Even if you don’t like to drive your car in the tedious traffic of your hometown you will love the American Park ways. I had heard of them but I did not know what they were all about. In one word it’s a wonderful way to experience a landscape by car. Driving on
an American Parkway doesn’t have anything to do with the sometimes hyper nervous conditions on a German autobahn leave alone the hara-kiri manœuvres on French country roads. Here you can make few mistakes if you keep in your lane and stick to the general speed limit of 35 to 45 miles per hour. The highway itself consists of two lanes of about 3 meters width separated by a yellow line. Usually, I would say in 85 percent, you cannot pass and it’s a double line. This is really a blessing because you don’t have to expect anybody passing in a blind curve right ahead of you. The road is solely for none commercial cars and motorcycles. No truck will try to pass you at 45 and you don’t have to be afraid to get stuck behind a rolling road block neither. To the right and left there is a strip of green lawn of approximately 3 to 5 meters before the forest starts.
The most wonderful feature I haven’t yet found described anywhere is the fact that there are no trucks and as a consequence the trees do not have to be cut for trucks. As a result it happens that you drive underneath low hanging branches of trees like in a tunnel of foliage. Actually it is easy to describe but the effect is overwhelming. You are so close to the forest that you almost seem to glide through it.
The roads are very popular with motorcycle drivers so once in awhile you feel like you’re in a crowd of a Harley Davidson Club on his yearly trip to the Smokies, but don’t panic, they’re harmless when they are sober.
The parkways were built in the twenties as part of the New Deal. The beautiful bridges and tunnels of stone were built workers from Italy and Spain. Parkways have generally lots of overlooks with parking, very generous picnic and camping areas, trailheads and visitor centers.
But the best thing is the easy and relaxed driving. And this is especially supported by our 7 gear double clutch automatic transmission in connection with acc, the adaptive cruise control. This system doesn’t only keep the car at a certain speed but also at a certain distance to the car in front of you. The car brakes and accelerates automatically which is a great help. You still have to do the steering but that’s okay with me, I have to do something else I fall asleep.
Driving along the American Parkways is one of the great pleasures you can have driving your car. I highly recommend it. You won’t find anything like it in Europe.