Linklist: October 26, 2011

Nick Sudheimer @ MnDaily: City to revamp traffic lights system [Best general article on signals I have seen, correctly uses the word “actuated” in a sentence]

Josh Wolanin @ Downtown Journal
Minneapolis earns ‘walk friendly’ gold status
: “Minneapolis is one of 10 cities recognized as a Walk Friendly Community and one of only three to earn a gold-level award for plans and policies aimed at keeping pedestrians safe and comfortable.” [It could be friendlier, the judges should get out of downtown.]

Steven Levy @ Wired: Brave New Thermostat: How the iPod’s Creator Is Making Home Heating Sexy Major media campaign on a new thermostat, inspired by the Prius: “So Matsuoka changed the algorithms, shifting the Nest’s personality to more of a gentle coach than a noodge with a climate-change slide show. Her model was the dashboard on the Toyota Prius hybrid car. Just as the Prius provides feedback on fuel consumption, the Nest gives owners a sense of how they’re using energy — and an incentive to save, as opposed to a guilt trip when they don’t. Now, when you set the energy to a temperature-saving level, the Nest awards you with a virtual leaf — a little icon that Nest hopes you will cherish. It’s like a DIY carbon offset.”

David Agren @ USA Today: Bicycles roll into fashion in Mexico City : “The local environment secretariat estimates there are 100,000 cycling trips made daily in Mexico City, which is home to nearly 9 million residents. An additional 11 million people live in suburbs around the city.” [So if they are like Americans, those 9 million are making at least 27 million trips, so this is about a 0.3% mode share for Bikes in Mexico City. I am not sure that is sufficient to constitute a trend.]