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White House slams carpooling, new road fees better (children, minorities hardest hit...)
Reuters ^ | February 12, 2007 | Tom Doggett

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.

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"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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beammeupscotty; foryourowngood; fromthegovernment; heretohelp; nonewtaxes; smartgrowth; taxdollarsatwork; tollroads; transportation; youpayforthis
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To: tearlenb
Hey, I HOV to work and back each day....I love it.

That's just the introductory "sucker" offer. Wait a while.

51 posted on 02/12/2007 1:46:28 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: RacerF150
Deep tax incentives for businesses that “telecommute” workers. That’s the ticket.

The government won't go for that.

If you aren't driving, they don't get gas tax, toll road tax, or revenue traffic ticket tax.

The beast needs you in your car paying taxes.

52 posted on 02/12/2007 1:46:55 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: weegee
Or as in the case of Austin Texas, existing highways can be stolen from the public and converted into toll roads.

That is a lie, no existing roads were converted to tolls. It was only new construction (such as adding mainlanes in between existing frontage roads or completely new roads) that were tolled.

53 posted on 02/12/2007 1:47:50 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (Rudy Giuliani-Joe Dyton in '08; and free the Texas Three.)
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To: presidio9

I've never been in a cab alone.


54 posted on 02/12/2007 1:48:24 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: lentulusgracchus

Wow. Down here is So Cal they are building high density apartment complexes like you wouldn't believe. They are literally all over the place. I drive past them every day. I have wondered what was driving that. Its all part of the plan to "get us out of our cars" lie, and to make money off of us. That old song, " I owe my soul to the company store," will have new meaning, won't it?

As to HOV, I use it every day, but not for work. I stay at home, my hubby's job is 10 minutes away form our house. What am I doing? I drive my daughter to ballet every day, five days a week. If this goes though, it will be a tax on my daughter's passion to someday have a chance to be a ballet dancer. And it keeps her fit. Gads. But at least I tell her that everyone on that road with us has paid for the HOV lane we drive in. They have as much right to that lane as we do.


55 posted on 02/12/2007 1:48:24 PM PST by TruthConquers (Delenda est publius schola)
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To: Ben Mugged

Get drivers out of their cars."

WRONG!!!

GET ILLEGAL INTRUDERS OUT OF THE USA!!!!!


56 posted on 02/12/2007 1:48:33 PM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: lentulusgracchus
History tells us that there is simply no way to build roads fast enough to keep up with the growth of traffic.

Roads are a unique element of public infrastructure in that they induce additional demand above and beyond what they were originally designed to accommodate. Instituting a "user fee" on a road is no different than having a public utility charge variable rates for electricity based on when demand is highest and lowest.

57 posted on 02/12/2007 1:49:34 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: lentulusgracchus

bump


58 posted on 02/12/2007 1:49:40 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: lentulusgracchus
Exactly, I seem to remember some city, I think it was Chicago, considering converting its HOV lanes to general traffic. There was a study by UCal-Berkely (of all places) showing that HOW lanes actually increase congestion. For years now the left has wanted to discourage the private ownership and use of automobiles by individuals, largely in an effort to promote a more "European" urban lifestyle. After all, with public mass transit, the government has effective control over when and where you can travel, work, and live.
59 posted on 02/12/2007 1:49:59 PM PST by The Pack Knight
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To: Ben Mugged

Trains and bikes work in Europe, and riding to and from the trains on bikes means no fat people [for the most part.]


60 posted on 02/12/2007 1:50:46 PM PST by Froufrou
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To: freeangel

Hybrid, vegetable oil, and electric cars pay lesser or no road taxes. The future will have to find new revenue streams to pay for new road construction.


61 posted on 02/12/2007 1:51:45 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: lentulusgracchus
It's assuming that population keeps growing exponentially.

No, it doesnt. It uses Empirical (Statistical) Modeling to estimate the population over the 10-year period.

62 posted on 02/12/2007 1:53:20 PM PST by Ben Mugged (Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.)
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To: SoCalPol

I'd like to see those working for public transportation using more public transportation.

I see them getting around in cars like everybody else. If it works so well, they should be using it.


63 posted on 02/12/2007 1:53:49 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: lentulusgracchus
The idea isn't just to build toll roads. It's to make all the principal thoroughfares toll roads -- and then sell them to high-roller investors. Money-runners are desperate for income opportunities. The Bush Administration has been trying to help them out by e.g. passing that law in 2003 that allows the States to convert the Interstates (which we've already paid for) to toll roads -- and then sell them. That's what it's about. It isn't about taxes for the government, it's about trillions of dollars in rents paid to people who don't need the money, from people who can't afford it, for stuff we already own. It's a Big Fix and a ripoff, catered by Castle Bush. Other than that, you can tell I don't have an opinion about this "pigs at the trough stuff". Which, by the way, is one of the reasons the Reagan Democrats are walking away from the GOP. The Party will be ruined after next year, but that'll be okay -- the GOP will have done its job and will have delivered the goods for its real constituents, the Pigs at the Trough. (Note: "Access capitalism" isn't capitalism. It's just access.)

