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- Mobile and motorized society. The Interstate grew in conjunction with the rapid diffusion of the automobile in the 1950s and 1960s, multiplying the mobility of individuals. People were able to exchange greater distances for a similar amount of time spent traveling. This mobility gradually permeated ways of life and for the first time in history a large share of the population was able to privately travel over long distances. As such, the automobile and the Interstate quickly became the symbol of individuality, freedom and opportunities. New activities spurred to service this motorized mobility. A wide range of "drive-in" and "drive-through" activities were created, such as shopping malls, restaurants (e.g. McDonald's was one of the first restaurant chains to be built to specifically service motorized customers), movie theaters and even vacationing (e.g. motor inns).
- Suburbanization. Linking the Interstate with suburbanization must be done carefully since the system was designed to service inter-metropolitan transportation first. However, many Interstate highways by-passed or surrounded (ring roads) major metropolitan areas, giving the impetus to a new form of urban development. Road segments built to service interurban transportation became dominantly used for urban transportation. The emergence of suburbia represents a new landscape with its own economic, social and cultural identity. It illustrates a radical transformation from the traditional urban landscape characterized by collective property (multifamily dwellings) and public transportation. Suburbia is the epitome of private property where each individual was able to own his private "estate" (lot) as a single family home. For many, suburbanization represented a liberation, since prior to the Interstate most of the American population rented their housing, mainly as apartment buildings owned by a relatively small group of landlords (the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life" underlines this contradiction). Once the Interstate became firmly established, about 65-70% of Americans owned their residence, the largest share of private ownership in the word. This permitted a significant accumulation of wealth in the form of individually and privately owned equity; the pillar of America's middle class.
- Corridors of circulation. The Interstate favored the creation of large corridors of circulation linking metropolitan areas and permitting the emergence of urban regions, such as Boston-Washington (BosWash). About eight longitudinal and five latitudinal corridors have emerged in the United States, corresponding to Interstate axis (e.g. I-5, I-15, I-40, I-55, I-70, I-95). More recently, several north-south "NAFTA" corridors have emerged as axis of long distance trade in North America, linking more effectively the Canadian and Mexican economies to the American market.
- National comparative advantages. Although prior transport infrastructures, mainly railways, enabled to take advantage of the comparative advantages of the American economy, the Interstate permitted a multiplication of the regional advantages in terms of resources, labor and markets. The movement of commodities, from raw materials to finished goods, became faster, much cheaper and flexible (in terms of origin, destination and scheduling). A whole range of industries emerged to take advantage of the mobility provided by the Interstate, particularly long distance trucking. New manufacturing regions (e.g. California and several Southern States) emerged outside the traditional industrial belt (Midwest). Freight distribution became a wide scale activity relying on distribution centers located at accessible (next to an Interstate) locations. This permitted to effectively (in real time) supply vast consumption markets with a staggering variety of goods coming from all parts of the United States and the World. The big box store (e.g. Wal-Mart) would simply not exist in its current form without the Interstate.