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Old December 26th, 2008, 05:00 AM   #3541
HAWC1506
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Happy Christmas/Hanukkah to all :]
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Old December 26th, 2008, 09:45 AM   #3542
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Great GW bridge pic.
I had the "honor" of being stuck on that bridge in traffic when coming back from my trip to NJ back in the summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
How is I-80 in the winter. I'm driving west from Ontario through michigan, hopping on it and taking it west from Chicago towards Salt Lake, then going north-west from Salt Lake City up to Seattle, north to Vancouver. I'm leaving in 4 days, and hopefully some of you can let me know what to expect.

I have 6 days to complete the journey.
Well, the last few days have been hellish for a large portion of the Northern US (maybe you know about it, lots of cold and snow), but it may be a bit better in the next few days...not sure about the West Coast though.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 08:31 PM   #3543
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalziand View Post
There's another one in Long Island too at the end of the Clearview Expressway (I-295). As for the ones in Albany, I find it fascinating how they are right next to each other, and one of them isn't even for a highway, just a regular arterial road.
The western of the two I-90 'stacks' in Albany (US 9) was planned to be for an inner-loop freeway - it was to continue south from I-90 a few blocks and then curve east and feed into the freeway that runs under the state office complex (US 9/20). It is one of the major unbuilt freeways in that metro area. After crossing the Hudson River on the existing freeway bridge, it was to then continue back to I-90, connecting at an interchange that was reworked a few years ago.

Also, the next interchange to the west of the US 9 stack on I-90 is a trumpet that was planned to be another freeway, this one to run north-northwestward to the airport area. Note that there is an interchange 2 and an interchange 4 on I-87, but no interchange 3. Interchange 3 is where this freeway was planned to connect. There are now active discussions of building a new connector to the airport terminal from I-87 at that point.

Mike
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Old December 28th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #3544
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Great clip of the Houston interchanges, by Freewayjim.

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Old December 28th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #3545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalziand View Post
There's another one in Long Island too at the end of the Clearview Expressway (I-295). As for the ones in Albany, I find it fascinating how they are right next to each other, and one of them isn't even for a highway, just a regular arterial road.
you mean the northern end of the clearview ( intersection with the CCP/I-678)near Whitestone or the southern end of the clearview(intersection with the Grand Central)? Thanks
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Old December 29th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #3546
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[QUOTE=ChrisZwolle;29865304]Can anybody tell me how a personal is taxed? I mean by owning it (I know about the fuel excise). Is there a registration fee on top of the regular sales tax? Is there an annual tax?QUOTE]

Assuming you're buying new, in Michigan it's based on the the cost of the car with reductions for 3 years. You'd pay the reduced price if you bought used. So my brand new Malibu cost me $141 to register this year and is the only fee I'd have to pay as the state stop requiring inspections about 15 years ago.

The FWHA provides a state by state breakdown registration fees.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/hwytaxes/2008/mv103pt1.cfm

Last edited by urbanlover; December 29th, 2008 at 05:01 AM.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 11:12 PM   #3547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
How is I-80 in the winter. I'm driving west from Ontario through michigan, hopping on it and taking it west from Chicago towards Salt Lake, then going north-west from Salt Lake City up to Seattle, north to Vancouver. I'm leaving in 4 days, and hopefully some of you can let me know what to expect.

I have 6 days to complete the journey.
Even though you have probably already started your trip, I can tell you the weather in Wyoming on I-80, then I-84 Salt Lake to Seattle (via I-82, then I-90) has been terrible the past week or two. Closures, chain requirements have been common. However, crews are pretty good about cleaning it up and it is usually passable. Be prepared for slow spots and delays though.

Last edited by pwalker; December 30th, 2008 at 07:43 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:14 AM   #3548
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Can anybody tell me how a personal vehicle is taxed? I mean by owning it (I know about the fuel excise tax). Is there a registration fee on top of the regular sales tax? Is there an annual tax?
It varies depending on the state, and can vary considerably. In Illinois, for instance, it's a flat fee for all personal vehicles... somewhere around $70. However, some states, Georgia for instance, charge what's called an ad valorem tax, which is a personal property tax on your vehicle in addition to the standard registration fee. So to register your car in one of those states can cost hundreds of dollars per year depending on what county or municipality you live in.

