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Highways for the rich?? how about this instead...
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thegelding
feeling my oats
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2007-02-12, 21:07

ok, so the gov't thinks we should make more toll roads to help with traffic...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17119050/

how about, instead of roads for the well to do, we do this...make roads for big rigs only...separate cars and big rigs entirely...i've always thought that cars and the big trucks should have never been using the same roads...that many many years ago it should have been two sets of roads...well if they want to make new highways, do it this way instead...

can be paid for with the taxes trucks pay already...since car only roads will need less repairs and repaving...trucks doing the most and major damage

it just seems to me that we already have enough separating the haves and the have nots without adding roads that poor people can't use, where here seems to be a win win...cars don't like to be on the road with big rigs, big rigs don't like to be on the road with cars

g

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Ebby
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2007-02-12, 21:36

Many freeways around my area have 6 Ton limits and big rigs are prohibited. This has worked really well from what I can tell. But can we add large SUV's in there too? While just squeezing under the limit on freeways, residential roads around me have 2-3 ton limits. I *think* some SUV's exceed that. The roads are in constant need of repair.

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Yontsey
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
 
2007-02-12, 22:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebby View Post
Many freeways around my area have 6 Ton limits and big rigs are prohibited. This has worked really well from what I can tell. But can we add large SUV's in there too? While just squeezing under the limit on freeways, residential roads around me have 2-3 ton limits. I *think* some SUV's exceed that. The roads are in constant need of repair.
Those must be the biggest f***in SUV's ever, ha. I cant imagine an SUV being over a ton with maybe some exceptions.
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joveblue
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Melbourne
 
2007-02-12, 22:11

Screw roads, build rails. More cost efficient, more enviro-friendly and less congestion. Everyone wins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yontsey View Post
Those must be the biggest f***in SUV's ever, ha. I cant imagine an SUV being over a ton with maybe some exceptions.
A Cadillac Escalade is 2.8 tons without any passengers or cargo...

Last edited by joveblue : 2007-02-12 at 22:24.
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Ebby
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2007-02-12, 22:32

Uh, isn't the Chevy Suburban like 7000 lbs?

I can't tell when I look up in the wheel wells from my car, but I thought I read that somewhere...

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ast3r3x
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2007-02-12, 22:43

Yeah, my trooper is almost 2 and it's not much bigger than an average explorer, maybe modern explorers are as big as it. I'd guess Escalades, Excursions, Expeditions, Hummers would be ridiculously heavy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebby View Post
Uh, isn't the Chevy Suburban like 7000 lbs?

I can't tell when I look up in the wheel wells from my car, but I thought I read that somewhere...
It is, I just looked it up.
It says so here. (and that is 2005)
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Yontsey
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
 
2007-02-12, 23:02

no shit.....i had no idea they weighed that much. i stand corrected. i figured it was between 1 and 2 but def not more than that. i owe you an apology.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2007-02-12, 23:22

My Toyota Sienna has a empty curb weight of 2 metric tons or 4300lbs. I guess I can't add the stroller and kids and drive on your roads.
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rasmits
rams it
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
 
2007-02-12, 23:23

I hate semis on the freeway. Their fat asses always get in my way.

A few days ago I saw a semi holding up traffic because it was literally going 40 mph in a 70. I wanted to die, especially because I usually feel like going 15 over. So that's a difference of nearly 50 mph.

You had me at asl
.......
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alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
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2007-02-12, 23:27

My car weighs 3,000 lbs. That's about as light as you get until you enter the plastic/teeny vehicles.

Geo metros and the like are still 2,000 lbs.

Google is your frenemy.
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billybobsky
BANNED
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Inner Swabia. If you have to ask twice, don't.
 
2007-02-13, 00:03

Indeed...

