Saturday, March 25, 2006

Magnum P.I. got me thinking this week...

While I was at home this week, sick and in bed, I had a lot of time to watch TV. One morning I was watching Magnum, P.I. (it is the best thing on at 11 am if you don't like the Young and the Restless). So, Magnum was driving his car down the road and I saw an interstate sign. It got me thinking about something that I had wondered about before... why are they called interstate highways if Hawaii is an island? I mentioned this to my sweetheart, and all he said was, "well, what about Alaska?" And then I thought, what about Alaska AND Puerto Rico???

As per Merriam-Webster the word "interstate" is defined as follows:
"Pronunciation: "in-t&r-'stAt
Function: adjective
: of, connecting, or existing between two or more states especially of the U.S. "

So by the very definition of the word "interstate" you CANNOT have an interstate highway in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico. So what's the deal?

According to wikipedia "While the name implies that these highways cross state lines, many Interstates do not. Rather, it is the system of interstates that connects states. There are interstate highways in Hawaii, funded in the same way as in the other states, but entirely within the populous island of Oahu. They have the designation of H-X, and connect military bases. Similarly, both Alaska and Puerto Rico have public roads that receive funding from the Interstate program, though these routes are not signed as Interstate Highways."

I'm glad they figured out that Alaska and Puerto Rico can't have interstate highways, but this still doesn't give me a reasonable explanation about Hawaii. Are they trying to tell me by connecting military bases in Oahu, that it is part of the system that connects the states? Well, I don't buy it.

As for the list of interstates that don't cross state lines , I do know that the interstates in Texas will lead you to another interstate highway that will eventually take you out of Texas. So, I buy into them being "interstate" in the sense that they are part of the system that connects the states.

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