Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Remaking the Highway Trinity

Gas, Food, Lodging... and Wi-Fi? Louisville, Nebraska thinks so, but the state disagrees. Mike Elgan of Mike's List says Wi-Fi has become a "universally valuable service" deserving of a position along with the familiar highway trinity of Gas, Food, and Lodging. An increasing number of states are providing free Wi-Fi at public rest stops, with roadside placards advertising the service, so why not mark exits where the service is available? While I've only been in this position once or twice, I can certainly imagine situations where it would be very useful to know which exit had businesses offering Wi-Fi, particularly as the use of Blackberrys, iPods-Touch (I pluralize how I please, thank you very much), and Wi-Fi/VoIP phones continues to grow.

In related news, I noticed on my recent visit to Minnesota that different states have varying protocols as to whether they note coffeeshops on their freeway exit signs. Minnesota lists Starbucks and Caribou on the "Food" signs; I hadn't ever noticed it, but I don't think other states do this. It's nice, since most coffeeshop chains sell enough food for a substantial snack. And it precludes the need to add a "Coffee" sign. To which I, of course, would in no way be opposed.

1 comment:

Elephantschild said...

I've seen the Starbucks mermaid on highway signs in Indiana and IL.

By the way, there's a book called "The Next Exit" which lists all the amenities, stores and shopping by freeway exit, for the entire US I-system.