A Compound From Plants Could Replace Bitumen to Make Roads Greener

Construction teams around the world rely on bitumen—an incredibly sticky by-product of crude oil production—as the main binding agent for asphalt. But a team of scientists reckon that a compound found within plants could help replace it, making road-building a greener, more sustainable practice. » 3/23/15 5:20am 3/23/15 5:20am

Humble Rest Stops Are Endangered Monuments of America's Highways

All along America's open highways are the sight of rest stops—lonesome, and often odd, miniature roadside parks that dot the landscape. Photographer Ryann Ford is on a mission to document these architectural emblems. » 12/11/14 5:33pm 12/11/14 5:33pm

Photos of Dead Ends Are a Glimpse at Brooklyn's Roads Less Traveled

Taking pictures is a great excuse to explore your surroundings, even if it's a place you've lived all your life. In the case of David Mandl, that place is Brooklyn, the nooks and crannies of which he has been documenting for his many years as a local. » 11/06/14 2:27pm 11/06/14 2:27pm

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

A Map Made By Charting Every Single Street and Road In the US

Migration is a mainstay of American culture—the perpetual dream of manifest destiny started with wagons and ended with, well, this: 240 million individual roads and streets, mapped onto a single image by the good folks at Fathom Information Design. » 10/01/14 5:01pm 10/01/14 5:01pm

Skateboarder zips down mountains and flies by cars at insane speeds

He's going down the mountain road so fast that it looks like he's about to hit warp drive or something. I mean, damn. It seems like one little pebble on the road or one little shift in the wrong direction and he'd be catapulted off the side of the road. But he manages to hang on at ridiculous speeds. » 9/26/14 11:36pm 9/26/14 11:36pm

This Guy Built a Toll Road Just To Avoid Construction Delays

When life hands you landslides, make your own private toll road detour. (Haven't you heard the saying?) Since February, a landslide has closed the A431 highway between Bristol and Bath in England, adding an extra hour to the commute. So one enterprising local guy built a road through a private field—the UK's private… » 8/05/14 6:09pm 8/05/14 6:09pm

Tiny Sensors Powered By Passing Cars Could Monitor Our Aging Roads

Between rush hour traffic and 18-wheelers, our roads take a real beating over time. Tiny sensors in the asphalt could give us a real time map of stress on aging roads, but then how do you keep embedded sensors powered for years? By harnessing the very motion of the cars whizzing by. » 6/16/14 5:40pm 6/16/14 5:40pm

This video explains why solar roadways won't work anytime soon

These people claim their solar roadways technology is the future. They have raised over $1.8 million from people who are too gullible and decide to ignore simple physics and economics in favor of nice dreams of green energy. This video shows why their invention doesn't make any sense. » 6/02/14 11:08pm 6/02/14 11:08pm

This bridge over the San Gabriel River outside of L.A. was built in 1936 but devastating floods washed out the canyon and the road to it was never completed. The popular "Bridge to Nowhere" hike is nine miles round-trip and on weekends, hikers are greeted by the screams of bungee-jumpers. [@ZachBehrens, KCET] » 5/20/14 1:20pm 5/20/14 1:20pm

Examining rap lyrics to measure quality of life in Compton. An ambitious housing plan from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. How Boston is changing thanks to one architecture firm. Why Atlanta is putting all its money on the BeltLine. Plus, Bike Month! All in this week's Urban Reads! » 5/12/14 4:00pm 5/12/14 4:00pm

The Futuristic Superhighways of 1964 Had Glow-in-the-Dark Roads

Glow-in-the-dark roads are finally a reality; at least in the Netherlands. But we've been waiting on this particular vision of the future for quite a while now — for over 50 years, in fact. » 5/11/14 2:00pm 5/11/14 2:00pm

You Can Drive Over This Parking Lot Paved With Solar Panels

If you've scampered barefoot across asphalt on a sunny day, then you know driveways are already absorbing plenty of solar energy. What if we could actually harness it? Solar Roadways has created solar panels so strong you could drive a tractor right over them—plus they light up at night and heat to melt snow. » 5/09/14 2:20pm 5/09/14 2:20pm

NYC Is Falling Apart, and That's OK

How old would you say the average piece of NYC subway is? 50 years? 60? You sweet, naive fool. No, the average subway is a nonagenarian. A new report on NYC's infrastructure is out, and it is not good. But should we be panicking? » 3/11/14 4:00pm 3/11/14 4:00pm

5 Ideas To Make Roads Safer for Cars and Pedestrians

"Vision Zero," New York mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to eliminate traffic deaths in the city, is audacious but not unprecedented. Like almost all good social policies, the Swedes did it first. And we could learn a thing or two from them. » 3/03/14 10:00am 3/03/14 10:00am

We Can Now Pave Roads With Used Cooking Oil

You might not realize it, but quitting our addiction to oil means more than just finding something besides gasoline to put in our cars. If we really want to stop using fossil fuels, we have to change the way we make roads—and cooking oil might just be the answer. » 2/24/14 12:40pm 2/24/14 12:40pm

Why the hell are these F-18 pilots taking off from public roads?

Watch these F-18 pilots training to take off and land on public roads, a skill they used to practice more often back in the Cold War days, when they had to be ready in case the Soviet Union decided to bomb their airfields during an invasion. » 2/09/14 2:39pm 2/09/14 2:39pm

4 Ways to Make Better Roads and Parking Lots From the Ground Up

As a surface for wheels, pavement does its job well enough. Asphalt concrete is flat, smooth, and solid (usually). But there is a price we pay for the convenience of paved roads and parking lots everywhere—a price paid in heat, noise, and polluted runoff. We went in search of better pavement and found these potential… » 1/22/14 2:40pm 1/22/14 2:40pm

A Massive Road-Building Initiative Is Transforming Africa's Landscape

Africa is home to some of the poorest road networks in the world, which act as a major barrier for trade, education and healthcare. Not for long, though—as it's embarking on a frenetic road-building exercise that could revolutionize the entire continent. » 1/10/14 10:20am 1/10/14 10:20am

They Had To Demolish This Town After The Roads Were Paved With Cancer

On this day in 1982, the government informed the residents of Times Beach, Missouri that they would have to evacuate. The town had paved its own roads with dioxin, among the most toxic cancer-causing substances made by man. » 12/23/13 3:22pm 12/23/13 3:22pm