usually for moral, society, social, politics, political, or Environmentalism, envir ...
), or simply to seek a road less traveled as a bucolic interlude. Companies were formed to build, improve, and maintain a particular section of roadway, and tolls were collected from users to finance the enterprise. The enterprise was usually named to indicate the locale of its roadway, often including the name of one of both of the termini. The word ''turnpike'' came into common use in the names of these roadways and companies, and is essentially used interchangeably with ''toll road'' in current terminology. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, toll roads began with the
Lancaster Turnpike The Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, first used in 1795, is the first long-distance paved road built in the United States, according to engineered plans and specifications. It links Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Phi ...
in the 1790s, within
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania (; (Pennsylvania Dutch language, Pennsylvania Dutch: )), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state, state spanning the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern United States, Northeastern, Appa ...
, connecting
Philadelphia Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the List of municipalities in Pennsylvania#Municipalities, largest city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the List of United States cities by population, sixth-largest city i ...
and Lancaster. In the state of New York, the Great Western Turnpike was started in Albany in 1799 and eventually extended, by several alternate routes, to near what is now
Syracuse, New York Syracuse ( ) is a City (New York), city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, Onondaga County, New York, United States. It is the fifth-most populous city in the state of New York following New York City, Buffalo, New York, Buffa ...
. Toll roads peaked in the mid 19th century, and by the turn of the twentieth century most toll roads were taken over by state highway departments. The demise of this early toll road era was due to the rise of canals and railroads, which were more efficient (and thus cheaper) in moving freight over long distances. Roads wouldn't again be competitive with rails and barges until the first half of the 20th century when the internal combustion engine replaces draft animals as the source of motive power. With the development, mass production, and popular embrace of the automobile, faster and higher capacity roads were needed. In the 1920s limited access highways appeared. Their main characteristics were dual roadways with access points limited to (but not always) grade-separated interchanges. Their dual roadways allowed high volumes of
traffic Traffic comprises pedestrians, vehicles, ridden or herded animals, trains, and other Public conveyance, conveyances that use public ways (roads) for travel and transportation. Traffic laws govern and regulate traffic, while rules of the roa ...
, the need for no or few
traffic light Traffic lights, traffic signals, or stoplights – known also as robots in South Africa are signalling devices positioned at intersection (road), road intersections, pedestrian crossings, and other locations in order to control flows of traf ...
s along with relatively gentle grades and curves allowed higher speeds. The first limited access highways were ''Parkways'', so called because of their often park-like
landscaping Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including the following: # organism, Living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly called gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with ...
and, in the metropolitan
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
area, they connected the region's system of parks. When the
German autobahns The (; German plural ) is the federal controlled-access highway A controlled-access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow—ingress and egress—regulated. Common ...
built in the 1930s introduced higher design standards and speeds, road planners and road-builders in the United States started developing and building toll roads to similar high standards. The
Pennsylvania Turnpike The Pennsylvania Turnpike (Penna Turnpike or PA Turnpike) is a toll highway operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. A controlled-access highway, it runs for across the state. The turnpike's we ...
, which largely followed the path of a partially built railroad, was the first, opening in 1940. After 1940 with the
Pennsylvania Turnpike The Pennsylvania Turnpike (Penna Turnpike or PA Turnpike) is a toll highway operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. A controlled-access highway, it runs for across the state. The turnpike's we ...
, toll roads saw a resurgence, this time to fund limited access highways. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
interrupted the evolution of the highway, the US resumed building toll roads. They were to still higher standards and one road, the
New York State Thruway , direction_a = South , terminus_a = {{Jct, state=NY, I, 95 at the The Bronx, Bronx–Yonkers, New York City line , junction = {{plainlist, * {{jct, state=NY, I, 287, Parkway, Saw Mill, NY, 119 in Elmsford, New York, Elmsford * {{jct, state=NY, ...
, had standards that became the prototype for the U.S. Interstate Highway System. Several other major toll-roads which connected with the Pennsylvania Turnpike were established before the creation of the Interstate Highway System. These were the
Indiana Toll Road The Indiana Toll Road, officially the Indiana East–West Toll Road, is a tolled freeway that runs for east–west across northern Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. It is th ...
,
Ohio Turnpike The Ohio Turnpike, officially the James W. Shocknessy Ohio Turnpike, is a limited-access toll highway in the U.S. state of Ohio Ohio () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. Of t ...
, and
New Jersey Turnpike The New Jersey Turnpike (NJTP) is a system of controlled-access highways in the U.S. state of New Jersey. The turnpike is maintained by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA).The Garden State Parkway, although maintained by NJTA, is not consi ...
.


