How Bikes Helped Invent American Highways

Urban Elites With a Fancy Hobby Teamed up With Rural Farmers in a Movement That Transformed the Country

Before there were cars, America’s country roads were unpaved, and they were abysmal. Back then, roads were so unreliable for travelers that most state maps didn’t even show them. This all started to change when early cyclists came together to transform some U.S. travel routes, and lay the groundwork for the interstate highways we use today.

Through the 1880s, spring and fall rains routinely turned dirt lanes into impassable mud pits that brought rural life to a standstill, stranding farmers at home with their produce and leaving grocers’ shelves …

Why I Long for El Swapmeet de la Alameda

The South L.A. Market Once Connected My Family to Mexico; Now It's a Memory of the City We Fled

I miss el Swapmeet de la Alameda, on East 45th Street where South Los Angeles meets the city of Vernon.

I miss how the smell of churros—cinnamon, brown sugar, and baked …

How to Get L.A. to Update Its Community Plans—Finally

The City Lacks Clear Guidelines on Local Land Use at a Time When It Wants to Create More 'Livable' Neighborhoods

Update the community plans now!

That is the good government proposal of choice in Los Angeles, the recommendation that candidates, elected officials, and blue-ribbon commissions make over and over. The theory …

Are Walkable Neighborhoods and Bike Lanes Only for the Creative Class?

Urban Planners Are Trying to Make Streets Safer and More Accessible. But Unfortunately Not for Everyone.

The “Complete Streets” concept in urban planning and design has been hailed as nothing less than a revolution. “North America is on the verge of a new paradigm,” writes Mobility …

Ode to L.A. Joy

Photographs That Show Quiet—and Boisterous—Moments from the Pacific Ocean to the Tough Heart of Downtown

You might know Anthony Valadez as a late-night DJ of broken beats and soulful fuzz on KCRW, but he’s also a photographer who takes his camera everywhere he goes. Before …