Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The above graph compares the size of the US Interstate highway system (according to FHWA Table HM 220), with the Chinese Expressway system (according to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics Table 16-4). Both series currently run through 2009. The notional extrapolation shown as the thin pink line suggests that the Chinese system will exceed the length of the US system sometime this year. We won't know for sure until 2013.
Of all the different ways that China is overtaking the US, this seems like it might be a particularly psychologically significant one to Americans.