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. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A map of California
    Equity

    Mapping Racial Disparities in the Golden State

    Racial gaps in California get a county-by-county look in a new online tool.

  3. A Vancouver house designed in a modern style
    POV

    How Cities Get 'Granny Flats' Wrong

    A Vancouver designer says North American cities need bolder policies to realize the potential of accessory dwellings.

  4. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.

  5. Maps

    Mapping the Blurred Lines of Beirut’s Languages

    The polyglot city boasts a crazy combination of tongues. Researchers are trying to untangle them.