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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%
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Old January 24th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #301
deranged
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Thanks for the info... sounds like a bit of a shambles really.

It reminds me of the Centenary Hwy / Ipswich Mwy interchange in Brisbane. They took an inordinate amount of time to install traffic lights on the roundabout. For some reason, they applied roadworks speed limits for a much longer distance than necessary. Barely after that was complete, work began on the duplication of the formerly 2x1 Cent Hwy for about 1km south of the roundabout. This took most of a year, and while they constructed the actual road quickly, for months a 1km section of motorway-standard dual-carriageway sat there with no actual roadworks taking place, just a couple of unobtrusive cones etc on the side, limited to between 40 and 60km/h.

When the upgrade finally finished, there were no roadworks for much of 2008, but late in the year, they resumed. Now, it's the construction of the partial-stack interchange and duplication of the Cent Hwy (now M5) further south. Of course, a little foresight when building the original Cent Hwy extension south of the Ipswich Mwy would have been invaluable, but even considering that, I just don't understand the inefficiency.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deranged View Post
Thanks for the info... sounds like a bit of a shambles really.

It reminds me of the Centenary Hwy / Ipswich Mwy interchange in Brisbane. They took an inordinate amount of time to install traffic lights on the roundabout. For some reason, they applied roadworks speed limits for a much longer distance than necessary. Barely after that was complete, work began on the duplication of the formerly 2x1 Cent Hwy for about 1km south of the roundabout. This took most of a year, and while they constructed the actual road quickly, for months a 1km section of motorway-standard dual-carriageway sat there with no actual roadworks taking place, just a couple of unobtrusive cones etc on the side, limited to between 40 and 60km/h.

When the upgrade finally finished, there were no roadworks for much of 2008, but late in the year, they resumed. Now, it's the construction of the partial-stack interchange and duplication of the Cent Hwy (now M5) further south. Of course, a little foresight when building the original Cent Hwy extension south of the Ipswich Mwy would have been invaluable, but even considering that, I just don't understand the inefficiency.
Yes, that's one road that I've often thought seemed to be quite inadequate, as it left the Western Freeway unconnected to the rest of the motorways in Brisbane. I was glad to hear they're turning it into a motorway. From what I've read, Brisbane is spending its road infrastructure funding much better than Sydney is, considering the Centenary Highway upgrade, the Gateway Bridge duplication and those tunnels they want to build near the CBD. Also, the recently completed Tugun Bypass and the proposed Toowoomba Bypass will help connect Brisbane to its surrounding areas much better.

Sydney's idea of improving its connections to surrounding areas includes upgrading the Great Western Highway from 60 km/h single carriageway to 60 km/h dual carriageway, choosing not to build the Southern Freeway which was identified as necessary to handle traffic needs in 1952 and taking a ridiculously long time to decide whether or not to connect the F3 to the orbital. The only time anything good ever seems to get done anymore with the regional road network in NSW is when the Federal government steps in, such as with the M7 to improve peripheral traffic movement around Sydney and the upgrading of the Pacific and Hume Highways to form a motorway from Brisbane to Melbourne by 2017 - if the missing link in Sydney is ever built, that is.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:00 PM   #303
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I agree - Brisbane is at least trying to make up for lost time. The Gateway Mwy and Pacific through Tugun are projects that were long overdue. I still think the M7 should have been six lanes, and I'm not convinced of the viability of the Hale St Bridge.

I couldn't believe the F3-M2 link plans when I first heard of them
Still, it's hard to believe the freeway network of Sydney just 10 years ago - no M7, no M5 East, no Eastern Dbr, no LCT, no CCT...

It's the short-sightedness and piecemeal work that grates with me. If you undertake a project, you'll regret it if you choose not to do it properly the first time.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #304
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Quote:
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I agree - Brisbane is at least trying to make up for lost time. The Gateway Mwy and Pacific through Tugun are projects that were long overdue. I still think the M7 should have been six lanes, and I'm not convinced of the viability of the Hale St Bridge.

I couldn't believe the F3-M2 link plans when I first heard of them
It's hard to believe the freeway network of Sydney just 10 years ago - no M7, no M5 East, no Eastern Dbr, no LCT, no CCT...

It's the short-sightnedness and piecemeal work that grates with me. If you undertake a project, you'll regret it if you choose not to do it properly the first time.
Sydney had good radial freeway plans in the 1950s, they were just never built to completion, which is why you have oddities like Burns Bay Road, a 2x2 secondary road with grade separated junctions - it was originally planned to connect to the F3 in the north, and what is now the Western Distributor to the south. But it seems like the current government would rather just act as though there's nothing wrong with our infrastructure than bother to put in the funding to fix it.

