Linklist: January 9, 2012

Betty McCollum @ StarTribune: St. Croix River Crossing is an albatross : “There are as many as 1,170 structurally deficient bridges across Minnesota. You may be one of the estimated 2.4 million Minnesota drivers traveling over these deficient bridges each day. Or maybe it’s your child’s school bus?”

Price Roads A new blog about one of our favorite subjects.

Technically Incorrect @ CNET NewsThe joy of Microsoft’s ‘avoid ghetto’ GPS patent:

“Pedestrians have sometimes felt neglected when it comes to GPS directions.
Indeed, not so long ago, one lady sued Google because the directions its map offered led her (she believed) to be struck by a car.
Now Microsoft has been granted a patent that is designed to make its maps more pedestrian-friendly.
Somehow, this patent has immediately been dubbed the “avoid ghetto” feature.
The gist of it seems to be that Microsoft’s GPS–which will reportedly be inserted into Windows Phones in the future–will use input from more varied and up-to-date sources in order to create suggested routes.”

Marianne Lavelle @ National Geographic (via JM) Better Road Building Paves Way for Energy Savings:

“When considering how cars and trucks generate such a large part of the world’s greenhouse gas pollution, it’s easy to overlook what lies beneath them. But under all that traffic, there are roads. And the paving material itself-the asphalt, concrete, and rock-and how it is placed, have an important impact on the atmosphere.”

Charles Q. Choi @ National Geographic Why Tornadoes Take the Weekends Off in Summer (via AM):

“Tornadoes and hailstorms may take the weekends off during the muggy summer months, according to a new study that reveals new ways human activity can inadvertently sway weather.”

[Hint, it’s a new externality of driving]