The 20/20 Project

U.S. 20 is a coast-to-coast highway – America’s longest. It’s also a main street. Dozens of main streets, strung out in short bursts across 3,365 miles of American asphalt, from Boston to Newport, Ore., with plenty of light and horizon and shadows and fields filling in the blanks along the way.

It’s a front yard. It’s a place for neighbors to gather: to celebrate a town’s founding; to fiddle and dance; to toss cowpats and drag pets; to parade for almost any reason at all. It’s a place to stop for breakfast, day after day, year after year, to talk about corn prices and whether “the summabitches” at the local lake are biting that morning. It’s a place to hang your hat, to get a haircut.

It’s a way to the store, and a way out of town. It shows you state capitols, national parks, the ocean. It shows you how our country got its start, and whom it shoved aside to become big.

U.S. Route 20 is simple and mostly straight, yet oddly easy to get lost on, and in.

Photographer Jan Albers and her daughter, Karen Titus, began documenting the road and its people in the late 1980s. Albers’ interest in the road was a personal one – her family home was on Route 20 (locally called Center Ridge Road) in North Ridgeville, Ohio. Since then, their photos have appeared in several exhibits. They also plan to produce a book of their photos and interviews.

accidentalhwy20@gmail.com

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