The odds are that you have a personal GPS unit in your car. Either that, or you use direction services like GoogleMaps or Mapquest that use the same technology. An increasing number of people are relying on these GPS units to get them to their destination. They certainly make life easier, and can take the guess work out of figuring out where you’re going. Personally, my windshield mounted GPS has been a lifesaver after having moved to a new city. I follow it’s directions without question. I put my complete faith into it’s ability to find the quickest route to where I want to go, even if it takes me through strange neighborhoods once in a while.
There is an interesting question that comes from this reality of increasing GPS use. It’s logical to expect that if two people have the same GPS unit, and they punch in the same destination, their routes will be similar (if they’re leaving from similar locations). If everyone is using the same technology to find their way to the grocery store, get to a museum, find a party in a new neighborhood, you would expect that some roads will get lots of traffic, and some roads will get little to no traffic. Municipalities keep track of how much use their roads are getting, and adjust services to that road accordingly. Some more rural locations don’t have as many resources, and repairs to roads will likely be made only when residents start to complain. What will happen to these roads abandoned by GPS routes? Think of it as ‘survival of the fittest road’, with GPS technology being the selective mechanism. Do you think there is the potential for “ghost roads” to start appearing around the country?
Feel free to chime in and give your thoughts! Do you know of any ghost roads near you? Here’s one that I found: