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.