The Metric System Just Isn’t Catching On

After nearly three decades of complaints from confused motorists, the Interstate 19 kilometer markers will soon be pulled out of the ground for good.

The state transportation board on Tuesday approved $1.5 million to replace the signs on the entire 100-kilometer — or 63-mile — stretch of I-19 from Nogales to Tucson. The funding is part of the federal stimulus package, which provides $521 million to the state for roads and bridges.

The kilometer signs were placed in 1980 as part of a federal experiment with metric conversion, and over the years proved about as popular as the metric system itself. I-19 is the only U.S. interstate marked in metric.

The Arizona Department of Transportation eventually placed mile markers along I-19 in 1998, but set them at a 90-degree angle to the highway so motorists couldn’t easily see them and be confused by the extra markings.

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I remember my high school teachers telling me that in my lifetime the U.S. will completely convert to the metric system . . . not so much.

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2 Responses to The Metric System Just Isn’t Catching On

  1. Darren says:

    The metric system is the New Coke of mathematics!

  2. warren says:

    Actually the Metric system was created in 1791 and what we now know as the Imperial system was established in 1824. Most of the metric system makes more sense than Imperial measurement because it's based on the decimal system rather than the length of the king's thumb or something like that. It's just different that's why it seems hard.

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