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Old March 20th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #1981
LtBk
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That's what happens when you sprawl a lot. You overstretch you infrastructure and can't repair or replace it because of the people and lack of taxes.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #1982
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Tom, any fresh (tornado) pics from Atlanta?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZnlpbpVs5Y
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/15611659/detail.html
I recommend the forth video in this link. Ignore her nick name for CNN close to the end though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPdJah-P0F8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TT01...eature=related

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Old March 21st, 2008, 12:42 AM   #1983
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That's what happens when you sprawl a lot. You overstretch you infrastructure and can't repair or replace it because of the people and lack of taxes.
It has nothing to do with sprawl. Problems with infarastructure update in densly populated places can be exactly the same.
People are scared of new constructions (road, railways, power lines and plants water treatment plants and so on). Those who are not scared just want to protect views from their backyards. Some others just want money.
And some eco wariors just want to return planet to animals.
In many European countries nobody wants to see new power plants for example. But we need them too.
In densly populated regions you just have more people to worry about
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Old March 21st, 2008, 09:35 AM   #1984
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And btw, the Federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money sometime this year. I don't know what happened to all that money we had, but now gas tax isn't enough. Europeans have about 8-9 U.S.-dollars per gallon, and more than 2/3rds of the price of gas itself are tax. So pretty roads do come at a price.

Also I know this applies to Washington State, but I'm not sure about other states, but the government actually taxes itself on road projects. So a new State Route 520 floating bridge costs around $3.9 billion dollars, and the sales tax on that would be around 196 million dollars. The rule is that the gas tax can only be used for roads, so the state taxes itself on road projects and part of the construction cost is diverted to education/police/medical funds. So that's a waste of gas tax, I really do not support Washington State doing this.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 01:29 PM   #1985
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So pretty roads do come at a price.
Don't forget we have pretty roads, but still pay a lot more than is invested in transportation (of any kind). But i agree American gas tax should increase in order to rehabilitate the infrastructure.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 01:32 PM   #1986
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Minnesota bridge ordered closed for safety concerns

(CNN) -- Officials in Minnesota have closed a major bridge on the Mississippi River, citing safety concerns, the state's transportation department announced Thursday.

The bridge is about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed August 1, 2007, during the evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injured 145.

"The bridge will remain closed until it either can be repaired, or if repairs are not possible, until the bridge can be replaced," said acting Transportation Commissioner Bob McFarlin.

"The safety of the public is our first and foremost concern. We are taking a conservative approach in closing the bridge until we are absolutely sure it is safe for operation," he added.

A recent inspection showed bending in plates that connect steel beams that support the span.

The 890-foot-long bridge in St. Cloud, Minnesota, was built in 1957. It carries four lanes of traffic and approximately 31,000 vehicles a day.

In the weeks after the August collapse, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark Rosenker said investigators observed a "design issue" with the bridge's support plates. He didn't elaborate.

The state has since launched a statewide bridge inspection program, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Who remembers the I-40 Webbers Falls, OK incident?
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Old March 21st, 2008, 04:12 PM   #1987
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
That is absolutely not true in most cities. If you say New York or Tokyo, i'd say, okay, but check this out:

Dutch statistics:

area:
railways: 99km2
main highways: 79km2

Transportation prestation:
Railways: 15.5 billion travelkilometers
Main highways: 68.1 billion travelkilometers

So the railways consume 25% more space, while it accumulates in 75% Less kilometers travelled.

In other words, the main highways handle 4.4 times more traffic on 1.2 times less space than railways

You do the math about which modality is more space-efficient. Things might be different in the United States, but are never more space-efficient than freeways.

You also have to remember, the Dutch railways are among the busiest in the world.
This is bollocks what you write there. Of course do roads require much more space to provide the same capacity than rail-bound transportation systems.
The numbers you quote attest the inefficiency of the Dutch railway company at most. However, it doesn't prove your claim.
Roads require more space than any other mode of transportation. It takes a completely new approach to road traffic to overrule this axiom. However, we're nowhere near such a new approach.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 04:19 PM   #1988
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That's nothing about the inefficiency of the railway company, but the fact that outside rushhours, ridership is much lower, thus consuming more space per travelled kilometers. In public transportation, the difference between peak and non-peak hours is larger than on the roads.

Ofcourse, a 1500 people capacity train that runs 24/7 has a higher capacity, but that isn't just the fact right now, and never will be. Another problem are the trainstations, the platforms cannot handle a high amount of trains.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 04:59 PM   #1989
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You confuse capacity with ridership. Just because the Dutch don't use their Railways that much doesn't mean that it couldn't carry them. Railways provide much more capacity than you might think. And Dutch platform aren't much different from platforms in other countries which handle a frequency of up to 40 trains per hour.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 05:22 PM   #1990
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40 trains an hour is absolutely not possible. It means a train stopping every 1,5 minute at each platform. Trains usually stop for 2 - 3 minuten to let everbody out during rushhours, so 40 trains would be physically impossible.

