What to do with wasted asphalt
We have so much excess asphalt in America, and we mostly don't even see it. Like an ugly building or a cluttered room—over time, our minds tune it out and take it for granted. But the excess asphalt, like the street on the left, is less safe and pleasant for pedestrians and has an impact on health, quality of life, and property value.
The public owns the right of way, and there are many ways that it can be better utilized. The image on the right—a rendering of the same street—has the same number of travel lanes and capacity, but also has dual protected bike lanes and street trees, which reduce stormwater runoff and heat in the summer. Pedestrians would enjoy walking more and have an easier time crossing the street. More people would walk and cycle, which would reduce vehicle traffic and pollution. When it comes to asphalt, what we take for granted has consequences.
Credit to Victor Dover for these images.