Skip to comments.White House slams carpooling, new road fees better (children, minorities hardest hit...)
Posted on 02/12/2007 1:03:09 PM PST by presidio9
Carpooling won't do much to reduce U.S. highway congestion in urban areas, and a better solution would be to build new highways and charge drivers fees to use them, the White House said on Monday.
"It is increasingly appropriate to charge drivers for some roadway use in the same way the private market charges for other goods and services," the White House said in its annual report on the U.S. economy.
While some urban areas have designated roads for vehicles with two or more passengers, those high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are often underused because carpooling is becoming less popular, the administration said.
Based on the latest data supplied by the White House, only about 13 percent of motorists carpooled to work in 2000. That compared with 20 percent of daily American commuters in 1980.
"This trend makes it unlikely that initiatives focused on carpooling will make large strides in reducing vehicle use," the White House said.
Building more highways won't reduce congestion either, unless drivers are charged a fee, according to the administration.
"If a roadway is priced -- that is, if drivers have to pay a fee to access a particular road -- then congestion can be avoided by adjusting the price up or down at different times of day to reflect changes in demand for its use," the White House said. "Road space is allocated to drivers who most highly value a reliable and unimpaired commute."
Critics of such fees argue that road tolls would make new highways reserved mostly for wealthy drivers, who are more likely to travel in expensive, gas-guzzling vehicles.
But the White House said urban road expansions should be focused on highways where drivers demonstrate a willingness to pay a fee that is higher than the actual cost of construction, allowing communities to avoid raising taxes on everyone to build the roads.
The administration argued that congestion pricing is already used by many providers of goods and services: movie theaters charge more for tickets in the evening than they do at midday, just as ski resorts raise lift prices on weekends. Similarly, airlines boost prices on tickets during peak travel seasons and taxi cabs raise fares during the rush hour.
Great argument against the Bill of Rights, too.
When people are too free, they don't appreciate it. Turn all their rights into privileges and sell them, and marvel at the improvement! So many dollars for habeas corpus, so many dollars to be registered to vote. Fist-class citizenship $40,000/year; second-class, $5000, and so on. Right down to the economy plan, where somebody owns you and works your back over with a whip every day.
But they can fine you for violating that lane. And on some highways, it is an EPA mandated thing so you get hit with some pretty high fines.
Another wonderful revenue stream.
More money is made by ticketing those who illegally park at parking meters than on the change that is pumped into the meters.
Since outlawing guns didn't end driveby shootings, we'll outlaw cars. It is easier to spot someone with a car than with a concealed weapon.
When cars are outlawed, only outlaws will have cars.
Here in the foothills and Sacramento, the local bus is almost close enough for me to walk but having chronic pain makes the more than 1/4 mile walk extremely painful. So I drive. If the stop was two blocks closer I'd take the bus. It's certainly cheaper. It only costs around $125.00 a month. Parking and gas are easily double that.
One more thing, in order to get into the HOV lane you need a total of two occupants. They should change the law so both occupants must have a driver's license, otherwise, having an infant in the passenger seat doesn't get a car off of the road.
"I know TX was talking about it and I don't know why they switched to the TTC talks"
Developers. Rapid rail (not necessarily "light") systems are the best solution for our urban-suburban traffic congestion problems, BUT they alter the economic value of the land. Property near the rail stations is valuable but areas distant from them drop in value (relatively).
You got it. They'll want someone flogging those drones right smart through those milking turnstiles downtown every day, making that squeezejuice flow out of them like honeydew from an army of aphids, yum yum yum.
look at every urban area in the US that has built roads over the last 20 years. See any improvement in traffic flow? Is it taking you less time to go from Atlanta to Orlando this year versus in 2000? Doesn't matter how much is spent on highway development or where the money comes from, the rate of increase in the number of cars exceeds the rate at which we can expand the highways.
There, I got it out of my system......
I've been following the I-35 plan for several years and read about it when I pass into Austin every year.
Is that proposal now shelved permanently?
You're right. But that doesn't mean they are immune to the same economic forces at work in a private market.
Simply put, this means that an asset whose use is free -- or is perceived to be "free" by the users -- will always tend to be used to excess. That, in a nutshell, is what highway congestion is all about.
They always use a somewhat different reason to say you can't telecommute but what you said is the real reason!
That's a "slam"?
More people on the toll roads means fewer people on the public ones. Sounds like a win-win to me.
This is coming to some areas too.
I don't know what makes me angrier...being treated like I'm stupid, or them acting like they are. The difference, of course, is that the airlines are charging for the use of property they own, and can therefore charge whatever they want. I don't have to think it's a good idea. On the other hand...if the government wants to charge me for the use of something I already paid for, then they have to do a better job of selling it than they have.
If you own the rapid rail system, that's true.
In fact, the U.S. Constitution specifically gives the Federal government the authority to "regulate interstate commerce," and to build and maintain "post roads," ports and harbors -- and that's about all. Anything above and beyond that -- including the construction of a "free" system of highways -- was never part of the deal.
And whether you can even leave town.
The less need you have for a car for work or play, the less need you have for a car.
Bicyclists in Amsterdam have right-of-way over pedestrians.
And cities can be 20 miles apart or less with high speed trains connecting them.
I've never ridden in a tow truck... precisely because I wouldn't want to climb into one with the seedy looking character behind the wheel.
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