It’s that time of year again to go through the Rand McNally road atlas to see what has been added/updated/deleted over the past year. I recently had a chance to glimpse the latest edition and noticed the following updates and additions from last year’s print:
Alabama: U.S. 78 (Future Interstate 22) is now complete to east of Graysville with the rest to Interstate 65 showing as under construction.
Florida: the completion of TOLL Florida 414 in the Orlando area (Apopka).
Kentucky: Finally showing the construction of the last seven miles of the Pennyrile Parkway from Alternate U.S. 41 to Interstate 24.
North Carolina: the addition of Interstate 795 from Interstate 95 southeast toward Goldsboro as well as the new U.S. 70 bypass of Clayton. Also of interest in the Winston Salem/Greensboro/High Point inset is the proper relocation of Interstate 40 back to its original alignment and the addition of Interstate 73 on the portion between Interstate 40 at Exit 212 and Interstate 85 at Exit 120 as well as the portion north of Exit 212 (multiplexing with Future Interstate 840).
Pennsylvania: The completion of the Interstate 99 freeway along U.S. 220 from Exit 52 north to College State, thus bringing the out-of-place interstate ever closer to its second interstate crossing (namely Interstate 80).
Rhode Island: The Providence inset now properly shows the realignment of Interstate 195.
Overall the new edition is not too bad. There are still discrepancies that they have not addressed (nor have they addressed them in years past) and will have to wait until next year to see if they address them then.
This is, however, the second straight year that Rand McNally has debuted their road atlas towards the end of April instead of the usual end of September. What gives? My theory on this is to help boost sales and try to turn a bigger profit to help keep the company afloat (amid the changes that they have endured over the last couple of years). The traditional mapping industry has been downsizing for a few years now and only a handful of mapping companies remain, including Rand. As one of the leading cartography companies (if not the leading company) in the states, distributing their road atlas in the 2nd quarter instead of the 4 quarter may help boost their sales and bring them extra income to help maintain them in this downsized economy.