It all balances out in the end though: many of the states that apply property taxes to vehicles have lower taxes on real property (your house) to begin with, and/or have lower excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

I personally favor the flat registration-fee system. It means less paperwork, so long as the fee is reasonable. It also means less enforcement bureaucracy. Many states that use the ad valorem system require that sales tax on the vehicle be paid to that state, even if you bought the vehicle and paid the tax in another state (a form of double-taxation). The ad valorem system is a more progressive tax in that lower-income drivers who usually buy used vehicles pay considerably less to register their vehicles than do higher-income drivers who buy new vehicles. The ad valorem system tends to be more common in Southern states.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #3549
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Here's some more information on what I just posted about:

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/fiscal/AUTOTAXS.HTM

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Old December 30th, 2008, 05:00 AM   #3550
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Yeah, the car property tax. I think I paid nearly $200 last year for it.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #3551
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Yeah buying a car is much cheaper here than in Europe. But I wish there would be more incentives for people to trade in their cars every four to five years to keep fuel economy, emissions, and safety equipment up to date.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #3552
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That works if new cars are cheaper. People tend to continue to drive their old car when a new one is unaffordable. Especially in Europe, family cars tend to cost a small fortune.

What also might work in the US is an annual fit-for-the-road test. If a car fails such a test, it isn't allowed on the road anymore, except when they get repaired. But mostly, repairs are so expensive buying a new one is more economically. Ofcourse, this might impose a problem for low-income households, but it's way safer.

If you see what kind of crap some kiddo's are driving on that MTV show Pimp My Ride... I'm not sure if it's representative though...

Last edited by ChrisZwolle; December 30th, 2008 at 11:23 AM.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #3553
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Most states do have yearly inspections- I'm not sure if that's what you're talking about.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #3554
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Yeah buying a car is much cheaper here than in Europe. But I wish there would be more incentives for people to trade in their cars every four to five years to keep fuel economy, emissions, and safety equipment up to date.
I'm going to go to US and buy Camry next year or in 2010, anyone could help me highlight some potential problem I could face...? Please send me a PM... Many thanks!
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Old December 31st, 2008, 01:28 AM   #3555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
That works if new cars are cheaper. People tend to continue to drive their old car when a new one is unaffordable. Especially in Europe, family cars tend to cost a small fortune.

What also might work in the US is an annual fit-for-the-road test. If a car fails such a test, it isn't allowed on the road anymore, except when they get repaired. But mostly, repairs are so expensive buying a new one is more economically. Ofcourse, this might impose a problem for low-income households, but it's way safer.

If you see what kind of crap some kiddo's are driving on that MTV show Pimp My Ride... I'm not sure if it's representative though...
Well there are fit-for-the-road-tests, but not very strict. It's mainly an emissions test. I don't remember seeing many old cars when I went to the U.K. or France though. Everything on the road was shiny haha
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Old December 31st, 2008, 02:15 AM   #3556
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Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Well there are fit-for-the-road-tests, but not very strict. It's mainly an emissions test. I don't remember seeing many old cars when I went to the U.K. or France though. Everything on the road was shiny haha
Strumatically shiny?
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Old December 31st, 2008, 06:16 AM   #3557
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
That works if new cars are cheaper. People tend to continue to drive their old car when a new one is unaffordable. Especially in Europe, family cars tend to cost a small fortune.

What also might work in the US is an annual fit-for-the-road test. If a car fails such a test, it isn't allowed on the road anymore, except when they get repaired. But mostly, repairs are so expensive buying a new one is more economically. Ofcourse, this might impose a problem for low-income households, but it's way safer.

If you see what kind of crap some kiddo's are driving on that MTV show Pimp My Ride... I'm not sure if it's representative though...
That won't fly on such a large scale in the US.

For one, there aren't many studies to indicate that it would have a significant impact on road safety or emissions. Emissions testing in non-attainment areas (major metro areas) works well enough.

Second, the government (federal and states) want to make it easy for people to drive. More registrations and more gas usage = more money for infrastructure projects, something politicians love to take credit for.

Third, malfunctioning equipment is something law enforcement use as an excuse to pull people over and attempt to search cars for drugs and whatnot. Having the state enforce such requirements at a registration facility would largely eliminate that excuse.

Some states, such as Texas, require a safety inspection of vehicles that are brought into the state by new residents. Texas is unusual in that you have to register a vehicle before getting a driver's license. In most states, it's the other way around.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 09:36 AM   #3558
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And there are just too much cars in the US to do this check annually
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Old December 31st, 2008, 04:50 PM   #3559
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Within the city of New York, NYSDOT is proposing to rehabilitate the Gowanus Expressway (I-278) in Brooklyn. There are a few alternatives, including a tunnel.

project page (works only with IE here)

It's not clear to me if this tunnel alternative would have an increase of lanes. It seems clever to me to add a fourth lane, so that traffic congestion can ease somewhat. The current elevated structure has 6 lanes, but since the Gowanus is a critical link connecting not only the 12 lane Verrazano Bridge, but also the Belt Parkway with the BQE and I-478.

Since population growth has pretty much maxed out here, an additional big increase of traffic is not to be expected. This would be a nice chance to finally relieve a New York expressway of some congestion.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 08:41 PM   #3560
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FDR Drive

From Brooklyn Bridge to United Nations building.

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