Interstate Highway System

In the United States, beginning in 1956, Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the
Interstate Highway System The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System (United States), National ...
was built. It uses 12 foot (3.65m) lanes, wide
medians The Medes (Old Persian: ; Akkadian language, Akkadian: , ; Ancient Greek: ; Latin: ) were an Iranian peoples, ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media (region), Media between western ...
, a maximum of 4% grade, and full access control, though many sections don't meet these standards due to older construction or constraints. This system created a continental-sized network meant to connect every population center of 50,000 people or more. By 1956, most limited access highways in the eastern United States were toll roads. In that year, the
Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, also known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, was enacted on June 29, 1956, when President of the United States, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Bill (law), bill into law. With an ...
was passed, funding non-toll roads with 90% federal dollars and 10% state match, giving little incentive for states to expand their turnpike system. Funding rules initially restricted collections of tolls on newly funded roadways, bridges, and tunnels. In some situations, expansion or rebuilding of a toll facility using Interstate Highway Program funding resulted in the removal of existing tolls. This occurred in
Virginia Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States, between the East Coast of the United Stat ...
on
Interstate 64 Interstate 64 (I-64) is an east–west Interstate Highway in the Eastern United States. Its western terminus is at Interstate 70 in Missouri, I-70, U.S. Route 40 in Missouri, U.S. Route 40 (US 40), and U.S. Route 61 in Missouri, ...
at the
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Hampton may refer to: Places Australia *Hampton bioregion, an IBRA biogeographic region in Western Australia *Hampton, New South Wales *Hampton, Queensland, a town in the Toowoomba Region *Hampton, Victoria Canada *Hampton, New Brunswick *Hamp ...
when a second parallel roadway to the regional 1958 bridge-tunnel was completed in 1976. Since the completion of the initial portion of the Interstate Highway System, regulations were changed, and portions of toll facilities have been added to the system. Some states are again looking at toll financing for new roads and maintenance, to supplement limited federal funding. In some areas, new road projects have been completed with public-private partnerships funded by tolls, such as the Pocahontas Parkway (I-895) near
Richmond, Virginia (Thus do we reach the stars) , image_map = , mapsize = 250 px , map_caption = Location within Virginia , pushpin_map = Virginia#USA , pushpin_label = Richmond , pushpin_m ...
. The newest policy passed by Congress and the Obama Administration regarding highways is the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011.


Pneumatic tyres

As the horse-drawn
carriage A carriage is a private four-wheeled vehicle for people and is most commonly Horse-drawn vehicle, horse-drawn. Second-hand private carriages were common public transport, the equivalent of modern cars used as taxis. Carriage suspension (vehicl ...

carriage
was replaced by the
car A car or automobile is a motor vehicle with Wheel, wheels. Most definitions of ''cars'' say that they run primarily on roads, Car seat, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport private transport#Personal transport, pe ...
, and lorry or
truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo, carry specialized payloads, or perform other utilitarian work. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, but the vast majority feature body-on-frame construction ...

truck
, and speeds increased, the need for smoother roads and less vertical displacement became more apparent, and pneumatic tyres were developed to decrease the apparent roughness.
Wagon A wagon or waggon is a heavy four-wheeled vehicle pulled by draught animals or on occasion by humans, used for transporting Good (economics), goods, commodities, agricultural materials, supplies and sometimes people. Wagons are immediately d ...
and carriage
wheel A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axle Bearing (mechanical), bearing. The wheel is one of the key components of the wheel and axle which is one of the Simple machine, six simple machines. Wheels, in conjunction wi ...
s, made of
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite material, composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and emb ...
, had a tyre in the form of an
iron Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 element, group 8 of the periodic table. It is, Abundance ...
strip that kept the wheel from wearing out quickly. Pneumatic tyres, which had a larger footprint than iron tyres, also were less likely to get bogged down in the
mud A MUD (; originally multi-user dungeon, with later variants multi-user dimension and multi-user domain) is a multiplayer A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same ...
on unpaved roads.


See also

* National Highway System (USA) * Passenger vehicles in the USA *
Transportation in the United States Transportation in the United States is facilitated by road, air, rail, and waterways. The vast majority of passenger travel occurs by automobile for shorter distances, and airplane (or railroad, in some regions) for longer distances. In desc ...
*
National Transportation Safety Board The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an Independent agencies of the United States government, independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB inv ...
*
German autobahns The (; German plural ) is the federal controlled-access highway A controlled-access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow—ingress and egress—regulated. Common ...
*
Glossary of road transport terms Terminology related to road transport—the transport of passengers or goods on paved (or otherwise improved) routes between places—is diverse, with variation between List of dialects of the English language, dialects of English. There may also ...
* Neo-bulk cargo *
Public transport Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, mass transit, or simply transit) is a system of transport for passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public unlike private transport, typical ...
*
Traffic congestion Traffic congestion is a condition in transport that is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular Queuing theory, queueing. Traffic congestion on urban road networks has increased substantially since the 1950s. ...
*
Transportation forecasting Transportation forecasting is the attempt of estimating the number of vehicles or people that will use a specific transportation facility in the future. For instance, a forecast may estimate the number of vehicles on a planned road or bridge, the r ...
*
Transport engineering Transportation engineering or transport engineering is the application of technology and scientific principles to the planning, functional design, operation and management of facilities for any mode of transportation in order to provide for t ...
* List of roads and highways


Bibliography

*Basil, Davidson
African Civilization Revisited
Africa World Press: 1991 * *


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Road Transport