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.
Get drivers out of their cars.
As a woman, I cannot imagine getting into a stranger's car.
Deep tax incentives for businesses that telecommute workers. Thats the ticket.
Great idea. You walk. I'll wave as I drive by.
"Get drivers out of their cars." Right. You and whose army -- Feliks Dzherzhinsky? You sound like him. You must be one of those Hume-worshippers.
HOV lanes are not the ultimate solution. This president has dropped the ball on funding alternative transportation research. It's the 21st century. Where the hell is my jet pack?
About once or twice a month I use a 30-mile stretch of interstate highway. Any other time I am on country backroads. However, when I lived in a huge city I used the tollroad whenever possible because you can drive without congestion. So to a certain extent, this plan makes sense. But will it bring cries from the minority groups and advocates for the poor?
Did I miss something? I thought gasoline taxes were the "fees" I pay for using the roads.
They had a similar proposal for the Autobahns in Germany. The German automobile club came up with some interesting facts that you can add up:
1) Highways are safer to drive than secondary or city roads
2) Enacting a fee for highway use will make more people use secondary or city roads to avoid the fee
This brings up a few conclusions:
1) Deaths will go up do to increased usage of less safe roads
2) Congestion on the secondary roads will go up
3) If the alternate route goes through residential neighborhoods, pedestrian deaths are likely to go up
And into what?
Or are you thinking more along the lines of people working from home more?
A Republican administration proposing new taxes. Imagine that.
Wow! What a great idea!
I live in San Diego, a large city and never owned a car.
Went to work for decades by bus.
Grocery shoping, etc walking or bus and I am on forearm crutches also.
If I can do this, so can most. Use public transportation or walk.
Well, if you want to talk global warming... Mr. Moneybags in his gas-guzzling vehicle might burn 2 gallons of gas to drive 20 miles of clear roadway, but would burn 4 gallons of gas to if the roadway is congested. Meanwhile, Greenie Thriftyman might burn a half gallon to drive those 20 miles if the traffic is clear, and one gallon if the roadway is congested.
So, you see, if one or the other driver must be stuck in traffic, holding up Mr. Moneybags and his gas-guzzler will result in the burning of an additional two gallons of fuel, while holding up Greenie Thriftyman will only result in the burning of an additional half gallon.
Therefore all good citizens should agree that we must let Mr. Moneybags go along his way unimpeded, in order to save the environment!
There are other options, but since it won't generate money for the government, they probably won't do it, but...
They could work with companies to allow more employees to work at home, be available for conference calls or web cast meetings. There's so much technology, it isn't necessary for a lot of employees to physically be at their companies every day. Explore 4-day work weeks, rotating even.
I have such a job, and it would be easy to set me up at home. I could easily do my job being onsite only once per week.
well I lived in Philadelphia and let me tell ya - public transport stinks, big time.
Wow! Women and minorities hardest hit!
Rather than having **any** solution enforced from on-high by a bunch of chair polishing bureaucrats, how about relaxing the rules so that municipalities and local governments can more easily try their own creative solutions?
In Germany the secondary roads follow routes laid down during the middle ages. Plus the gas tax is twice what it is in this country.
Worse, you often end up in a line of ten or twelve cars behind some retard who is doing 5mp below the speed limit, and you can't get out.
HOV lanes are infrastructure rationing. Once you concede the principle that public roadways are free for all to use, you've made yourself the plaything of the power junkies and policy wonks.
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
HOV lanes will wind up being the big-shots-only lanes that Hedrick Smith described in his book The Russians.
Build the roads, stop playing games. Double-deck them if need be. Build them, stop trying to screw the public. And quit trying to pump up downtown real-estate values artificially by luring all the big employers downtown with tax abatements.
HOV lanes are all about killing commuting so that people will be forced to move back into the cities -- so their paychecks can be recycled in the form of sky-high rents. Pres. Bush is trying to help the Old Money replicate the Tokyo labor-cost recycling model here in America -- turning the big cities into company towns. Great for the big-rich stockholders and well-heeled managers, high-rent tenement hell for their employees.
Hey, I HOV to work and back each day....I love it.
Are you williung to pay the taxes they pay for gas in Germany? Gas costs more than $5.00 a gallon there and more than half the price is tax.
Don't forget the several thousands of dollars of tax you paid when you bought the car.
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.
Here in Illinois, the toll roads are constructing ' open road tolling'. You have to buy a sticker for your windshield, a camera reads it and deducts from your total you have pre-paid for. No more toll baskets to stop for, whatever.
I can't help but wonder when we might start seeing this type of tolling on many other roads. Seems like an easy way for big brother to keep track of your speed, also.
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.
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.
For income opportunities for very well-heeled international investors.
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.)
That is, if you have public transportation where you live and work. Not everyone does.
That's what I thought, too! Hell, at this rate, why should I vote Republican anymore?
There's got to be something in the air inside the Beltway that rots politicians' brains.
Horse lanes are our only fix!
But wait.....with the dims in charge, even less people will need to bother to work for a living. They can simply hang out and wait for their checks to come in. This should clear up traffic problems, eliminate drive-by shootings and get the USA back on the right track.
On second thought, I'll stay with the horse lanes.
It's assuming that population keeps growing exponentially. It isn't.
It's assuming that the Boys Downtown get everything they want, and that all employment 20 years from now will be downtown, and the employees will live in the suburbs and commute downtown instead of growing a brain and solving their problem by finding or creating jobs in the suburbs and exurbs.
Why is everybody a capitalist until some poor slob tries to get out of the rat race by buying himself a job in the 'burbs? No, he has to turn into a socialist and get in line to get on a rationed transit "system" run by policy junkies for their own benefit.
You do it every time you get in a cab.
Don't know where you are, but wouldn't your research suggest that light rail may be something to consider? I know TX was talking about it and I don't know why they switched to the TTC talks.
Or as in the case of Austin Texas, existing highways can be stolen from the public and converted into toll roads.
Their goods are not public property. They have no fiduciary duty to administer the goods faithfully and fairly for the public benefit, or to treat citizens as equals under the law.
fine. build more roads, charge for use, but you'd better give me better speed limits. if i can't do 90mph+ then forget it.
That's what they want to do in San Antonio. The problem with Austin is they didn't have a 'loop' so they've known traffic headaches for a long time.
Does that include a tow truck?
The mayor of Houston mandated that all drivers will be towed if they stop on the highway (day or night) for more than 5 minutes (who can change a tire THAT fast?).
And the mayor swore he'd run background checks on the tow drivers but again and again convicted violent felons were found driving the tow trucks.
They aren't proposing a new tax, they are proposing building new roads and using congestion pricing to finance those new roads, instead of using taxes to build the roads.
It is a way to get more roads without increasing taxes.
Most forms of mass public transportation resulted in a reduction of commute times for individuals taking the alternatives but had effectively zero impact on highway traffic. Implementing mass transit to reduce highway congestion doesn't.
A "free" highway system is sort of like an all-you-can-eat restaurant. Sure, the money you paid up front probably covers much of the cost of the roadway, but once you've paid for the meal there is no incentive against gorging yourself. The natural result of an all-you-can-eat dining environment is an obese customer base. The natural result of a "free" highway system is roadway congestion.