Scot63US/Flickr

Guess what kinds of projects the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials decided to honor this year?

Voting began today for America's Transportation Award, the annual infrastructure competition organized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). So what sort of offerings have made the cut? Pittsburgh's new, free section of a subway line? New York City's bike lanes? Dallas' new freeway-capping downtown park? The suspense is killing me...

Wrong and wrong again! All ten projects that AASHTO selected for the final round are highways. And as Angie Schmidt at Streetsblog points out, the success or failure of some of them -- Maryland's Intercounty Connector and St. Louis' I-270 project in particular -- remain up for debate.

Part of the problem is that nearly all of the selections are praised for efficiency and low cost of construction, two things which aren't usually associated with ambitious, innovative infrastructure projects. But having accepted the constraints of this selection, we found a bright spot -- Virginia is up for its use of "pavement recycling" in repairs to I-81, which sounds cool.

So we'll put our money on VA, and hope that the votes don't go to the Silver State, where the "Nevada Department of Transportation widened a northbound 3.2 mile stretch of US 395 near I-80 in Reno to fix the congestion problem that plagued 150,000 commuters each day. The $31.5 million project was completed five months ahead of schedule."

If widening an interstate highway in a city is the best transportation project in America, well, then, I'm going home.

Top image courtesy of Scot63US.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Homes in Amsterdam are pictured.
    Equity

    Amsterdam's Plan: If You Buy a Newly Built House, You Can't Rent It Out

    In an effort to make housing more affordable, the Dutch capital is crafting a law that says anyone who buys a newly built home must live in it themselves.

  2. Equity

    How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords

    American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.

  3. Transportation

    China's 50-Lane Traffic Jam Is Every Commuter's Worst Nightmare

    What happens when a checkpoint merges 50 lanes down to 20.

  4. In this image from "No Small Plans," a character makes his way to the intersection of State and Madison Streets in 1928 Chicago.
    Stuff

    Drawing Up an Urban Planning Manual for Chicago Teens

    The graphic novel No Small Plans aims to empower the city’s youth through stories about their neighborhoods.

  5. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.