Making Sense of the Interstate Highway System

Happy Friday, everyone. I prefer to travel via Amtrak and intercity rail, but from my flat I can see two routes of the US interstate highway system: I-676 and I-76. And when I drive to my hometown outside Philadelphia, I use those two routes. Plus, I live not far from I-95, the main highway corridor running through the East Coast of the United States.

But what a lot of people do not know is that the numbering system for US interstate highways—by and large—has an underlying principle. (I say by and large because I frequently drive on one of the most infamous exceptions.) Thankfully, the YouTuber CCP Grey just released a video that details the numbering system.

The north-to-south routes

And if you’re curious about that exception, which runs through Altoona, Pennsylvania, here’s a screenshot. But you should watch the full video.

I-99? You can thank a congressman for that one.

Credit for the piece goes to CCP Grey.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? Well, they asked me not to say. But to be clear, this blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of…my employers. I think what I can say is that given my interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I have become an amateur genealogist and family historian. You will sometimes see that area of work bleed into my posts.

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