‘No Vacancy’ Signs Are Vanishing From America’s Highways

Why this icon of road travel is flickering out.
Photographer: Andipantz/Getty Images; Animation: Sheryl Sulistiawan

You’ve been driving for a good chunk of the day, you’re pulling into an unfamiliar town, and you need a place to stay for the night. Happily, there’s a comforting sight just ahead—a motel with an illuminated “Vacancy” sign, the “No” thankfully darkened.

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