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View Poll Results: What do you think of congestion pricing?
Yes, it helps pay for mass transit. 5 41.67%
Yes, it gets me past traffic. 0 0%
No, it only gets used by the rich. 3 25.00%
No, it does nothing for traffic. 4 33.33%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 7th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #261
H123Laci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
Stop kidding. You know what I mean
yes, i know.

btw: have you heard about the new car-powered perpetum mobile?

its amazing how stupid some people is...
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Old December 7th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
So paying the price for being in the same old traffic jam.
we have a saying about this situation:

unvolition (or nonvolition?) ends up in groaning...
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Old December 15th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #263
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Public promised say in WVa turnpike tolls
8 December 2008

PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) - A member of the West Virginia Turnpike's governing board says there won't be any "back door" deals to raise tolls.

Princeton businessman Bill Seaver says everything will be done in full view of the public this time. Seaver is a member of the Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority.

The authority tried nearly three years ago to increase tolls on the 88-mile highway, but was met with fierce opposition. The toll hike was overturned by a Kanawha County judge who said the public didn't receive sufficient notice when the increase was proposed.

Seaver says a toll increase is needed to maintain the turnpike, which runs from Charleston to Princeton.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 07:38 AM   #264
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MIG takes axe to value of toll roads
17 December 2008
The Sydney Morning Herald

INFRASTRUCTURE

"Dislocation" in the world economy is the reason Macquarie Infrastructure Group has given for slashing its toll road portfolio by a further $2.1 billion.

Barely four months since the group cut the value of its portfolio from $10.2 billion to $8.6 billion, while presenting its full-year accounts, MIG warned yesterday it expected its valuation to be about $6.5 billion at December 31.

"This outcome has been affected by changes to asset discount rates reflecting the current market environment, lower forecast traffic volumes driven by the recessionary environment in the northern hemisphere, higher assumed financing costs across the portfolio, and the impact of macro-economic factors such as long-term inflationary expectations and foreign exchange rates," the group said in a statement to the market.

It is the starkest admission to date by any Australian-listed toll road operator that the sector is not as safe as once assumed.

The revaluation will take MIG's net asset backing per security to $3.02, down 34 per cent from $4.59 at the start of the year.

MIG declined to specify new valuations for each of its roads, the top three in value being the 407 ETR in Canada, the M6 in Britain and APRR in France.

If not for the recent slump in the dollar, the write-down could have been far more savage, given that 90 per cent of MIG's portfolio is in the US and Europe.

The revaluation includes MIG's stakes in the Westlink M7, Sydney, and the Lusopontetoll road in Portugal, both of which it hopes to sell by early next year.

It is believed the valuation of the M7 is unchanged - MIG wants to sell its 50 per cent stake for $805 million. The M7 is the only MIG asset to have increased in book value this year.

MIG shares fell 7.5c to $1.63 yesterday. The main support for the security price was the fact that MIG is still trading well below its net asset backing.

Also helpful was the group's reiteration that it intended to pay a 10c distribution for the six months to December 31.

Even though infrastructure funds are scrapping old policies of funding distributions through debt, MIG has not shown any sign of funding its payouts from cash flow generated solely by its toll roads. About 35 to 45 per cent of its distributions are still financed by debt.

The company said it expected to hold $1 billion in cash on its books after the distribution. It is debt-free at a corporate level, but has about $10 billion of debt tied to its toll roads at an asset level.

"The adjustments themselves are not a surprise," said Andrew Chambers, an Austock analyst. "What was a surprise was the timing and the quantum."
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Old December 24th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #265
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Commerce Dept. rejects SoCal toll road appeal
18 December 2008

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) - A federal agency on Thursday rejected an appeal to build a toll road that would cut through one of California's most popular state parks and pass near a world-class surf break.

The U.S. Department of Commerce rejected the appeal because there is at least one reasonable alternate route for the road.

The agency also discounted arguments that building the road was vital to national security, something that had been advanced by the highway's proponents.

The decision upholds a ruling by the California Coastal Commission that objected to the 16-mile road after opponents argued it would harm endangered species at San Onofre State Park and block sediment flows that create famous surf breaks at a beach called Trestles.

