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Kentucky's Frontier HighwayHistorical Landscapes along the Maysville Road$
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Karl Raitz and Robert Roland-Holst

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813136646

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813136646.001.0001

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The Road as a Corridor of Complexity

The Road as a Corridor of Complexity

(p.93) 11 The Road as a Corridor of Complexity
Kentucky's Frontier Highway

Karl Raitz

Nancy O’Malley

University Press of Kentucky

We tend to regard America's roads simplistically, as subsidiary features lurking in the background. But historically, roads were the foreground to travel—their routes and attributes such as gradient and condition were of primary concern to stagecoach operators and carriage drivers. Whichever perspective obtains, background or foreground, roads and their attendant roadsides, which together comprise road landscapes, are very complex places and difficult to interpret. Road complexity is exacerbated through association with multiple legal jurisdictions—town or city, county, state, federal. Roads are the venue for linear marketplaces, roadside businesses that provide food, fuel, lodging, shopping, or other forms of financial or social transaction, and road landscapes provide varied experiences for those who use the road or reside at roadside. Appreciating dispirit [disparate?] perspectives requires that we regard the roadway, in both its historic and contemporary guises, as a visual and experiential puzzle or palimpsest. Part III of this book is biographical, a detailed narrative intended to assist the reader in interpreting the Maysville Road and its attendant roadside landscapes and is organized into three extended geographical sections: Lexington to Paris; Paris to the vicinity of Blue Licks; and Blue Licks to Maysville.

Keywords:   Landscape, Perception, Interpretation, Complexity, Palimpsest

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