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Streets and Highways

The number of deaths on the state’s roads last year was the highest in more than 30 years. There is bipartisan support for legislation to increase Washington’s road safety and lower the blood alcohol limit.
In the 1920s, a Studebaker dealer led the successful national effort to give motorists priority and marginalize walking, blaming pedestrians for their own injuries and deaths. We need a radical revision in our conception of city streets.
While Washington state saw a 16 percent increase in road deaths between 2020 and 2021, Pierce County saw a 34 percent year-to-year jump, alerting officials of the dire need for road safety reform.
California’s shift away from gas-powered vehicles could mean as many as 80 percent of gas stations would be unprofitable by 2035. The state has some 250,000 station owners and employees.
A study by Carnegie Mellon University found that if at least 20 percent of cars are autonomous vehicles, traffic systems may start to see the operational improvements these vehicles are expected to bring.
The decision of the world’s fifth-largest city to shift road space from cars to other uses has produced increasingly vibrant urban neighborhoods.
New rules that require measuring greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as well as concerns about air pollution have led to the cancellation of what critics are calling highway “boondoggles.”
New York City has data showing substantial reductions in serious injuries and fatalities resulting from road diets, pedestrian islands and sidewalk extensions. Advocates say it's a rare kind of accountability for roadway designers.
The toll road is looking to solar energy production to eventually electrify part of the road so electric vehicles can charge as they travel. The roadway would charge drivers for the electricity costs as they drove.
Efforts to improve the city’s streets for bikers and pedestrians are being held up by the Texas Department of Transportation, which has reasserted its ownership of state roads and is focused on prioritizing traffic flow for drivers.
Rules that mandate excess parking in new development projects have added to the overlapping crises of housing affordability, urban sprawl and climate change, advocates say. California could soon bar cities from imposing them.
Since COVID, deaths and injuries of cyclists and pedestrians are at their highest in four decades. Meanwhile, motorists complain downtown driving has worsened with fewer car lanes available.
The tech company has partnered with the trucking company Daimler to increase its fleet of autonomous semitractor-trailers to 60 vehicles running on I-45 between Dallas and Houston.
If approved, residents would vote on their fourth bond program in less than two decades. The $1 billion program would help pay for better streets and city infrastructure, including $150 million for housing.
Removing highways is a tricky business, a costly and time-consuming physical feat, but advocates say even a small commitment to addressing the harms of legacy highway infrastructure is a positive sign.
Without both, a new book argues, a community can’t achieve its highest purpose. Some cities and suburbs have managed to combine them. Most are finding it difficult.