Roadgeek: Wikis


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Driving south on The Alaska Tok Cutoff Highway.
An abandoned early U.S. Route 66 alignment in southern Illinois in 2006.
One of many "Spaghetti Junctions", this one is in Birmingham, England

A roadgeek is an individual involved in "roadgeeking" or "road enthusiasm"—an interest in roads as a hobby. A person with such an interest is also referred to as a road buff, roadfan or Roads Scholar, the latter being a play on the term Rhodes Scholar.[1]

Roadgeeking may focus on a single activity related to roads, such as driving the full length of the highway system in a specific area, creating fonts and other graphic elements to share with other enthusiasts, or researching the numbering system used for a national highway system. Road enthusiasts may also have a comprehensive interest in a single road, a larger highway system, or in roads in general, participating in a wide range of hobby activities.


Roadgeek behavior

FHWA Series fonts–also known as Highway Gothic

Behaviors for roadgeeks may include taking road trips for the roads rather than for the destination, sometimes referred to as roadgeeking or Roads Scholaring, or bragging about the extent of their travels, such as the number of Interstate Highway sections that have wholly traveled.[2] Other activities include the photography of road signs or of various highway sundries, collecting old road maps, maintaining web sites dedicated to highway transport, correcting errors in newspapers and other publications about highway terminology and the history of highways [3], and the design of graphics or fonts to facilitate the work of others.[4]

Roadgeeking online

In 2002, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that "road enthusiasm" was an internet phenomenon:

Road enthusiasm is a phenomenon that developed with the Internet. People who for years thought they were the only ones who eagerly awaited the release of the new Rand McNally road atlases each fall suddenly stumbled on to hundreds of people with whom they could trade pictures, share ideas and debate the finer points of interchange design.

In addition to hundreds of Web sites, there is a newsgroup, misc.transport.road, where the discussion meanders from road-trip routing and construction projects to quirks and inconsistencies in signage.[5]

Examples of online road enthusiasm

Organizations of road enthusiasts

The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts (SABRE) was started in 1999 and given its current name in 2002. The acronym originally meant "Study and Appreciation of the British Roads Experience". SABRE's 1300 members meet to discuss road subjects in online forums, hold formal meetings to elect oficers, and maintain several online data projects.[7][8][9]

Sites of interest to roadgeeks

Magic Roundabout Schild db.jpg

United Kingdom

United States



Zzyzx Road exit sign on Interstate 15
Westbound I-70 on a viaduct inside Glenwood Canyon paralleling the Colorado River




The Y-Bridge looking east
  • Galena Y-Bridge, an unusual bridge with three land connections


North Carolina



Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
wrong-way concurrency



See also


  1. ^ Road to future or a dead end., Austin American Statesman, 12 December 2004 (accessed 20 January 2007)
  2. ^ Mike the Actuary's Musings, My Clinched Freeways, accessed November 16, 2007
  3. ^ John Kelly "A Long Way to Go for a Refund: Highways, Revisited," Washington Post, Page C11, February 21, 2005, accessed June 27, 2008
  4. ^ Mike the Actuary's Musings, Roadgeek Fonts, accessed November 16, 2007
  5. ^ "'Road Geeks' Ramp up Their Hobby on the Information Superhighway," William Lamb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 22, 2002, p C-1, accessed July 20, 2008
  6. ^ RFD unmoderated group misc.transport.misc, accessed August 16, 2009; charters were approved for misc.transport.misc, misc.transport.marine, and misc.transport.road; the charter for misc.transport.road "is for discussion of all aspects of road/highway transportation and design not included in other groups (such as misc.transport.trucking and misc.transport.urban-transit)."
  7. ^ "Society: About Us". The Society for All British Road Enthusiasts. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  8. ^ a b c Milmo, Cahal (29 October 2004). "Round the bend? How we became a nation of roadies". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  9. ^ a b Gupta, Lila Das (17 Jan 2005). "Never mind the trainspotters". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  10. ^ "Oklahoma Terminus: Arkansas SH-43", Martin McMahon, Roadklahoma, accessed July 17, 2008
  11. ^ Lisa Leff, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2002, "BEHIND THE WHEEL; Road Scholars Driven to Go the Extra Mile; A small but dedicated band of buffs spends free time studying and, yes, traveling the state's highways and byways", accessed June 27, 2008
  12. ^ National Park Service "Going-to-the-Sun Road"
  13. ^ Historic Columbia River Highway"

External links

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