I've read the arguments for and against the Hale Street Bridge, and I think that while it may not be a bad idea, it shouldn't be a priority. The system of tunnels connecting the Pacific Motorway, Gympie Road and the Western Freeway seem to me like the best way of reducing strain on central Brisbane.

With regard to the F3 to M2 connection, I think that if they want to build it as a tunnel under Pennant Hills Road, they should at least extend it to connect directly onto Silverwater Road, so that traffic bound for Metroad 6 doesn't need to travel via Marsden Road and Stewart Street, which is a horrible route for such an important arterial route to take, in my opinion.

By the way, are you familiar with Ozroads? Its writer doesn't have a very pleasant writing style, but it can be a great source of information.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 11:16 PM   #305
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Yeah I've spent a fair bit of time on Ozroads - that site is excellent. BTW, what do you find unpleasant about the writing style of Ozroads?
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Old January 25th, 2009, 01:12 AM   #306
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Quote:
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Yeah I've spent a fair bit of time on Ozroads - that site is excellent. BTW, what do you find unpleasant about the writing style of Ozroads?
I don't know, I just find that something about it requires the reader to do more work than should be necessary to absorb the information; it doesn't have much natural flow to it. I also find it irritating that it spells Gwynneville as "Gwynnieville", for some reason.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #307
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Serbia cuts road tolls for foreign vehicles: report
5 February 2009
Agence France Presse

Serbia's government decided Thursday to reduce road tolls for foreign vehicles and make them equal with domestic ones, Deputy Prime Minister Mladjan Dinkic said.

"We expect that the amount of traffic of foreign lorries through Serbia will increase," Dinkic said as quoted by Beta news agency.

Previously, operators of foreign bus and lorry services paid twice as much as Serbian counterparts for travel between Belgrade and the southern city of Nis, a route used mainly by Greek and Bulgarian companies.

Serbia has for years come under international pressure to standardise the fees for all vehicles.

The move came after some 150 Serbian trucks were stranded in Greece, whose authorities refused to let them cross its borders until the issue was resolved.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #308
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That was stupid anyway. I don't immediatly want to put up the word "discrimination", but it's senseless that foreigners should pay more tolls, just because they're foreigners.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #309
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Well, Serbians aren't rich, so the only way to get them on toll highways is with low prices, so they have to bring money in with foreigners, who are usually richer (or else they wouldn't be driving hundreds of kms through foreign countries). I don't feel discriminated, it's not like we have to pay more b/c we're "bad, ugly foreigners", but b/c we're richer.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #310
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What's next, different tolls for every nationality?
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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #311
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Heh, not so far.

Imposing different tolls on foreigners is good as it show citizens: Look - you pay taxes on roads, so road tolls are lower for you.

However, if we make it like that foreigners pay more(and not Serbians less), it won't work.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
What's next, different tolls for every nationality?
You don't pay much more, the point is that Serbians pay less, and I'm willing to pay a fair price (or a bit higher), so that Serbia can finally build some more motorways. If everyone payed as much as Serbians pay now, we'd never see any new motorways in Serbia.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #313
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Looking at current toll prices in Serbia even domestic truckers and bus drivers pay hefty tolls: truck with trailer pays 25 euro cents per km, foreign trucker even 38 cents per km (almost as in Austria) - 175 € per one way trip north-south.
Personal cars pay 4,5 cents per km (as in Slovenia before vignettes), foreign cars 6,6 cents per km.

So I wouldn't say, that Serbians pay less, no, just foreigners pay much more.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #314
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Here in America many states will offer discounts to motorists who use the local electronic tolling device- is there any way Serbia could do something like that? Or is it too late now?
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Old February 11th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #315
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Is the UK the only country where you cant get a green card for Serbia?
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Old February 15th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #316
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Bangkok Expressway sees 2009 profits up, plans bonds

BANGKOK, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Bangkok Expressway PCL , a Thai tollway operator, expects a recent toll increase and lower interest costs to boost 2009 revenue by 5.4 percent and push net profit up from last year, its managing director said.

The company planned to issue bonds worth about 3.5 billion baht ($100 million) this year and next to refinance debt and benefit from low interest rates, Payao Marittanaporn told reporters late on Thursday.

"The growth forecast for revenue stems from higher toll rates. Interest expenses have fallen as well; falling interest rates help reduce our burden," Payao said.

BECL, which operates a network in Bangkok under a 30-year government contract, raised toll rates by 12.5 percent in September to 45 baht per vehicle from 40 baht.