What we really need is better public transit. Why build more roads when we are running out of good sources of fuel and direct electrical distribution to trains and such is more efficient than distribution to any battery, by thermodynamics? Seriously. Spend the billions on independent nation wide high speed lines, keep rails under government control, but encourage usage agreements by private corporations -- mixed government/private usage is always better, and where demand does not ensure profit but services are still needed, the government can step in or contract out... Give grants to large urban areas to develop a cohesive public transit environment. suburbs will have to be serviced like urban areas, exurbs can be serviced with regional rails, and close high speed line points... build up point to point transportation with local agencies, clean, cheap, fast buses to well placed stops. encourage people to walk/bike.

do everything in our power to make the car an excessive luxury.

of course, this depends upon the creation of better electrical distribution set ups, a larger more modern grid which has the ability to adjust without fail on the fly...
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Partial
Stallion
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Milwaukee
 
2007-02-13, 01:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegelding View Post
ok, so the gov't thinks we should make more toll roads to help with traffic...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17119050/

how about, instead of roads for the well to do, we do this...make roads for big rigs only...separate cars and big rigs entirely...i've always thought that cars and the big trucks should have never been using the same roads...that many many years ago it should have been two sets of roads...well if they want to make new highways, do it this way instead...

can be paid for with the taxes trucks pay already...since car only roads will need less repairs and repaving...trucks doing the most and major damage

it just seems to me that we already have enough separating the haves and the have nots without adding roads that poor people can't use, where here seems to be a win win...cars don't like to be on the road with big rigs, big rigs don't like to be on the road with cars

g
Excellent idea in theory because it would be much safer. It sounds very expensive, though. I'd be all for it despite the high cost, though.
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alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
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2007-02-13, 03:04

Only it won't work because trucking isn't cost effective unless you assume that they're going to be driving on tax subsidized roads.

The railroads have been bitching about that fact for years, but no one seemed to care too much.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2007-02-13, 04:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
The railroads have been bitching about that fact for years, but no one seemed to care too much.
I recall reading somewhere saying that railroad as a public transportation is screwed because 1) we only have one rail running between any two given cities whereas Europe has more than one, allowing for more traffic, 2) priorities are given to freight trains, limiting Amtrak and other passenger trains' scheduling, and of course, 3) scarity of rails.

It's much more common to see old rails get paved over in a town in favor of streets, but I would think it a bad move.
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AWR
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2007-02-13, 05:18

It's screwed because railways/tramways require great public investment, and do not typically maintain a profit, especially if you want to keep fares down and service frequent. Sure there are plenty of benefits, but nobody wants to pay for it.

Here in Geneva, they constructing new trams lines left right and center. Beautiful trains that improve the quality of life for everyone. But they cost. I thankfully use them every day and have no problem with the cost of gas staying at ~USD 5.30/gallon to pay for it. And I am also thankful that the government runs them, and not some profit-obsessed private outfit.

With the exception of a couple of extra lines between points, I don't see the idea catching on in the States. Special interests make sure transportation bills are narrow and sans cujones. (There are some legitimate difficulties, most relevant being the bloody size of typical suburban areas ...)
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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2007-02-13, 10:12

This is a tricky conundrum, thegelding. On the one hand, our car culture is extracting a heavy toll from society and the environment, so something ought to be done. On the other hand, charging for it seems to hit the poor hardest. I say "seems" because those who can't afford a car often take the bus, and anything that significantly reduces congestion will dramatically reduce bus journey times.

An economist would tell you that building more roads would not reduce congestion unless the cost of driving were increased. By building more roads the cost is actually reduced and demand rises accordingly, filling the new roads in short order. I haven't thought this through, but I tend to think that the poor have no right to congest and pollute, so if they're priced off the roads that's a good thing. The fact that the rich would continue driving isn't reason enough to make the policy "fair". It would in fact be "fair" toward the poor, and "generous" towards the rich.

Rail has had a hard time in recent decades because low-cost airlines are attracting customers by low fares made possible by the competition-distorting zero-tax policy on aviation fuel (aeroplanes use such excessive amounts of fuel per passenger-kilometre that they would be hopelessly outclassed for <500 km routes if aviation fuel were taxed like other energy sources). On the other side, driving a car is far cheaper than the true cost because everyone in the country and indeed the planet pays the costs, in terms of infrastruture construction, road safety and air/noise pollution.

In London taking a car into the central zone is charged at £8 (US $15.55) per day. This is on top of very high fuel costs, extremely high parking costs and among the highest new-car prices in Europe. Despite the costs the city is packed to the gills every day. Public transport in London is more expensive than anywhere I've lived or visited, but it's still a lot cheaper than driving. I'm not sure what the solution is.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2007-02-13, 10:26

I wish the U.S. had a great major city-to-major city train system (those fast "bullet" trains too, not Wyatt Earp clickity-clack locomotives ).

