Help and info needed from US MembersLocked
This is completely non-technical, but I’m having difficulty finding a straight answer, so I’m asking you guys and girls in the good ole US of A…hopefully someone CAN give me a straight answer.
The Guru Family are flying out to the US on Thursday to visit family in NY (upstate, near Binghamton). We’re over for a couple of weeks and (thanks to a few ‘nice little earners’) can afford to rent a car and do a little touring rather than just rely on family to pick us up and drop us off.
We are planning to visit friends in TN, and so have tried to look up driving directions on both Mapquest and RandMcNally’s web-site. We get two different routes! Now, our destination is Eva, TN and we were told by our friends that we need to come off at exit 126 of the I-40. That makes sense, looking at a map.
We’re starting from Binghamton, NY which is on the I-81. Now both map sites give different directions and involve lots of turns on and off of different highways, and neither route seems to be consistent with MY idea of what the Interstate system is supposed to be.
Now, is there a reason why the maps and driving directions tell us to keep taking different highways or routes that I’m not understanding here? To me, an Interstate is like our motorways in the UK or Autobahns in Germany….you get on at one end, and get off at the other, or turn when the route you are on intersects with another that you want to be on. Now from what I gather, the I-81 starts at the Canadian border and ends in southern Tenessee. The I-40 starts in California and goes all the way to North Carolina. Now, the two intersect in TN, and that to me is the easiest way to go…i.e., just two roads. Start on the I-81….keep going for 800 odd miles, then turn west onto the I-40 and off at our exit. Leave out the 10 or so miles at each end as that’s irrelevant.
This may sound like a stupid question, but Mrs Guru and her family aren’t able to give me an answer so here goes.
Can I actually get on an Interstate and not actually get off until my intersection or exit? That is to say, are these highways actually contiguous roads. Or, as both map sites seem to imply, are they actually ‘virtual’ roads which ARE made up from different bits of other highways and I DO have to make all these twists and turns on and off different routes?
I always try to play it safe, and the least number of turns I have to make equals less chance of taking a wrong turn and getting lost, or ending up on the wrong road going in the wrong direction.
There is also the issue of time vs speed. In my experience, a route which is perhaps 50 miles longer in distance is faster than the route that is 50 miles shorter, because you can keep up a fairly constant speed (traffic permitting) and not have to keep negotiating exits or junctions.
In a nutshell then, can I get on the I-81 south at Binghamton, head south on just ONE road until I hit the I-40, then turn west on this second road until I get to my destination (exit 126 I-40)?!!!!