Even though most of us have electronic maps on our smart phones, Iowans continue picking up and using the trusty ole’ paper state road map you have to unfold.
Mark Hansen, a transportation planner at the Iowa Department of Transportation, says the 2017-2018 edition of the Iowa map is now available and it features about 200 changes from the last edition, most of them to roads.
“We have the new Grand Prairie Parkway interchange that was added west of the Des Moines metro area,” Hansen says. “We have Iowa 100 that was added in the Cedar Rapids area and we had the rerouting of US 71 in the Sac City area.”
The latest map also reflects two Iowa towns that have unincorporated: Center Junction in Jones County and Mount Union in Henry County. “They are still on the map, we just changed the symbology from an incorporated area to an unincorporated area,” Hansen says. “Essentially, they go from a double circle to a single circle.” Even in this era of Google Maps you can easily maneuver with your thumb and forefinger, he says hundreds of thousands of Iowans continue demanding the old-school maps for their glove boxes.
“We’re finding that people still like to have the paper map to go along with their GPS navigation devices because sometimes their devices aren’t up to date or the devices route them the wrong way,” Hansen says. “Having the paper form allows them to travel across the state and plan their entire route.” The maps are printed every two years and this latest run featured 1.6 million Iowa road maps, about the same as in past years.
“The maps are available at the welcome centers, the rest areas, the DOT district offices,” Hansen says. They’re also available online at www.iowadot.gov/maps