Highway sound barriers were first proposed to keep movie studios quiet

Los Angeles is widely considered to be the home of the freeway. It's also considered to be the home of the film industry. A fascinating story from Nate Berg over at Re-Form chronicles the way that two emerging forces which would come to define LA ended up making the sound of our ever-noisier roadways (somewhat) more… » 12/03/14 4:16pm 12/03/14 4:16pm

Highways are Making California's Mountain Lions Inbred and Aggressive

Highways let us humans zip from one place to another—at least when the traffic's not horrendous. But for wild animals, highways are like wide concrete fences that feature metal boxes of death barreling down at 70 mph. In the Santa Monica Mountains, a population of wild mountain lions has become penned in by highways… » 8/15/14 1:13pm 8/15/14 1:13pm

Why Potholes Happen (And How to Get Them Fixed)

They're the bane of modern interstates and countryside roads alike: Potholes cost American drivers nearly $6.5 billion dollars in flat tires, blown shocks, and cracked rims in 2013, according to AAA. Save your car this beating by learning to recognize the early warning signs of developing potholes and how to get them… » 7/15/14 3:30pm 7/15/14 3:30pm

Photos: When Southern California's Freeways Were New (and Empty)

The Southland's freeways hardly inspire optimism anymore. Glance at the shoulder of a slow-moving freeway and among the weeds you'll see shards of plastic and twisted metal—the accumulated detritus of a dozen high-speed crashes. They may (occasionally) be convenient, but whether it's their shabby appearance, the way… » 4/28/14 12:02pm 4/28/14 12:02pm

Here's a US map showing the constellation of city lights and highways

It's like staring at the night sky only instead of looking up to see stars and constellations, we're looking at the bright lights of cities connected by highways. A Reddit user superimposed state boundaries and interstate routes onto a NASA photograph of the United States of America at night to show how and why things… » 4/16/14 10:05pm 4/16/14 10:05pm

A peek at Crimea's controversial election day, Philly widens freeways by mistake, and does Austin, Texas, have a drinking problem? Plus, the incredible story behind Rio's most famous monument, and the truth about earthquakes in L.A. Come along with us on this week's Urban Reads. » 3/18/14 6:20pm 3/18/14 6:20pm

They Moved Mountains (And People) To Build L.A.’s Freeways

Carmageddon—it was the nightmare scenario L.A.'s transportation authorities warned of when a construction project shut down a critical stretch of freeway for an entire weekend in July 2011. Gridlock. The glow of brake lights. The overwhelming angst of a city denied its full and unimpeded access to its freeways. In the… » 3/17/14 6:09pm 3/17/14 6:09pm

Martin Luther King's 1956 tips for riding integrated buses, examining how design has helped an Alabama county, building instant cities in Accra and instant skyscrapers in Mumbai, and how two New York architects are tearing down the work of their former friends. It's all this week in our favorite Urban Reads. » 1/20/14 4:20pm 1/20/14 4:20pm

Five Cities Turning Ugly Overpasses Into Vibrant Parks

It seemed like a good idea at the time, right? We'd build vast, multi-lane roads slicing through the center of our cities, bulldozing our most historic architecture and displacing tens of thousands of residents at a time, all in the name of progress. 50 years later these genius improvements have severed our… » 9/06/13 3:20pm 9/06/13 3:20pm

Crazy Japan Builds Crazy Highways to Drive People Crazy

This road smashing into a building and emerging out on the other side is the most "normal" highway in this album of Japanese infrastructures collected by Dark Roasted Blend. Here are our favorites. » 12/23/08 4:50pm 12/23/08 4:50pm