Monday, June 29, 2009

US Route 20: "America’s Mainstreets" (video)

Here is a new documentary on US Route 20 (and also US Route 9) in New York, which was the result of a collaborative student project completed by undergraduate and graduate students Erin Dorbin (M.A. History and Media), Eric LaGrange (M.A. Fine Arts), Dale Mattison and Greg Pruden at the University at Albany in the Spring of 2009.

This documentary (video below) covers the history of US Routes 20 and 9 in New York, showing how the birth of freeways and thruways not only changed travel pattersn, but also changed the landscape of the US routes. This video represents the first edit of 22 minutes of their work.

More information about the video can be found at That web site indicates that “Erin Dorbin and Eric LaGrange are responsible for the completion of the Route 20 portion of the project, while Dale Mattison and Greg Pruden completed the Route 9/Frontier Town section of the documentary. Erin and Eric also have plans to continue the Route 20 portion of the documentary over the coming year.”

I found this video very interesting, and not just for the US 20 in NY perspective. Where I live – in Mentor Ohio – US 20 is very vibrant throughout my city and county (Lake County), along with neighboring Cuyahoga County (including the city of Cleveland) and Lorain County. This is despite the fact that two major freeways, US 90 and Ohio Route 2, run just about parallel to US 20, and sometimes only a mile away from US 20. Here, the freeways only helped US 20 to thrive. I consider myself very lucky to have US 20 remain an active, major thoroughfare here.

The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found, here.

1 comment:

Erin Dorbin said...

Thank you so much for the post! That is very interesting to hear how your section of 20 is not struggling as this stretch has after the construction of the Thruway system. We had never considered how it may be different elsewhere. That is DEFINITELY something to explore further in our project.