Fifty Thousand Miles of National Highways Proposed by the National Highways Association, 1914


This map was issued in 1914 by the National Highways Association (NHA) to promote the development of the 50,000-mile (80,500-kilometer) network of national highways proposed by the NHA. Published in the year that the Panama Canal opened to traffic, the map contrasts the benefits to citizens of the canal with those offered by the proposed highway system. The NHA was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated a 150,000-mile (241,402-kilometer) network of roads, the backbone of which would be the national highways shown on this map, but which also would include state, county, and town or township roads. The table below the map lists the tentative designations of the 37 proposed national highways. The table at the top provides estimates of the numbers and percentages of people living in counties traversed by or adjoining counties traversed by the proposed national highways. The population of the United States was at this time 91,972,266, 49,348,883 in rural and 42,623,383 in urban areas. The NHA calculated that 98 percent of urban residents and 90 percent of rural residents could be served by these highways. Congress never embraced the plan put forward by the NHA, but the organization and maps such as these helped to promote the cause of a national road network.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

National Highways Association, Washington, D.C.


Title in Original Language

Fifty Thousand Miles of National Highways Proposed by the National Highways Association

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 42 x 68 centimeters


  • Scale 1:7,000,000 feet

Last updated: March 21, 2016