"Hooray, hooray, hooray! I'm so delighted," said state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who sued to stop the toll road twice in his former post as state attorney general. "It's a great victory for California."

The Transportation Corridor Agencies, which proposes to build and finance the $1.3 billion road in Orange and San Diego counties, appealed the decision to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

TCA chairman Jerry Amante said he was shocked and disappointed. He said the agency would not decide whether to sue the Commerce Department before a Jan. 8 board meeting.

"This is a terrible decision today for millions of Southern California commuters," Amante said.

"This decision is another blow to the Southern California economy. We are now destined for gridlock and increased greenhouse emissions," he said.

The toll authority had argued the road would play a key role in national security by providing an alternative to Interstate 5 in the event of a wildfire or accident at the nearby San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Toll road opponents advocate widening I-5 to deal with increased congestion.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #266
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Toll near of Puebla City, Mexico.

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Old December 26th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #267
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toll settat Morocco

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Old January 2nd, 2009, 09:20 AM   #268
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Report on highway tolls pending
1 January 2009

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A government panel is expected to receive a report later this month on whether tolls should return to Connecticut's highways.

Cambridge Systematics, a transportation research group, is scheduled to present its results to the state Transportation Strategy Board on Jan. 15. Jill Kelly, a board member, told the Connecticut Post in Thursday's edition that the report will lay out many options.

The strategy board, an independent group created by state officials to help guide Connecticut's transportation policy, suggested in 2003 that the state study the idea of toll roads to help ease traffic congestion.

Prices would be raised during rush hour and lowered when there's less volume.

It's uncertain whether the strategy board will support the idea of tolls after receiving the report. While the board has shown interest in tolls over the years, it has not specifically recommended tolling lanes in its reports. Instead, the group has said the subject merits more attention and study.

Kelly said tolls might work better in some parts of Connecticut than others. Also, different types of tolls are being researched, such as high-occupancy tolls or HOT lanes.

Such lanes allow solo drivers to pay a fee to use lanes normally reserved for carpoolers and buses, now known as HOV or high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Vehicles carrying multiple passengers would still drive in HOV lanes for free.

While Gov. M. Jodi Rell and other state politicians have opposed tolls, the HOT lanes concept has gained in popularity in other parts of the U.S.

Connecticut removed toll booths from I-95 in 1985, two years after seven people died in a crash at the Stratford toll booths. Tolls were later removed from the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways in 1987.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:51 PM   #269
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Hey SoCal, how about expanding Metrolink commuter rail instead of building a massive new tollroad through a pristine natural area? Build more roads to REDUCE CO2 emissions? What a crock of shit.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:55 PM   #270
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Two free flowing roads are better for CO2 emissions than one constantly congested one.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:59 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Two free flowing roads are better for CO2 emissions than one constantly congested one.
But what about the loss of vegetation and the disruption of ecosystems?

How about adding track and trains to Metrolink which serves the I-5 corridor?
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:03 PM   #272
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LA shouldn't have growed so massive that there isn't room for additional infrastructure to cope with the tremendous population growth. Population growth -> more traffic -> requires more road capacity. Simple as that.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:07 PM   #273
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Toll express lanes ease traffic on urban highways
30 December 2008

MIAMI (AP) - Attorney David Kubiliun is a typical South Floridian: He lives in a suburb, works in downtown Miami and spends several hours a week sitting in maddening traffic on Interstate 95.

Earlier this year, his 14-mile slog home took 50 minutes out of his day, if there weren't any accidents. "It was murder," he said.

But his evening commute recently got a whole lot better -- for a price. Drivers like him can pay anywhere from 25 cents to $6.20 to drive in a new express lane for six miles at or above 45 to 50 mph, guaranteed.

Now Kubiliun gets home in 20 minutes.

"That thing's a godsend," he said. "I can even make it to my kid's baseball practice."

These High Occupancy Toll lanes -- or HOT lanes -- are praised by urban planners, environmentalists and many drivers. From I-10 in Houston to I-15 in Salt Lake City, drivers can pay extra to zip past traffic stuck in the slower "local" lanes. HOT lanes also are being added in northern Virginia.

