Sunday, December 10, 2006

Georgia Department of Transportation Removes 488 Towns from Its Highway Map

As a reference librarian and as a person who grew up in a small town, I find the latest story from the Georgia Department of Transportation dismaying. The GDT has removed communities with populations under 2500 people from its official highway map. The stated reason is to make the map easier to read. Someone at GDT called these communities "placeholders." According to Associated Press stories which ran in Saturday newspapers, 488 are now off the map.

Some of the small towns disappearing from the map have great names. Attapulgus, Bibb City, Centralhatchee, Dasher, Enigma, Flovilla, Good Hope, Hiawassee, Ideal, Jenkinsburg, Kite, Luthersville, Maxeys, Newborn, Ochlocknee, Pendergrass, Rebecca, Santa Claus, Tiger, Uvalda, Whigham, and Young Harris are just a few of the many names of Georgia towns.

Would the GDT really take Plains, Georgia off the map? Surely not.

If I was a citizen of one of the small communities, I think I would be offended by being so marginalized. If I was a traveler in the state, I would be annoyed at not being able to find were I was going. As a librarian, I am saddened that a reference tool has been weakened.

The GDT has received complaints and it said to be revisiting the decision.

With the increasing popularity of global positioning devices in motor vehicles, this may be less of a popular issue in the years to come, but I still think an official state transportation map ought to be comprehensive. Perhaps next year's map will have some of the communities restored.


elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Believe me they are offended. I am too and I live in a town that's still on the map. Some of our smaller areas have no towns listed on the new map other than the county seat. I don't buy their reasoning. We are seeing the passing of an era and it's sad.

Anonymous said...

What bonehead thought this one up? They obviously do not travel back roads and get lost...

It is with a sigh of relief, that I tic off the miles knowing the next town's name matches the "welcome" sign.

Oh, and if this idea spreads...Como, population 1,387, will no longer be map worthy! :(

Anonymous said...

This is rather ridiculous. However, I'm not that surprised because I grew up just outside a small village of 300, and I rarely find it on a map of Illinois.

laura said...

They'd be dead if they tried that in Wyoming--the whole population of the state is only about half a million. My town has 351 people. There are towns on the map even smaller than that--some with only 5 or 10 people.