I'd never fly again if I could hop on a speedy train and ride from Chattanooga (or Atlanta or Nashville even) to Dallas or DC or Miami in a few hours (or even half a day...I'm going to spend that flying anyway, once you factor in your early arrival, security screening, layovers, etc.).



The scenery would be awesome too (I hate flying mostly because of the boredom and nothing to look at).

But I don't guess it'll ever happen.

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intlplby
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Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2007-02-13, 11:24

well, with the way US cities are built you are basically going to force the poor to spend significant portions of their days on a daily commute... this leaves them less time to spend with their children...

in brazil the poor spend an average of something like a fifth of their time awake commuting. you'd have a similar problem here because of urban sprawl... poor people would be severely limited in their job choice....

basically the ability to build a functioning public transportation system in many US cities is extremely difficult.

i prefer more egalitarian means whereby everyone regardless of income level is forced off the roads sometimes...

in Sao Paulo they don't allow certain licence plate numbers to drive in the center of the city on certain days..... i.e. licences ending in 0 or 1 can't drive on monday, 2 and 3 can't drive on tuesday, etc.... it forces people to learn to carpool..... it's not the best system, but it's the most egalitarian....
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beardedmacuser
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: eastmidlandshire
 
2007-02-13, 11:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
I haven't thought this through, but I tend to think that the poor have no right to congest and pollute, so if they're priced off the roads that's a good thing.
Yep, when folk face losing their driving license they can get defensive saying the loss will have serious consequences to their lifestyle and quality of life. There are some slight concessions available if losing your license would mean losing your job and failing to support dependants (the law doesn't care about the welfare of the driver). Drivers fail to realise that driving is a privilege that can be taken away if not treated responsibly. We have no irrevocable human right that allows us to drive where we want, when we want, as much as we want.

I see no other way to reduce (or at least prevent continued increases) traffic than to make driving more expensive. Surely the most simple means is to increase the cost of fuel? The more fuel you use; the more fuel tax you pay! Sadly over here in the UK our pro-car lobby ranks similarly in political influence to the pro-gun lobby in the US. Raising fuel tax would be electoral suicide thanks to the pro-car popular media and the threat of mass hysteria like the protests we had not so long ago.
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curiousuburb
Antimatter Man
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
 
2007-02-13, 16:19

Jumping Jetsons, Batman!

How many posts before somebody demands our overdue Flying Cars, already.

20
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2007-02-13, 16:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana View Post
I recall reading somewhere saying that railroad as a public transportation is screwed because 1) we only have one rail running between any two given cities whereas Europe has more than one, allowing for more traffic, 2) priorities are given to freight trains, limiting Amtrak and other passenger trains' scheduling, and of course, 3) scarity of rails.

It's much more common to see old rails get paved over in a town in favor of streets, but I would think it a bad move.
Using trains as public transportation in the US isn't viable because I've never seen a commuter train system as efficient as the ones available in Europe. The trains I used in Switzerland literally stopped for less than a minute, which is hilarious when you watch people with lots of luggage try to get their shit onboard.
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rasmits
rams it
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
 
2007-02-13, 18:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana View Post
I recall reading somewhere saying that railroad as a public transportation is screwed because 1) we only have one rail running between any two given cities whereas Europe has more than one, allowing for more traffic, 2) priorities are given to freight trains, limiting Amtrak and other passenger trains' scheduling, and of course, 3) scarity of rails.

It's much more common to see old rails get paved over in a town in favor of streets, but I would think it a bad move.
Oh and don't forget:

4) Big oil runs the country. They wouldn't allow something faster, more efficient, and easier than the gas car to get so popular over here.
5) People love their cars. As much as most people say they'd ride a train, I betchya most wouldn't. Trains are so popular in Europe because driving is so freaking expensive, and culturally, they're not as attached to their cars. It would be like asking Americans to go without massive fridges or air conditioners. Europeans naturally do, but there's no way the average American could do that.