They've been criticized by some as "Lexus Lanes" because of the cost, but in Miami and other cities, it's not just the drivers with fat wallets who can use them: Carpoolers, motorcyclists, buses and hybrid owners drive for free.

"It's one of several huge trends in urban highway transportation," said Tyler Duvall, acting undersecretary of policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation. "You're seeing at least 10 major metro areas with HOT lanes or HOT lane projects. If you're a major city and you've experienced congestion, you either have a HOT lane or you're going to have one in five years."

But do they reduce congestion? Toll lanes haven't been around long enough for researchers to say. Some speculate they could add to congestion by encouraging drivers who can afford to pay the tolls to live in far-flung suburbs.

But many experts say the option of paying for a quicker commute should be available and the proceeds can go toward improving public transportation or roads.

"In the future, congestion pricing is going to be the way we get around in this country," said Gabriel Bernal-Lopez of Miami, a transportation engineering student at the University of Florida and the founder of transitmiami.com, a widely read blog in South Florida. "It's about time that motorists pay their fair share, and HOT lanes are a step in the right direction."

These toll lanes began -- like many traffic trends do -- in congested Southern California in the mid-1990s. By 2006, they were in place in Texas, Minnesota and Colorado, and the planning of South Florida's $122 million I-95 project was under way.

Federal and state officials are big proponents of HOT lanes, largely because they cost less and require neither new asphalt nor the lengthy approval process for building or expanding new highways.

But groups like the AAA are a bit skeptical.

"AAA believes that all roads should be toll-free. Where toll roads are utilized, reasonable alternative toll-free routes should always be available," said Gregg Laskoski, spokesman for AAA South. HOT lanes are only appropriate if an existing car pool lane is underutilized and the change won't contribute to congestion, he said.

That's exactly the situation in Miami. The six-mile HOT lane was already in place as an underused high-occupancy vehicle lane for cars with two or more passengers.

I-95 in South Florida is notoriously congested, with 230,000-plus motorists using the highway on a typical weekday. Because of dense urban development and little available cash, expansion was not an option.

So the state began narrowing its lanes and launched a public-awareness campaign for the HOT lane, including how to get a remote transponder that automatically pays the toll as cars pass toll gates.

The project hit a snag in June, when engineers first placed flexible sticks to divide the toll lane from the regular highway; people were caught off guard and a few motorists darted in between the dividing sticks, causing extensive backups and headaches for commuters. At least one rollover injury crash was reported.

But six months later, when drivers began to pay, there were no crashes, no road rage incidents, no problems. The tolls ranged from 25 cents to $1.75 on that first day, varying by the amount of congestion.

Not everyone's been paying the toll. The Florida Department of Transportation says 173,218 motorists used the tolls between Dec. 5 (when the lanes officially opened) and Dec. 14 (the most recent day the statistics were collected). Of those motorists, 12.8 percent, or 22,215, didn't pay.

Motorists who blow through the toll lanes without paying via SunPass transponder (a device that automatically deducts money from a prepaid account) will be sent a toll violation notice. If the toll isn't paid within 21 days, the notice can lead to a $100 fine.

Officials expect to break ground on another HOT lane in the southbound stretch of I-95 in Miami soon.

Still, just because the lanes will get a motorist to his destination faster, it doesn't mean people will actually use them.

Kyle Cobia, 26, of Miami drives on I-95 to visit his parents in Fort Lauderdale several times a week. He wouldn't pay more than a quarter to use the lanes.

"I would rather wait an extra 15 minutes and sit in traffic than pay," he said.

For attorney Kubiliun, who has never paid more than $2 to go northbound, the southbound lane will allow him to reclaim another half-hour from the maw of traffic.

"I would pay if it was $6. I would even pay up to $10," he said. "When you do a cost-benefit analysis, with gas and the amount of time sitting in traffic, it's worth it."
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #274
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Americans are little cheapskate's when it comes to tolls. They avoid it whenever they can. Even if tolls are much much lower than in Europe.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Hey SoCal, how about expanding Metrolink commuter rail instead of building a massive new tollroad through a pristine natural area? Build more roads to REDUCE CO2 emissions? What a crock of shit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier
How about adding track and trains to Metrolink which serves the I-5 corridor?
Not everyone works in Santa Ana, Anaheim or Downtown LA though.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #276
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Texas kills 50-year road building plan after outcry

SAN ANTONIO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Texas road officials on Tuesday scrapped a $180 billion plan to build a giant system of toll roads and commuter rails criss-crossing the state in favor of a smaller slate of infrastructure projects.

