Author Topic: Toll It and They Will Come?  (Read 7006 times)

Lunican

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2011, 10:59:36 AM »
I think everyone is forgetting the American Dream. A house, two cars, and a three lane driveway.



Isn't it beautiful?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 11:03:16 AM by Lunican »

Ocklawaha

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2011, 11:01:46 AM »

Not to completely hijack the thread but did you know there is an intact abandoned railroad right-of-way from Orlando to Clearwater that skirts the north edge of Disney's Kingdom.  A freeway sandwiched between two viable rail lines might be the ticket.

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thelakelander

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2011, 11:11:18 AM »
What major destinations does it hit in between the corridor cities or is it rural and through environmentally sensitive areas like the Green Swamp?
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KenFSU

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2011, 11:17:27 AM »
I think that once people started paying a user fee for roads (which would be far higher than what we pay in gas taxes now) they would be much much more inclined to look towards other transit modes.

Unless no other viable transit mode exists, such is the case here in Jacksonville. I'm all for tolling new beltways and lanes and other convenience routes, but I'm very wary of the idea of assessing useage fees for existing roads. Unless said fees were very, very carefully implemented, perhaps even on a sliding income scale, you would face a situation where the middle class -- already being decimated in America -- is hammered even closer into the ground, and a situation where it may be economically impossible for the lower class -- already struggling with fuel prices -- to commute more than a few miles to work. The CEO making a quarter million dollars a year is benefitting way more economically from his morning use of Butler Boulevard than the janitor of the same office building. It seems only fair he should pay more. I'm equally wary of VMT fees, or more specifically, the way in which they would implemented. I was at a meeting with the FDOT D2 Secretary two or three years ago, and he was discussing the possibility of forcing all commuters to put a government issued GPS device in their vehicles, which would then be either read at pumps or taxed electronically. Tracking the daily travel of citizens is far beyond the rights of the government. An odometer is one thing, a GPS is something entirely different.

Personally, I'd like to see some creative efforts to solve the problem of sustainability. If, for example, Comcast is willing to pay $10 million for naming rights to a major highway, put it toward maintenance and let citizens drive the Comcast Outer Beltway to work. Offer free billboards to sponsors. Let the big corporations do their part as well.

John P

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2011, 11:26:04 AM »
Please ask the Florida times union to run this editorial. It is very well written and reasoned. Please also email this to the city council and Mayors office. I know this is not a city of Jacksonville project but it is important that everyone knows the principles and ideas.

cline

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2011, 11:32:46 AM »
I think that once people started paying a user fee for roads (which would be far higher than what we pay in gas taxes now) they would be much much more inclined to look towards other transit modes.

Unless no other viable transit mode exists, such is the case here in Jacksonville. I'm all for tolling new beltways and lanes and other convenience routes, but I'm very wary of the idea of assessing useage fees for existing roads. Unless said fees were very, very carefully implemented, perhaps even on a sliding income scale, you would face a situation where the middle class -- already being decimated in America -- is hammered even closer into the ground, and a situation where it may be economically impossible for the lower class -- already struggling with fuel prices -- to commute more than a few miles to work. The CEO making a quarter million dollars a year is benefitting way more economically from his morning use of Butler Boulevard than the janitor of the same office building. It seems only fair he should pay more. I'm equally wary of VMT fees, or more specifically, the way in which they would implemented. I was at a meeting with the FDOT D2 Secretary two or three years ago, and he was discussing the possibility of forcing all commuters to put a government issued GPS device in their vehicles, which would then be either read at pumps or taxed electronically. Tracking the daily travel of citizens is far beyond the rights of the government. An odometer is one thing, a GPS is something entirely different.

Personally, I'd like to see some creative efforts to solve the problem of sustainability. If, for example, Comcast is willing to pay $10 million for naming rights to a major highway, put it toward maintenance and let citizens drive the Comcast Outer Beltway to work. Offer free billboards to sponsors. Let the big corporations do their part as well.

You're right.  As our transit system works now, implementing user fees could have a negative effect on the lower class since our transit system currently pretty much sucks.  However, if more and more people begin demanding better transit options in response to paying a user fee transit agencies would have no choice but to step it up.  It would be a forced demand.  Right now it's too easy to drive on roads when you're paying a miniscule gas tax. 

