High Plains Public Radio

highways

reason.org

Kansas highways are ranked third best in the nation, according to a new report released by the Reason Foundation.

The report judges states on overall highway performance and efficiency. The top-performing states in the overall rankings this year are rural states with limited traffic congestion. Kansas’s neighbor to the north, Nebraska, landed at number four on the list.

Jann Mayer / Creative Commons

Is America’s rural infrastructure crumbling?

In a new seven-part series on “Keeping Rural America Competitive,” Agri-Pulse set out to answer that question.

The question is more pressing than ever. The world’s population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. That means food production in the U.S. will need to increase dramatically. That means a strong infrastructure will be necessary to deliver crops, livestock, dairy and poultry products to markets.

Ted S. Warren / AP photo

Nationwide, more Americans are dying in car crashes recently. But that’s not the case in Kansas, reports The Kansas City Star.

From 2014 to 2015, the U.S. saw an increase in traffic fatalities of just over seven percent, the largest year-over-year increase since 1966. But the numbers in the Sunflower State declined at almost the same rate. Kansas highway fatalities fell 7.8 percent from 2014 to 2015.

usgs.gov

You probably don’t think much about all those grassy strips and medians you pass on the highway during your morning commute. But, as PRI reports, those medians are providing shelter to a whole world of critters.

smartasset.com

Oklahoma and Texas residents are among the worst drivers in the US, according to a new study. As SmartAsset.com reports, the Lone Star State has the ninth worst drivers in America. Meanwhile, Oklahoma fared even worse, ranking third.

Texas has the highest percentage of deaths coming from drunk drivers, at 40%.

The Denver Post

Colorado and Nebraska are the only states in the HPPR listening area where you can’t be pulled over specifically for not wearing your seatbelt. But in 2015, Colorado saw its deadliest year of traffic fatalities since 2008. In response, traffic safety professionals from around the nation convened in Denver last month, reports The Denver Post.

kansascyclist.com

There was a time that I found rumble strips—you know, those zig-zaggy indentions down the middle and sides of highways—to be nothing but obnoxious. They make terrible sounding vibrations when crossed, regardless of whether drivers intend to pass over them or not. They remind me of a dentist using the big drill to grind out a chunk of old filling. My feelings about those asphalt irritations changed the day those rough-carved asphalt concaves saved not only my life but my mom’s. Since then, I’ve new respect for that once disturbing noise.

Author Urges Westerners to Get out of Their Cars

Sep 22, 2015
AP photo

For over half a century travel in the American West has been defined by the automobile. But one author decided to find out what it would mean to travel in the West without a car.

Lars Plougmann

In the waning days of the Texas Legislature’s  84th Session, House and Senate leaders proposed a constitutional amendment, to be voted on by Texans in November, that would dedicate a portion of all future motor vehicle sales taxes to  the state’s highway fund, starting in 2019.

Quentin Hope

  Kansas ranks second overall in a comprehensive annual report on state highway performance.  Texas ranked 11th, up from 17th place in 2007.  Oklahoma and Colorado trailed far behind at 38th and 41st, respectively.