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About what percentage of the USA has been paved over?

Question #123329. Asked by VickiPeterson. (Aug 29 11 9:55 AM)

serpa

This from 2001.

The U.S., with its 214 million motor vehicles, has paved 3.9 million miles of roads, enough to circle the earth at the equator 157 times. In addition to roads, cars require parking space. Imagine a parking lot for 214 million cars and trucks. If that is too difficult, try visualizing a parking lot for 1,000 cars and then imagine what 214,000 of these would look like.

However we visualize it, the U.S. area devoted to roads and parking lots covers an estimated 61,000 square miles, an expanse approaching the size of the 51.9 million acres that U.S. farmers planted in wheat last year.

[Note: 640 acres in a square mile. 61,000 square miles times 640 equals 39,040,000 acres. This is not near 51.9 million acres.]

http://www.grist.org/article/rice

61,000/3,794,083*100=1.6 percent. [If 61,000 is correct]

 Aug 29 11, 12:12 PM
brachypelma

This wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impervious_surface says in the lower 48, there are 43,000sq mi of "impervious surface" which it says is roughly 1/3 rooftop. that leaves about 29,000sq mi of pavement. Alaska has 15718 miles of roadway ( http://www.dot.alaska.gov/stwdplng/transdata/pub/2009cprm.pdf ) . Most of that is probably not paved, but even if it was and those roads were all 50ft wide, that's only an extra 149sq mi. Can't find Hawaii's figures, but if I give hawaii the same percent coverage as the lower 48 that's 150sq mi. more. That makes the total 43,299sq mi divided into the US total 3,794,083 sq mi I get 1.14%.

Oops, baing sloppy there, forgot to subtract the rooftop. So that's 29,299/3794080= 0.77%. Assuming of course they had accurate figures to begin with, there were not many listed sources.

 Aug 29 11, 12:15 PM

 What was the first paved street in the United States and when was it paved?

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