Complete and total bullshit pulled from your paranoid ass, but that seems to be all that is posted around here these days. Who needs facts and truth when we can all just rant about conspiracy dreams and plug-n-play boogieman. Yeah, its all a communist plot by that evil George W. Bush, the Buildaburgers, Masons, and Mexicans. Yep, every politician is corrupt and wants to record your every thought and keystroke. And of course the tollways are being built so that the Chinese Mexicans can round up your guns and then drive all conservatives to the concentration camps Rudy Giuliani is going to set up at the behest of his secret boss Hillary.

This place has been overrun by the kooks. Congrats, you won.

64 posted on 02/12/2007 1:54:15 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (Rudy Giuliani-Joe Dyton in '08; and free the Texas Three.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat

Hahahahahahahaha. That's rich. Have you found many people who buy your wordsmithing?


65 posted on 02/12/2007 1:54:37 PM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: Diddle E. Squat
It's important to remember that 2006 was a historic year in the modern U.S. It marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Interstate Highway System (IHS), and there are two simple truths at work here:

1. The system is pretty much built to completion, and won't be expanded very much over the next 50 years.

2. Every segment of the IHS will be reaching the end of its useful life over the next 50 years (if it hasn't done so already), and the cost of rehabilitating/upgrading it -- while at the same time doing normal, routine maintenance, year after year -- will be enormous.

66 posted on 02/12/2007 1:54:41 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife


Here in NYC, litterally hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of women do just that every day.


67 posted on 02/12/2007 1:54:59 PM PST by presidio9 (There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey)
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To: lentulusgracchus; Ben Mugged
"Great idea. You walk. I'll wave as I drive by."

That makes two of us!

Love my F-150 Lightning and my old Bronco SUV!!

Ya can't beat a vehicle with big booming V8 engine!!

68 posted on 02/12/2007 1:56:03 PM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
"The only solution is more freeways."

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

"Automobile traffic will expand to fill all space provided to it." - Buckminster Fuller

Another earlier poster was right: we have to get people out of their cars. Rapid rail works, and very well.
69 posted on 02/12/2007 1:56:29 PM PST by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( ISLAMA DELENDA EST!)
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To: Ben Mugged
Car pooling and new roads are not the solution......the only one that will work. Get drivers out of their cars.

What the heck has happened to the President? You and he are both goofy. Refresh your memory, all the Federal and state tax paid on fuel is our "fee" for driving upon the public way. The fee is simmply being misspent.

70 posted on 02/12/2007 1:57:35 PM PST by Lion Den Dan
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To: presidio9
"It is increasingly appropriate to charge drivers for some roadway use in the same way the private market charges for other goods and services,"

That's just it. The roadways are NOT a private market. They are taxpayer-funded public rights of way. If the government wants to do it this way, they should sell the roads to private companies and let them charge whatever tolls they want. I'm for free market solutions to our problems, but half@$$ed pseudo-free market solutions are problematic at best, because free markets don't work so well absent the profit motive. That said, using gas taxes to fund highways isn't exactly "fair" either. My Cherokee doesn't "use" the road any more than a Prius does, but I pay twice the gas tax per mile. The truth is that while our road system is in many ways the finest in the world, it's still a government program, and is just as much a mess as any other.
71 posted on 02/12/2007 1:58:54 PM PST by The Pack Knight
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To: savedbygrace
A Republican administration proposing new taxes. Imagine that.

Uhg. More "all taxes is stupit" bullcrap.

Republicans need to take some time thinking about what makes a tax fair and what makes a tax unfair instead of just assuming all taxes are bad.

72 posted on 02/12/2007 1:59:04 PM PST by mc6809e
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To: freeangel

Well, that would be correct if the taxes weren't schlepped into the general fund and used for everything else. The states do the same thing. IF they actually used that tremendous source of taxes for roads, etc. our highways would be in great shape.

NO MORE FEES OR TAXES!


73 posted on 02/12/2007 1:59:18 PM PST by sheana
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To: lentulusgracchus
What do you do when they jack up the HOV requirement to 4+, then 6+, then 21+ (buses only!)? You're screwed. You've let your public servants take away

Your right to travel
Your right to go out of your house (since they "own" all the streets)
Your right to get a living
Your right to go shopping, or anywhere else.



A man's home is his castle (for now). The rest of the world is hostile to that notion.

You can now work and shop from home. But the downtown boys still want their money from the property taxes on your castle to pay for their billion dollars in sports stadiums.

74 posted on 02/12/2007 1:59:22 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
It is a way to get more roads without increasing taxes.

Like I said above -- it isn't about "taxes". It's about "income" for private interests who are going through the Lobby and the RNC to get their hands on public assets and charge rent for their use.

Google on "NASCO", "Indiana Turnpike", "Austin +toll roads +Rick Perry +Zachry". You will receive an education, after you've read what's out there for a couple of hours.

75 posted on 02/12/2007 1:59:31 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: RobbyS

The German gas tax is more like 4 times ours, and most of it goes toward the subsidization of the rail system, keeping the cost of tickets rather low, thereby encouraging use.


