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

A Cheaper Highway Guardrail May Be Malfunctioning and Deadly

It's the difference of just one inch. In 2005, the guardrail manufacturer Trinity Industries shaved that much off its guardrail design, saving the company $2 per guardrail head. It also neglected to report this design change to the Federal Highway Administration. Tens of thousands of these potentially deadly guardrail… » 10/28/14 5:12pm 10/28/14 5:12pm

An Arizona highway has used the metric system since the 80s

Who doesn't like a math pop quiz when driving down to the Mexican border? If you turn onto Interstate 19, which runs 63 miles (101 kilometers) from Tucson, Arizona, down to Mexico, the road signs suddenly change to metric units. Interstate 19 is a relic from a more optimistic era, when we believed all of the U.S.… » 10/07/14 5:38pm 10/07/14 5:38pm

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

These Photos of Rest Areas Will Make You Want to Take a Road Trip

The rest areas were always my favorite parts of road trips. There was room to walk around and, somewhere, a vending area. I always got lost in the weird maps and wondered who used those curious barbecues. And so when I saw Nicolò Sertorios blissfully barren photo series, I wanted to hop in the car. » 7/20/14 4:01pm 7/20/14 4:01pm

How Google's Self-Driving Car Is Tackling the Chaos of City Streets

We've all heard about how well Google's self-driving car does on the highway. But is that so impressive? Heck, put on cruise control and an audiobook, and any car seems like it can drive itself on an Interstate. The latest update from Mountain View, however, suggests that this miracle vehicle is entering a new phase… » 4/28/14 10:48am 4/28/14 10:48am

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

Some of L.A.'s Most Beautiful Landscapes Are Its Freeways

The vast and looping knots of L.A.'s elaborate freeway system have long inspired an unlikely stew made from equal parts road rage, suffocating air pollution, and an unexpected aesthetic appreciation for their stacked coils and crisp lines. A drivable geometry textbook, the freeways are perhaps the city's real… » 4/02/14 9:40am 4/02/14 9:40am

Will New York's New Highway "Texting Stops" Curb Distracted Driving?

In an attempt to curb the number of dangerous drivers on New York highways who are distracted by their smartphones, the state is introducing dedicated Texting Zones where motorists can pull off, park, and safely use their mobile devices. But the initiative doesn't require any new construction since existing rest stops… » 9/24/13 12:00pm 9/24/13 12:00pm

All Roads Should Glow in the Dark (Obviously)

The Dutch design firms Studio Roosegaarde and Hejmans Infrastructure just came up with a brilliant prototype for a "Smart Highway" that uses interactive lighting that adapts to driving conditions to make the roads safer. Enough with crap infotainment systems inside cars that distract us from driving with Twitter and… » 10/25/12 4:00pm 10/25/12 4:00pm