Amtrack consistently looses money, because no one rides trains here. I used to always wonder why until I went to Europe and saw how a real train operates. When they say it departs at 10:43, they mean 10:43.

It would be such a colossally exhaustive and expensive project, with the harmonious cooperation of numerous federal, state, and local government agencies / private companies with perhaps even an increase in gasoline and other taxes to even begin having that level of an efficient system over here. Does that sound like something that could ever EVER be feasible in this country?

You had me at asl
.......
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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Location: Tennessee
 
2007-02-13, 18:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousuburb View Post
Jumping Jetsons, Batman!

How many posts before somebody demands our overdue Flying Cars, already.

20
The day we have "flying cars" is the day I officially lock myself inside my house and never drive again. It's all I can do to keep from getting killed by drivers with four wheels on the ground...I certainly don't want to up the ante by adding "altitude" and "vertical lanes" to the mix.



Experience tells me most folks can't deal with the roads and rules we have now.

There would be about 29,000 deaths the first day "air driving" was allowed.

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rasmits
rams it
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
 
2007-02-13, 18:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Experience tells me most folks can't deal with the roads and rules we have now.

There would be about 29,000 deaths the first day "air driving" was allowed.
I don't know, I think I could deal with a driver's license being as difficult to obtain as a pilot license. It might actually prevent some driving casualties.

You had me at asl
.......
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Artap99
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2007-02-13, 18:47

A company near where I used to live in Pennsylvania built a 1.5 million dollar highway extension just so that people wouldn't use the road in front of their building as a throughway. I think that that is kind of cool.
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Chinney
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2007-02-13, 18:51

I just came back from a trip in Southern California. Beautiful climate, wonderful natural environment, but covered with houses, condos, strip malls and highways: one massive suburban development for hundreds of miles.

And I was thinking – and this applies to all suburbs, of which southern California is an extreme example – what the future of transportation is there. These places are built on the concept of a car. But there does not seem much room for further massive road development from any number of perspectives: budgetary, environmental, public opinion, and even sheer physical space. And if the price of fuel doubles, triples or quadruples in the near future [not impossible], what happens then to the car as the central transportation source?

On the other hand, there is no apparent alternative to the automobile. Suburbs are not built in a way that is conducive to public transportation even where trips are to and from a central core. Even in suburbs that surround central city cores, more and more trips are between suburbs, rather than just to and from a central core. And in some places, there is no real central core – with southern California being a particular example. In these places public transport is difficult.

Are these places screwed if and when the shit hits the transportation fan in the future?

In my opinion no, but we may eventually be faced with a need for a massive rethinking of transportation approaches. For example, you could rebuild or rededicate existing highway corridors as public transit corridors and restrict personal auto use to getting to and from the corridors. That would be less than ideal from the perspective of many (people like their cars!), but still would be realistically possible. The shit hitting the fan would also affect how future housing and business development occurs, meaning that development would be much less aligned along current patters of sprawl and would centred around transportation hubs.

In any case – to respond to g’s original question – I don’t think that the future is massive building of new highways (toll or otherwise) to facilitate further sprawl. I suspect that the days of this approach are numbered.
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DMBand0026
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2007-02-15, 15:50

I'll add my $.02 and get out.

More toll roads = terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea. I'm bothered immensely by paying a toll to someone for the privilege of sitting in traffic on some road. I pay close to $20 a month in tolls just from commuting to and from work, that doesn't count the other times I'm on the tollway. Furthermore, in Illinois they took nearly 6 billion dollars of taxpayer money (not toll money, nearly every dollar came from public funds) to fund a tollway expansion and rebuild project. They made the system nearly barrier free, but we still sit in the same amount of traffic and waste the same amount of gas as before.

Come waste your time with me
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2007-02-15, 16:17

Your government at work. What do you expect...the problem solved or improved?
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intlplby
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2007-02-15, 18:18

i think they should tax suburbia....

you get discounts on your taxes if you live in a major city
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AWR
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Location: State of Flux
 
2007-02-16, 04:37

I think some of you out there need to sit down, take a glass of water, and realize that Government isn't Pure Evil. I know that turns your whole world on its head but (oh, I've forgotten how it goes...).

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