I read Heinlein's The Roads Must Roll a few months ago. While I do remember that he provided a detailed explanation about how the system worked, I can't recall most of it. Specifically, how would one get on or off a 100mph road, i.e., which is essentially a really long travelator? How would one switch from one road to another?

(I do remember something about getting on backwards or something like that. But that doesn't really make much sense to me.)

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    At a glance it seems similar to the 'strips' in Asimov's Caves of Steel which use strips of varying speed to accelerate. – IG_42 Jul 23 '16 at 22:57

Parallel strips with a 5 mph speed differential between one strip and the next; high-speed lane in the middle, low-speed lanes at the sides.

They glided down an electric staircase, and debouched on the walkway which bordered the north-bound five-mile-an-hour strip. After skirting a stairway trunk marked "Overpass to Southbound Road," they paused at the edge of the first strip. "Have you ever ridden a conveyor strip before?" Gaines inquired. "It's quite simple. Just remember to face against the motion of the strip as you get on." They threaded their way through homeward-bound throngs, passing from strip to strip. Down the center of the twenty-mile-an-hour strip ran a glassite partition which reached nearly to the spreading roof. The Honorable Mr. Blekinsop raised his eyebrows inquiringly as he looked at it. "Oh, that?" Gaines answered the unspoken question as he slid back a panel door and ushered his guest through. "That's a wind break. If we didn't have some way of separating the air currents over the strips of different speeds, the wind would tear our clothes off on the hundred-mile-an-hour strip." He bent his head to Blekinsop's as he spoke, in order to cut through the rush of air against the road surfaces, the noise of the crowd, and the muted roar of the driving mechanism concealed beneath the moving strips. After passing through three more wind screens located at the forty, sixty, and eighty-mile-an-hour strips, respectively, they finally reached the maximum-speed strip, the hundred-mile-an-hour strip, which made the round trip, San Diego to Reno and back, in twelve hours.

The story was originally published in Astounding Science-Fiction, June 1940 which is available at the Internet Archive.

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    Oh, faster and faster parallel strips like in Asimov's Baley novel! – b_jonas Aug 4 '14 at 8:04

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