THE GERMAN ROAD PLAN.
Not content with being the leading European nation in civil aviation, Germany has commenced work on a road system which, in course of time, will put her ahead of the rest of Europe in land communications.
The National Socialist Government has appointed Dr. Felix Todt, the InspectorGeneral of German Roads, and under his capable guidance a vast programme for the construction of 15 main highways and 41 secondary roads is being launched forthwith. 6,900 kilometres of roadway will be built at the rate of 1,000 kilometres every year, and the total estimated cost is in the region of 06,000,000. The major part of the cost will come from existing motor taxation, and the balance will be -provided by the unemployment funds, which will be relieved of the burden of supporting the 250,000 men employed in the construction work. Dr. Todt has interesting theories of roads. A remarkable point of view; is that
which condemns long straights as being unnecessarily monotonous for drivers, and thereby increasing the risk of accidents. The German roads will never be absolutely straight for a longer distance than about 3 miles, when a fast curve will give the driver a break. On the other hand, it must not be thought from the above that Dr. Todt is antipathetic to speed. Far from this being so, he is most anxious that gradients should not hinder the progress of cars on the new highways, expecially the heavy postal-coaches and State-owned vehicles. His aim is the correct one, of sustained high average speed, and it is for this reason that a vast sum of money will be expended on the elimination of gradients by means of embankments and cuttings. In no place will the gradient exceed 5 per cent., or 1 in 20. As to surface, concrete will naturally be used on the level, having been proved to be the ideal surface both for wear and non-skid properties. The gradients,
however, will be carpeted with a surface known as ” mosaic pave.” This consists of granite setts laid in a semi-circular pattern. It is a costly system in the first place, but this is Compensated by extremely long wear and splendid nonskid properties.
One way roads are not considered necessary. Instead, the roads will be of great width, and all the curves and corners will be accurately super-elevated. The result of this careful planning will make motoring a really enjoyable process —providing the car has a high-enough cruising speed. It will be interesting to speculate on the influence this ” sevenyear plan ” will have on the German Motor-industry. Streamlining will receive even more attention than it has already clone, and the over-top gear will no doubt be used on all cars. There will be magnificent scope, too, for really high-speed motor-coaches, cruising at 70 mph.