Here's Where Crossing The Street Is Ridiculously Complicated

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from Streetsblog USA, Bloomberg Businessweek and Vox.

A Crosswalk Too Far: The Hunt for America's Least Crossable StreetStreetsblog USA

Yes, these are hideously bad crosswalks. I'm exhausted just looking at them. An example:

Here's an unfortunate scenario in Cincinnati. A key stretch of Martin Luther King Boulevard operates much like a moat. On one side of the street visitors to the University of Cincinnati stay at the Hampton Inn. Almost directly across the street is University Commons — a park area designed to be a "contemplative space." Wouldn't it be nice if visitors had access?

But to do that, they have to walk approximately a quarter mile out of the way.

Japan May Lose Its Taste for Foreign Luxury CarsBloomberg Businessweek

Japan is in love with foreign cars, and the boom has really helped luxury brands. That's where things might fall apart.

The boomlet came before Japan raised its consumption tax from 5 percent to 8 percent in an effort to deal with the nation's debt. The government cushioned some of the blow to the auto industry by simultaneously cutting its vehicle-purchase tax to 3 percent from 5 percent. Even so, deliveries of imports were down 24 percent in April compared with a year ago, vs. a 5.5 percent drop in overall auto sales. The last time the consumption tax was raised, in April 1997, car sales dropped 15 percent from the previous year and declined for 21 months in a row.

Why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lightsVox

Yes, it makes sense because of physics. But, but...

Idaho's rule is pretty straightforward. If a cyclist approaches a stop sign, he or she needs to slow down and look for traffic. If there's already a pedestrian, car, or another bike there, then the other vehicle has the right of way. If there's no traffic, however, the cyclist can slowly proceed. Basically, for bikers, a stop sign is a yield sign.

Photo: Shutterstock