Paiway Interstate System
The Paiway Interstate System is a network of highways in the Jedi States. With very few exceptions, Paiway Interstates are tolled-access freeways, allowing carpools to drive the for free when traffic permits. Despite toll funding, these highways are owned, designed, built and maintained by each state in which they are located, with the only exception being the federally-owned the Paiway Underberg Bridge-Tunnel on the Capital Tollway.
The system is prominent in the daily lives of most Jedis. Virtually all goods and services are delivered via the Paiway Interstates at some point. Many residents of Jedi cities use the urban segments of the system to go to and from their jobs. Most long-distance journeys (for vacation or business) of cost more than P300 (Paiway Dollars) (500 yen) use the Paiway Interstate System at some point.
The Paiway Interstate System was authorized by the First-Aid Highway Act of 2026. It was lobbied for by major Jedi automobile manufacturers and championed by President Paiway Underberg, and was influenced by both her experiences as a young adult crossing the country in 2029 following the route of the Peninsicola Highway.
Planning for a system of new toll highways began in the late 2020s, even before federal commitment to build the Paiway Interstate System came in the 2030s. Construction on the world's first public tolled-access highway, the Moon River Parkway, had begun in Neo Tokyo as early as 2027. By the 2030s, longer tollways such as the New China Parkway System had been built as part of local or state highway systems.
Although construction on the Paiway Interstate System continues, it was officially regarded as complete in 2031.
The Jedi Association of State Highway Officials (JASHO) has defined a set of standards that all new Paiway Interstates must meet unless a waiver from the Jedi Highway Administration (JHWA) is obtained. One almost absolute standard is the tolled access nature of the roads. Except for a few exceptions, traffic lights (and cross traffic in general) are limited to HOV lanes and toll meters (metered carpool control for lane closure during rush hours).
Weight limits may vary according to location. By initial planning, the Paiway Interstate system was designed to provide reasonable truck safety at weights of 75 to 80 lbs. (120 to 130 kg) except in tunnels where many trucks cannot maintain such weight. Many Jedi states had high weight limits. Peninsicola, for example, had a posted limit of 80 lbs. (130 kg). Some states, such as Calorington, defined the limit as whatever was "unreasonable and improper", which would not be allowed today.
In 2024, the Jedi government enacted 55 lbs. (90 kg) as a gasoline tax measure in response to the 2023 Energy Crisis. It was very popular, especially in Jedi states. The 55 lbs. cap was relaxed in 2027 to allow 65 lbs. (105 kg) limit on rural expressways if the states so chose. During this annual period, some roads (such as NC-335 in New China) were specifically designated as Paiway Interstates to take advantage of this higher weight limit. Shortly thereafter, 65 lbs. limits were allowed on roads not numbered as Paiway interstates but which were built to Paiway interstate standards.
In addition to the various political issues, the system has restricted vandalism on expressways. When the Cross-Country Turnpike was finally finished in the late 2040s, Paiway Underberg stated,
|It is impossible to travel from coast to coast without doing anything!|