The busiest train tracks have 10 trains an hour. The Dutch railways are very busy, but the scale difference with the motorways is still huge.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 05:36 PM   #1991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
And btw, the Federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money sometime this year. I don't know what happened to all that money we had, but now gas tax isn't enough. Europeans have about 8-9 U.S.-dollars per gallon, and more than 2/3rds of the price of gas itself are tax. So pretty roads do come at a price.
The problem with the USA's federal highway trust fund is that it is funded by a volume-based (*NOT* percentage of the price based) tax on fuel that has not been changed since the early 1990s. Inflation has dropped its effective revenue by over half since then. Most state fuel taxes are that way, too, and some states (like Wisconsin - Grrrrr...) are also starting to raid their highway funds to fill general fund deficits.

And it is politically difficult, if not impossible, to change that.

Mike
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Old March 21st, 2008, 05:46 PM   #1992
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US gas taxes are around 47 cents per gallon. That's € 0.30 per gallon, or € 0.08 per liter. In the Netherlands, gas taxes are around € 1 per liter. Hence the difference in budget.

Well, i don't understand the need to drive in huge pickups, vans or master SUV's. I mean, what's wrong with the European MPV-sized car? That way, you still have a pretty large car, but they are much more fuel efficient.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 06:32 PM   #1993
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Well, i don't understand the need to drive in huge pickups, vans or master SUV's. I mean, what's wrong with the European MPV-sized car? That way, you still have a pretty large car, but they are much more fuel efficient.
The sales of compact cars have already increased significantly in the USA due to ever-increasing petrol prices. It's hard to change people's mentality though, so the only way they will stop buying huge SUVs is when they realise that they cannot afford these monsters anymore.

My wife told me a funny story that happened to her at a petrol station. She finished pumping petrol, and immediately a man approached her and asked whether she could help him out financially. However, instead of some change, he asked if he could pull his car to my wife's pump and get "some gas". My wife is a very generous person and always helps people in need, but this time she didn't because the man had a ... huge GM SUV To make the contrast even bigger, I should mention that my wife had a small Corolla at that time.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 06:47 PM   #1994
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Oh that's gold
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Old March 21st, 2008, 08:12 PM   #1995
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
40 trains an hour is absolutely not possible. It means a train stopping every 1,5 minute at each platform. Trains usually stop for 2 - 3 minuten to let everbody out during rushhours, so 40 trains would be physically impossible.
You don't seem to know what rail-bound system can carry, do you. A train every 90 sec is the very well possible. Trains don't have to stop for 2 min. I suggest you read some literature on that matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
The busiest train tracks have 10 trains an hour. The Dutch railways are very busy, but the scale difference with the motorways is still huge.
Probably not. If they were busy they would run a few more trains.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 09:00 PM   #1996
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You don't seem to know what rail-bound system can carry, do you. A train every 90 sec is the very well possible. Trains don't have to stop for 2 min. I suggest you read some literature on that matter.



Probably not. If they were busy they would run a few more trains.
Well, you seem to know it all so well, why don't you explain to the Dutch railways they should stop shorter?

Meanwhile, we can discuss US Highways.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 10:13 PM   #1997
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
US gas taxes are around 47 cents per gallon. That's € 0.30 per gallon, or € 0.08 per liter. In the Netherlands, gas taxes are around € 1 per liter. Hence the difference in budget.

Well, i don't understand the need to drive in huge pickups, vans or master SUV's. I mean, what's wrong with the European MPV-sized car? That way, you still have a pretty large car, but they are much more fuel efficient.
Many people feel unsafe in even smaller SUVs. They like having a taller view of the road. Yes, I know this is very irrational, but take it for what it's worth.
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Old March 21st, 2008, 10:23 PM   #1998
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
You don't seem to know what rail-bound system can carry, do you. A train every 90 sec is the very well possible. Trains don't have to stop for 2 min. I suggest you read some literature on that matter.
It depends if you mean heavy rail or light rail/metro.
But even in busy London Undrground 90 sec is just minimum or even to short. It's simply imposible for normal trains to stop every 90 sec.
Tell me at least one example where trains stop every 90 sec on the same track and same platform?
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Old March 21st, 2008, 10:26 PM   #1999
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Old March 21st, 2008, 10:46 PM   #2000
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Many people feel unsafe in even smaller SUVs. They like having a taller view of the road. Yes, I know this is very irrational, but take it for what it's worth.
Hmm, if everybody has a smaller car (and not necessarily a compact or something), this problem wouldn't exist.

I checked some car sale sites in the Netherlands, but nearly all American cars have 3 liter engines or above, even up to 7.2 liters (Chevy Suburban), and also a V8 engine. That's what we put in full sized trucks over here. Those massive cars run like on half or a third than on regular cars in Europe. If all Americans decide to buy smaller cars, everybody can enjoy driving much longer. (you consume less fuel, which is also better for your wallet )

In the Netherlands, we have a slurptax for extremely fuel-inefficient cars. (usually sports cars and american cars).
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