76 posted on 02/12/2007 1:59:57 PM PST by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( ISLAMA DELENDA EST!)
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To: statered
AMEN.

SEPTIC is the worst, and I swear, they strike at the drop of a hat. Plus, the fare increases and cuts in schedule are making it harder to stick with public transport.

77 posted on 02/12/2007 2:00:13 PM PST by Malacoda (A day without a pi$$ed-off muslim is like a day without sunshine.)
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To: presidio9

And the taxes you pay when you renew your license tags.


78 posted on 02/12/2007 2:00:36 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: statered
well I lived in Philadelphia and let me tell ya - public transport stinks, big time.

You don't like SEPTA?

79 posted on 02/12/2007 2:02:52 PM PST by Go Gordon (I don't know what your problem is, but I bet its hard to pronounce)
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To: MEGoody
I wouldn't have a problem with paying a fee to use roads IF they cut all the taxes they currently levy for building and maintaining roads.

One upside to such an approach is that the federal government would be halted from forcing through legislation by holding highway funds hostage.

Matters that are supposed to go to the state (including BA 0.08, drinking age at 21, but not limited to alcohol) would return to the state legislatures.

80 posted on 02/12/2007 2:03:01 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: Alberta's Child
The natural result of an all-you-can-eat dining environment is an obese customer base.

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.

</sarc>

81 posted on 02/12/2007 2:04:06 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: Cymbaline
Absolutely true. I lived both in L.A. and the SF Bay Area, and the diamond lanes were a joke. The main lines of the freeway are at a complete standstill, and the diamond lane has like 5 people in it, all going 90mph. They do NOTHING for traffic conjestion. Their only purpose is to give liberals a way to directly punish you for not being politically correct.

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.

82 posted on 02/12/2007 2:04:53 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
That's not what the map showed. I still have the map.
83 posted on 02/12/2007 2:05:25 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: Gator113
This should clear up traffic problems, eliminate drive-by shootings and get the USA back on the right track.

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.

84 posted on 02/12/2007 2:06:32 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: SoCalPol
That's good for your situation. How far do you have to walk? How much is a month pass?

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.

85 posted on 02/12/2007 2:09:04 PM PST by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Froufrou

"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).


86 posted on 02/12/2007 2:09:41 PM PST by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( ISLAMA DELENDA EST!)
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To: weegee
But the downtown boys still want their money from the property taxes on your castle to pay for their billion dollars in sports stadiums.

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.

87 posted on 02/12/2007 2:09:53 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: Lion Den Dan
OK I'll try one last time. Build all the roads you want. Spend the entire US economy building roads. The number of cars will expand to fill all available highways until the entire North American Continent is a vast interlaced parking lot and every square mile not dedicated to highways is growing corn for fuel. Not one car on the highway will exceed 50 MPH because there is no room.

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......

88 posted on 02/12/2007 2:09:59 PM PST by Ben Mugged (Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat

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?


89 posted on 02/12/2007 2:10:26 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: The Pack Knight
The roadways are NOT a private market.

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.

90 posted on 02/12/2007 2:10:28 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: MEGoody
The technology is certainly there. I could easily telecommute, but my boss doesn't like not having us at his beck and call every minute.

They always use a somewhat different reason to say you can't telecommute but what you said is the real reason!

91 posted on 02/12/2007 2:12:22 PM PST by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: 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.

That's a "slam"?

More people on the toll roads means fewer people on the public ones. Sounds like a win-win to me.

92 posted on 02/12/2007 2:12:46 PM PST by skr (I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Alberta's Child
Instituting a "user fee" on a road is no different than having a public utility charge variable rates for electricity based on when demand is highest and lowest.

This is coming to some areas too.

93 posted on 02/12/2007 2:12:49 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: presidio9
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...

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.

94 posted on 02/12/2007 2:13:06 PM PST by gogeo
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To: ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY
Rapid rail works, and very well.

If you own the rapid rail system, that's true.

95 posted on 02/12/2007 2:14:01 PM PST by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: lentulusgracchus
If you can find a single reference in the Bill of Rights -- or even the U.S. Constitution as a whole -- to a "freedom to travel," then you might have a point.

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.

96 posted on 02/12/2007 2:14:04 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: Lion Den Dan
What does my assertion that no matter how much you expand the roads you will not improve traffic flow got to do with taxes and fees?
97 posted on 02/12/2007 2:14:07 PM PST by Ben Mugged (Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.)
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To: The Pack Knight
After all, with public mass transit, the government has effective control over when and where you can travel, work, and live.

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.

98 posted on 02/12/2007 2:14:16 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: Froufrou

Bicyclists in Amsterdam have right-of-way over pedestrians.

And cities can be 20 miles apart or less with high speed trains connecting them.


99 posted on 02/12/2007 2:15:15 PM PST by weegee (No third term. Hillary Clinton's 2008 election run presents a Constitutional Crisis.)
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To: weegee

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.


100 posted on 02/12/2007 2:16:22 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife
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