The state Department of Transportation abandoned the Trans Texas Corridor, the centerpiece of Gov. Rick Perry's long-range transportation plan, after objections from communities and farm groups along the planned route, which would have involved seizing large swaths of private property.

In 2002, Perry unveiled an ambitious plan to build 4,000 miles (6,437 km) of transport corridors a quarter mile wide, which would include room for high-voltage power lines, commuter and freight rail lines, and five road lanes in each direction.

In an "updated vision" for the plan, Texas officials want to build several smaller, narrower segments stretching from San Antonio to the Oklahoma border and from the Rio Grande Valley to Texarkana.

"Texans have spoken, and we've been listening," said Amadeo Saenz, executive director of the Department of Transportation. The new plan "goes a long way toward addressing the concerns we've heard."

A spokeswoman for Perry said the new plan was welcomed.

"The Trans Texas Corridor was merely a concept," the spokeswoman, Allison Castle, said. "Transitioning to an updated vision for infrastructure in the state is a positive move."

President-elect Barack Obama has made rebuilding the nation's infrastructure a crucial part of his economic stimulus plan, and many governors, from California to New York, are already vying for dollars.

Investment banks have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in infrastructure projects, and developers, long accustomed to doing deals overseas, are eager to launch projects in the United States.

The Texas Farm Bureau, as well as landowners along the proposed corridor, had heavily opposed the original plan because large swaths of private property would have been seized by the state through eminent domain proceedings.

"This would have been the largest taking of private property in the state's history," Farm Bureau spokesman Gene Hall said, noting that Over 500,000 acres (202,343 hectares) of land could have been transferred to state control from private hands.

Citizens groups like Corridor Watch have opposed the project for years, warning that Perry's push to raise funds by selling operating rights to private companies in exchange for highway building funds would raise costs for consumers.

"This was the Tony Soprano version of highway construction," David Stall of Corridor Watch said, referring to the HBO television series about a fictitious New Jersey mobster. "They give away the farm in exchange for a road project."

Such groups also warned that Perry's plan would have put Texas roads in the hands of foreign owners.

Spain's Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte S.A. had been tapped to finance a portion of the megaroad project in exchange for leasing and operating rights for 50 years.

A Cintra spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Legislators feared that private developers would benefit at the expense of taxpayers and they had already barred Perry from signing more deals in some areas.

That two-year moratorium on new deals expires in the second half of this year and citizens groups are calling on lawmakers to extend it.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #277
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The whole plan was a bit exaggerated. I mean, a 10 lane freeway in rural areas? If they widen the I-35 to 6 lanes that ought to be enough as long as they don't construct new cities along the freeway on a pace Houston and Dallas do.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 05:39 AM   #278
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Not everyone works in Santa Ana, Anaheim or Downtown LA though.
For each and every street,avenue and higway in California reserve 2 tracks for a conversion to tram/metro/comuter railway ... simple "economics".
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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #279
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Maine Turnpike replaces exact-change lanes with dedicated E-ZPass lanes
7 January 2009

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine Turnpike's exact-change lanes are on the road to extinction.

The Maine Turnpike Authority announced Wednesday that it is in the midst of converting its automatic coin lanes to dedicated E-ZPass lanes.

Officials say more than 50 percent of turnpike users pay their tolls electronically and less than 10 percent now use automatic coin lanes to pay their cash tolls.

Spokesman Dan Paradee said the Feb. 1 toll adjustment will make the automatic coin lanes nearly obsolete. He said the new toll structure provides greater savings to E-ZPass users and raising the entry cash toll from 60 cents to $1 at all interchanges is sure to reduce the use of the untended coin baskets.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 10:45 PM   #280
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Quote:
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Not everyone works in Santa Ana, Anaheim or Downtown LA though.
But the toll road was pitched as a reliever for I-5. Well, Metrolink is a reliever for that route and expanding it doesn;t require tearing up wilderness areas.
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