Flying SUX! The Weirdest Stories Behind Our Airport Codes

You see them everywhere: On highway signs, plane tickets, and even humblebraggy Twitter updates. Some are obvious and some make no sense. But what do these three-letter airport codes really mean? » 3/19/15 2:33pm 3/19/15 2:33pm

Why Penn Station Sucks

New Yorkers are known to disagree about a lot of things. Who's got the best pizza? What's the fastest subway route? Yankees or Mets? But all 8.5 million New Yorkers are likely to agree on one thing: Penn Station sucks. » 1/15/15 4:00pm 1/15/15 4:00pm

The Alaskan Town Living Under One Roof

An impossibly long, single-lane tunnel is your only way into Whittier, and your only way out. Make it to the other end of those dimly lit miles, and you'll find all the ingredients of a city. Except instead of a sprawling, urban center, this town has been scaled to fit almost entirely into one lonely Alaskan tower. » 1/15/15 10:00am 1/15/15 10:00am

A New Glimpse Into the Gigantic Construction Project Hidden Below NYC

What do you want to be when you grow up? A baseball player? A doctor? A blogger (LOL)? How about a badass who carves caves through the Earth to improve the lives of millions in America's greatest city? That sounds pretty heroic. And right now, hundreds of hard hat-wearing workers are tackling that grand task » 12/18/14 2:53pm 12/18/14 2:53pm

The Port Authority Bus Terminal: Myth, Mystery, Mess

For many coming to New York City, the available entry is the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT). However, if a traveler seeks the charm of a grand entrance, they will be greatly disappointed. The PABT is considered, colloquially, to be a hall of unfathomable nightmares. As one Yelp! reviewer put it: » 12/04/14 1:28pm 12/04/14 1:28pm

Are These the Self-Driving Cars of the Future?

Speed Limits, Skybridges, Paint: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

New York City takes a big step to save lives on the streets, but not everyone wants to slow down. And Twitter's proposing a way to keep its employees separated from the regular people of San Francisco, at least while they're at work. It's What's Ruining Our Cities! » 11/09/14 12:00pm 11/09/14 12:00pm

Zurich Installed 4,500 Street Sensors to Count Every Car in the City

Congestion pricing—the implementation of high tolls to keep cars out of congested downtown areas—is one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and emissions. Zurich's plan goes above and beyond that, using a network of sensors to track the number of cars that enter its downtown and prevent more cars from… » 10/16/14 3:41pm 10/16/14 3:41pm

Toyota's New Transit Idea Is Like a Bikeshare for Tiny Electric Cars

Small, weird-looking smartcars are nothing new; there are plenty of them on the road, especially in cities where space is at a premium. But Toyota has launched something that makes great use of its zippy 3-wheeled i-Road vehicles: a new car-sharing service that integrates with a city's existing transit system. » 9/12/14 4:32pm 9/12/14 4:32pm

Will Autonomous Cars Kill the Traffic Light?

The first electric traffic light blazed to life a century ago this month, transforming the way our cities managed vehicular flow. But this icon of the automobile age could become a rarity on our American roads, thanks to the advent of autonomous cars. » 8/20/14 12:26pm 8/20/14 12:26pm

Americans Have Taken 23 Million Bike Share Rides and No One Has Died

With 36 cities across the country now hosting their own systems, bike share is almost becoming an American institution. According to a new report, it's estimated that Americans have taken 23 million rides since 2007 (wow!), but here's the most amazing part: Not a single death has been attributed to a bike share system… » 8/12/14 11:48am 8/12/14 11:48am

A Small Danish Suburb Is a Lab for the World's Smartest Streetlights

If you happen to drive through Albertslund, Denmark starting next month, you could become part of a massive experiment on the future of street lighting. The Copenhagen suburb is getting hundreds of smart lamps connected to all sorts of sensors. It makes sense this would happen in Albertlunds—a suburb already known for… » 8/11/14 4:29pm 8/11/14 4:29pm

Why Google Is So Interested In Kenya's Transit System

The thousands of graphics-covered minibuses called matatus that zip through Nairobi make up one of the largest (and liveliest) informal transportation systems in the world. This unregulated—some might say renegade—transit keeps the city moving rather efficiently, and, until recently, was an all-cash business. Until… » 7/17/14 4:07pm 7/17/14 4:07pm

Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things

Scott Simon's bio on the NPR website describes him as "one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters," and it's tough to argue with that. As a Peabody-winning journalist with decades of experience, Simon's credentials are unimpeachable, and as the Saturday host of Weekend Edition, he regularly shows… » 7/07/14 4:40pm 7/07/14 4:40pm

Why Countdown Clocks for Pedestrians Actually Cause More Car Crashes

As a frequent traveler by foot, I love countdowns at crosswalks. They tell me whether I should wait out 2 seconds or leisurely walk across in 15. And indeed, these countdowns do make pedestrians safer. But it turns out that countdowns actually cause more crashes between cars. Here's why. » 7/01/14 4:21pm 7/01/14 4:21pm

Why Don't More Cities Have E-Bike Shares?

This week, Madrid became the first European city to launch a fully electric bike share system for its residents. It works just like a regular bike share, but better: An electric motor kicks in to help with pedaling, and most importantly, give you an extra push up hills. Why isn't this standard for bike shares… » 6/24/14 4:40pm 6/24/14 4:40pm

This London bus stop is made entirely from 100,000 Lego bricks

An entire Lego bus stop built to Transport for London specifications has been constructed in London's Regent Street—right in front of a toy store, of course. The route signs, the windows, even the seats are made of Lego bricks! » 6/20/14 2:28pm 6/20/14 2:28pm

5 Visions for the Future of New York City Streets

Last month, as part of our Home of the Future, we asked 10 urban thinkers to answer this question: "What should be the future of the New York City street?" From gadget-free sidewalks to self-driving cars, here are five visions for the streets of tomorrow. » 6/04/14 12:30pm 6/04/14 12:30pm

How Bad Street Design Kills Pedestrians

In the United States between 2003 and 2012, one pedestrian was hit by a car every eight minutes. 676,000 of those pedestrians lived. 47,025 of those pedestrians died. That's 16 times the number of people who were killed by natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes during the same period. » 6/03/14 1:39pm 6/03/14 1:39pm

What Will Happen When All Paris Traffic Slows To 19 Miles Per Hour?

Sixty percent vehicles in Paris run on diesel, and the city is struggling to curb emissions—banning half its cars for a day, making public transport and bike shares free for a weekend, and pedestrianizing large swathes of the urban grid. Now, a new proposal by Mayor Anne Hidalgo will cap the speed limit at 30… » 5/27/14 5:20pm 5/27/14 5:20pm