However, the toll increase could hit traffic volume, Payao said. He expected volume to be similar to last year's 924,000 vehicles per day, despite lower fuel prices.

The company, due to release yearly results later this month, is forecast to report a 4 percent fall in 2008 revenue to 6.96 billion baht and a 3.5 percent fall in net profit to 1.36 billion, according to 11 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

Revenue in 2009 is estimated to rise 5.5 percent, with a 21 percent rise in net profit.

Lower funding costs will help. Payao said every one-point cut in banks' lending rates would help reduce interest expenses by 130 million baht.

The company, majority owned by Thailand's second-largest construction firm, Ch Karnchang , has total debt of 25 billion baht, with 13 billion baht in loans and the rest in bonds, Payao said.

Last October the company sold bonds worth 7.5 billion baht in two tranches, with 3-year bonds carrying a coupon of 5.20 percent and 5-year bonds having 5.20-6.00 percent coupons.

At 0351 GMT BECL shares were up 2.5 percent at 16.50 baht, while the main Thai stock index <.SETI> was up 0.9 percent. ($1=35.15 Baht)
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Old February 17th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #317
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How other states manage toll roads
15 February 2009
Associated Press Newswires

A look at toll road operations in other states:

--East Coast: Interstate 95 from Washington, D.C., to Maine is a patchwork of free highways and toll roads crossing six states, including Delaware and Maryland.

--Florida: Regional authorities operate toll routes near Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.

--Illinois: Illinois Tollways operates Chicago's expressway system.

--Indiana: State has one toll road.

--Pennsylvania: Major toll road expansions have been extensions of its main east-west turnpike.

--New York: A variety of transportation agencies oversee toll roads and bridges in metropolitan New York and crossing rivers upstate.

--New Jersey: State turnpike authority operates two toll routes. A regional authority operates a third, and separate officials handle Delaware River bridges.

------

SOURCE: The Blade
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Old February 18th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #318
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No wonder they expect a fall in volume, the tolls are getting expensive and are not worthwhile for short trips because you spend just as much time getting on and off the expressway as driving underneath it.

I would give them credit, they have an excellent english language website: http://www.becl.co.th/2006/EN/main.asp

Mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Bangkok Expressway sees 2009 profits up, plans bonds
...

BECL, which operates a network in Bangkok under a 30-year government contract, raised toll rates by 12.5 percent in September to 45 baht per vehicle from 40 baht.

However, the toll increase could hit traffic volume, Payao said. He expected volume to be similar to last year's 924,000 vehicles per day, despite lower fuel prices.

The company, due to release yearly results later this month, is forecast to report a 4 percent fall in 2008 revenue to 6.96 billion baht and a 3.5 percent fall in net profit to 1.36 billion, according to 11 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.
...
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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #319
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User-pay the way for many
14 February 2009
The Toronto Star

Governments everywhere are running out of money to build and maintain roads, with fuel taxes having only one-third the purchasing power they did 40 years ago.

Increasingly, new road-toll laws are winning support, particularly in Europe, for their ability to force motorists using the roads to pay for the infrastructure. New tolling technology - and GPS looks to be the front-runner - can do this by replacing general road taxes with targeted per-use billing.

Beyond the revenue source, governments have a new tool for controlling urban congestion.

Drivers in Stockholm are charged depending on the time of the day they enter the downtown "congestion tax area." Traffic was reduced by 22 per cent and carbon dioxide emissions were cut by 14 per cent during the initial trial period. The project earned widespread support and residents voted to keep it in place permanently.

The best-known urban toll is the "Kengestion tax" introduced by former London mayor Ken Livingston in 2003. A complex array of cameras is used to photograph vehicles as they enter central London, and they are charged about $15 daily for the privilege.

The benefits of the London toll have been contested. While vehicular traffic was 16 per cent lower in 2006 than pre-charge levels in 2002, media reports pegged rush-hour traffic speeds and delays virtually back to their original levels by 2007.

Germany has been charging tolls on heavy trucks using the Autobahn since 2005. Trucks are required to have an on-board GPS unit that tracks the vehicle's road use, generating a bill that goes directly to the trucking firm.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #320
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Quote:
Increasingly, new road-toll laws are winning support, particularly in Europe
Yeah, by those recieving the money, not by those who pay it.

Quote:
with fuel taxes having only one-third the purchasing power they did 40 years ago.
If they really would spend the entire budget brought in by motorists they could construct all guardrails out of gold. The line should read "the part of fuel taxes used for infrastructure having only one-third the purchasing power they did 40 years ago."
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