Random Roads

Via Amateur Ramblings From Weburbanist, some more cool photos: 7 Urban Wonders of the World: Amazing and Record-Setting City Roads and Streets

Book Position

From the Blog Marginal Revolution: How many books should be facing out?
An interesting question, how should a bookstore optimally display information and provide a large inventory in a finite space, there is a trade-off between usability (and thus sales and profit ) and inventory (and thus sales and profit).
(Hence the invention and success of Amazon.)

Transportation as recreation

Noted, but not endorsed (experience suggests they have a tendency to misquote those they talk to), for your reading entertainment: “User-skill-based Mass Transit!”.
The risk of linking to cranks is it gives them publicity, but this one is truly outside the box.
At least they oppose the California High Speed Rail Initiative (unless they get 30% of the funds).

DeSoto Bridge in St. Cloud closed

MnDOT has closed the DeSoto Bridge in St. Cloud:
From MPR: Officials weigh next steps for the DeSoto Bridge
From Pioneer Press: St. Cloud Minnesota 23 Over The Mississippi River / New DeSoto Bridge given a top priority
From Strib Replace St. Cloud bridge? Or repair it?, complete with the quote from the local State Senator:
“State Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, hopes that a replacement bridge can proceed with some of the speed that’s been the hallmark of the 35W bridge reconstruction. State funding is available, federal help might be possible and a design-build process could be used to speed things up, she said.
The Hwy. 23 bridge is a major link not only for St. Cloud but also for the state, she said. Much of the bridge’s traffic comes from outside the local area, she said, and if it takes several years to get a new crossing, “I don’t know how the community is going to make it.””
(Perhaps St. Cloud will cease to exist?)
and from the local paper, a more interesting discussion: The St. Cloud Times:
Plans in Work
Note the discussion of earmarks for a related bridge. And the problems when trying to use that earmark money (two of three bridges would be closed at once). Why the federal government would even consider allocating funds to a state highway remains puzzling (from a normative, not a positive, point of view).