According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, as of 2008 the United States had 4,058,000 miles of roads of which 2,734,000 were paved and 1,324,000 were unpaved. In percentages that equals approximately 67.4% paved and 32.6% unpaved. Just for the sake of some trivia, the U.S. has 23.8% of all the roads in the world. The second ranking country is India with only 8.7% followed by China with 8.6%. If you add together all the roads in all the countries of Europe, it will approach the same percentage as the U.S.
As I’ve traveled the country I’ve had the opportunity to travel on everything from high-speed interstate highways, what are known as the “blue” highways, city, county, local and rural roads that ranged from very well paved to barely passable unpaved roads. Actually, some of the roads I’ve been on were barely passable even with an SUV in four wheel drive. While I was in Arizona I happened upon this road sign on the outskirts of Quartzite. I have to admit, being an Easterner, I haven’t seen any signs quite like this east of the Mississippi River. I took this sign under advisement and determined that it was not in the best interest of me or the car I was driving at the time to venture any further on this road.
Traveling the highways and byways of the U.S. is definitely an interesting, and, frequently, an exciting experience. I’ve certainly enjoyed seeing the other parts of the world I’ve been fortunate enough to visit, but there is just so much to see and experience in the U.S. and with more then 4,000,000 miles of roads, I’m sure I’ll never see it all.