As for VMT, Oregon has already studied it with a pilot program and Texas is looking into it as well.  In the Oregon example, data was downloaded at the pump about where the car traveled in various areas.  No data about the actual route traveled was collected.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 11:41:50 AM by cline »

tufsu1

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2011, 01:58:25 PM »
and don't forget, the gas tax today funds a good portion of many transit systems.....a VMT or user fee could work the same way...so while it might hurt lower-income people who drive (assuming it would be higher cost than current gas tax), the extra revenue could provide for better transit service and/or limit fare increases.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 02:07:51 PM by tufsu1 »

Garden guy

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2011, 02:06:46 PM »
Quote
In one of the most amazing public policy statements that I can ever recall reading, State Transportation Secretary Annanth Prasad acknowledged - as reported in the Florida Times-Union on Aug. 22 - that "gas tax financing of roads is not sustainable, and tolls will be the first choice for financing all new capacity and major bridge replacements in Florida."

Well hopefully this puts the nail in the coffin in the argument that suburban sprawl pays for itself, or (my personal favorite, considering the imperious statements from certain planners on this subject) that automobile users pay for all of the roads with this gas tax.


I think we're all aware that the gas tax doesn't come anywhere close to covering the true costs of road building and maintaince.  As TUFSU pointed out above user fees (VMT tax or something of the like) are going to have to be implemented.  I think that once people started paying a user fee for roads (which would be far higher than what we pay in gas taxes now) they would be much much more inclined to look towards other transit modes.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2011, 02:16:29 PM »
As for VMT, Oregon has already studied it with a pilot program and Texas is looking into it as well.  In the Oregon example, data was downloaded at the pump about where the car traveled in various areas.  No data about the actual route traveled was collected.

Right, and currently they are studying variances from in-state, out-of-state and rush-hour driving.  What I don't see a correlation to is MPG.  Why should I pay the same milage-use rate when I get 50 MPG in my Prius v/s someone getting 12 MPG in their H3?  I believe the opposite argument is being used to find an alternative to the gas tax.

The bigger question is whether or not the gen pub is willing to let Big Brother track their each and every move.  They can 'say' that the transponder doesn't track coordinates, but is there any way to tell whether it actually does or not. 
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cline

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2011, 02:27:06 PM »
Quote
What I don't see a correlation to is MPG.  Why should I pay the same milage-use rate when I get 50 MPG in my Prius v/s someone getting 12 MPG in their H3? I believe the opposite argument is being used to find an alternative to the gas tax.
 

That is the argument being used against the gas tax and why the gas tax no longer is useful.  As cars become more and more fuel efficient less revenue is collected via the gas tax.  The VMT fee eliminates this. D

You're correct though, the biggest issue facing implementing something like this is that most people think the government is going to be watching your every move (they probably already do that if you have OnStar though ;)).

tufsu1

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2011, 04:05:15 PM »
all that is needed to encourage smaller, fuel effcient cars is a "gas guzzler" tax on heavy, inefficient vehicles....paid at the time of purchase or with annual registration fees

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2011, 05:40:21 PM »
after doing a couple of google searches, I found some options where the (what essentially is a) use tax rate should be tiered based on the type/size/mpg of your vehicle.  A Prius owner would pay substantially less per mile than the H3 that I used in my example. 

Another question is how would this affect shipping across the nation.  Would the economics of it start putting freight/logistics companies out of business?  Especially the owner/operators.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2011, 08:30:36 PM »
What major destinations does it hit in between the corridor cities or is it rural and through environmentally sensitive areas like the Green Swamp?


Here it is in 1893, complete with a great name for a commuter-corridor service. While not nearly as populated as the CSX southern route, everywhere it crosses a north-south road it comes in contact with a boom town atmosphere.

It does go through Green Swamp but then so does the former Seaboard Coleman-Auburndale cutoff, and in my never so humble opinion, BOTH should be immediately rebuilt. However I would stop short of rebuilding the entire Orange Belt running instead north from Tampa to Drexel and hence east through Trilby, Mabel, Winter Garden, Ocoee and it would join the Florida Central just south of Apopka. The FC is already planned for a commuter rail system. Services would be rush hour style with your favorite DMU's and I'd only operate a couple of through trains during midday hours.
Bump up I-4 and corridor the CSX and Central Florida would start looking very attractive.


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thelakelander

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2011, 09:28:57 PM »
Talk about a serpentine corridor.  I'd go with slapping a new commuter line right down the median of I-4 before I'd rebuild the orange belt for passenger rail or freight purposes.  One corridor has millions of people living and working adjacent to it right now.  The other has more cows than people in partially environmentally sensitive areas that should remain rural and agricultural long term.  Anyway, a lot of that ROW is long gone in the more urbanized areas.  Looking at google earth, the stretch near SR 54 is a mix of low density track home subdivisions, new roads and expressways now.
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EP

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Re: Toll It and They Will Come?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2011, 09:44:47 PM »
Its only going to get worse.  Wait until SAFETEA-LU expires on 9/30.  House leaders want huge cuts to transportation infrastructure.  Senate leaders are proposing funding figures far less than what the president campaigned on.  BIG cuts are imminent...