Longtime reader James S. has an interesting experience every time he drives along Interstate 75 between Georgia and Florida. There is a spot along that highway where one can observe two county entrance markers simultaneously.
Take a close look at the Google Street View image and the signs can be seen as blurry white lettering on a green background, one nearby and one on the horizon.
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Someone traveling north on I-75 heading towards Macon will leave Peach County, cross into Crawford County, and somewhere between 770-800 feet later cross into Bibb County. James wanted to know if there were other places where one could see two “entering” signs simultaneously.
I love the way they managed to post that billboard within the narrow band, too. Crawford successfully attained a little tax revenue from their tiny chunk of Interstate Highway.
Seriously, is there any reason that little neck of Crawford actually needs to exist? It doesn’t seem to serve any purpose, yet Georgia has an overdose of small, misshapen counties like this one. I experienced a similar situation on I-20 earlier this year when I clipped Walton County, Georgia. That was nowhere near as remarkable as James’ accomplishment however, as my trip through Walton lasted closer to 7,800 feet.
Let me pause momentarily for a small rant. I don’t like how the new Mapquest handles embedded maps, the only viable option when I wish to feature a geo-oddity involving county lines. These are the steps: first one has to specify a location rather than perform a simple drill-down task; then hunt for the option hidden behind the “Send To” button and the “Your Website” tab. Mapquest will finally generate a code but it doesn’t provide any preview or customization function. I had to drop it into my website, make a best guess and then adjust the code from within my blog by hand. That’s unbelievably inconvenient and unresponsive.
Plus, embedded Mapquest images don’t appear in Google Reader. If you don’t see bunch of maps and you want to understand what I’m talking about, you’ll need to leave Reader and come to the website.
But let’s get back on track and consider James’ question. I turned to the excellent Mob Rule website that caters to the County Counter community. The site provides a page called "Difficult Questions" that attempts to determine whether certain major roads touch specific counties or not. There I found some really interesting situations.
Drivers heading northbound on U.S. Route 19 through Fanning Springs, Florida will enter Gilchrist County, but drivers heading south will not. The county border splits this mile-long road segment down the middle.
Do travelers on Interstate 294 outside of Chicago, Illinois enter DuPage County? No, they don’t. However, those heading southbound on I-294 who then exit eastbound onto I-290 will clip DuPage County for maybe five hundred feet.
There is a stretch of Interstate 80 in Nevada that rivals the Georgia example but falls just a bit short. Heading east, travelers go from Washoe, to Storey, to Lyon county in a distance of about a half-mile.
West Virginia has a section of Interstate 79 that cuts a corner of Gilmer County for less than a hundred feet. Just to the west, however, there’s another section of Gilmer that one enters for several hundred feet.
There are plenty of other examples on the Mob Rule page and I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t check them all. If I’d had time to do that, then perhaps I’d have seen better examples than the one James discovered during his travels. With that admission, I don’t know of other instances on Interstate Highways or major (two digit) U.S. Highways with shorter distances between three counties. Sure, I bet we could find some back-country road, but a highway?
How about it, folks? Is James onto something? Are there equally remarkable instances (other than the one in Washington, DC)? What about international examples?
Thanks again for the tip, James.
James is working on a new website. He says it’s still under development so I plan to bookmark it and examine it again later.