This recent Atlanta & Vicinity Street Guide comprises 1751 sheets like these examples, each of them 8½ x 11 inches. If these sheets were spread out on the floor and joined, they would make a map approximately 18½ x 13½ feet covering an area of at a scale of 1:24,000 an area of approximately 85 x 61 miles (nearly 5200 square miles). Even in the age of digital GPS-supported in-car and in-phone navigational mapping, printed atlases such as these still find favor among local travelers, for which wayfinding in a metropolitan area as large and complex as Atlanta, is a challenge. The residential areas depicted on these sheets in the vicinity of Cumming, in Forsyth County, lie in the outermost northern fringe of the expansive Atlanta region. Downtown Atlanta is 40 miles distant, and a 45-minute drive in good traffic conditions. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is 50 miles and an hour or more away. Nevertheless, the metropolis’s extensive expressway system has brought this and many other formerly rural areas within Atlanta’s suburban orbit. Unlike Atlanta in the 1950s, few of the residents in this part of the metropolis actually commute to the central city for work or other activities. Characteristic of post-industrial Sunbelt cities, most of them travel by car to other nearby suburban destinations for work, shopping, entertainment, and socialization. Most of the residential neighborhoods on these sheets have appeared within the last two decades, many within the five years previous to the publication of this map. Construction through 1981 of the superhighway state route 400 (at upper left), stimulated much of this growth, and the freeway remains the lifeline between this district and the rest of the metropolitan area. Most of the residential developments lead tree-like from former rural roads, their names (Echols, Nuckolls, Daves Creek, Samples) referring to early rural occupants of this land. The wide spacing of most of the streets and the many dead-ends reflects the both the size of the lots and the desirability of apparent isolation. The complex topography and wooded environment reinforces the appearance of isolation. Yet this remains an urbanized environment; chain restaurants and supermarkets are within five minutes (driving), and the identity of residents with metropolitan Atlanta is strong.
See also: Neighborhoods, Streets, and the Automobile
Bruegmann, Robert. Sprawl: A Compact History. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
Hayden, Dolores. A Field Guide to Sprawl. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2004.
Foster, Mark S. From Streetcar to Superhighway: American City Planners and Urban Transportation, 1900-1940. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981.
Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the Unites States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Jakle, John. “Landscapes redesigned for the Automobile.” The Making of the American Landscape, ed. Michael P. Conzen. London; HarperCollins Academic, 1990.
Lewis, Tom. Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life. New York: Viking Press, 1997.
McShane, Clay. Down the Asphalt Path: The Automobile and the American City. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
Preston, Howard L. Automobile Age Atlanta: The Making of a Southern Metropolis. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979.
Atlanta & Vicinity Street Guide (Chicago: Rand McNally, 2009), maps 1334-1335. The Newberry Library: McN StrFdr 2009 .A88 (PrCt). Map © RM Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Rand McNally. Reproduced with permission, License No. R.L. 14-S-006