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.
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.
That's just the introductory "sucker" offer. Wait a while.
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.
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.
I've never been in a cab alone.
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.
Get drivers out of their cars."
GET ILLEGAL INTRUDERS OUT OF THE USA!!!!!
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.
Trains and bikes work in Europe, and riding to and from the trains on bikes means no fat people [for the most part.]