daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Infrastructure and Mobility Forums > Highways & Autobahns

Highways & Autobahns All about automobility



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old March 26th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #4021
phattonez
Bleed Dodger Blue
 
phattonez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The City of Angels
Posts: 1,773
Likes (Received): 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
That is one example of a social savings. There are others--reduced injury and loss of life from accidents, wear and tear savings, etc.
All of those could be solved with higher density. Why should we opt for the more expensive solution?

Quote:
No, they don't necessarily do that. In many cases additional development is not possible because of geographical constraints, so a new road fixes an existing problem without inducing much additional traffic.
Let's limit ourselves to urban roads where this indeed does happen.

Quote:
You are assuming that traffic levels are highly elastic with respect to the road capacity available to accommodate it. In certain very densely populated countries (e.g. the United Kingdom) this may be true, but in large parts of the US it is not. In large cities in California it may be true, but there are numerous areas in the hinterlands where it is not.
Pretty hard to say that the benefits outweigh the costs in that situation.

Quote:
A subsidy is a direct transfer of resources from one group of people to another. This is not normally what happens when a new road is built. The money to build it is collected from the users through an excise tax on motor fuel. When it is built, the social savings expand the resources available, and some of the benefits accrue to the users, while others spill over to the general population. Wealth is being created, not being transferred.
Quote:
In his article, Alex Marshall notes that in 2005 local, state, and federal governments spent over $150 billion on auto roads in the United States. A look at the statistics from the Federal Highway Administration confirms this. About 60% of this money, or $90 billion, came from “user fees” in the form of gasoline taxes which makes some libertarians feel better. But a tax is a tax, it’s the the government reaching to my pocket and doing what it wishes with my money. What if I don’t want my user fee to go to a road I don’t drive on? More importantly, if my only mobility option requires gas, is paying the user fee really a choice? But even if you’re Kool & The Gang with the concept of “user fees” and believe them to be somehow representative of a free market and not government intervention, there’s still another $60 billion to account for that comes from other sources. Marshall asked Robert Poole, who runs the transportation wing of the libertarian think tank The Reason Foundation, how he was able to balance his dislike of government intervention with his support of auto roads. Poole’s response: “I never thought about it that way.”
http://metroriderla.com/2008/04/03/e...-libertarians/

Quote:
Not really--the direct costs of roads are borne by the users.
Not what I'm seeing up above.

Quote:
The time savings are definitely worthwhile in comparison to a counterfactual situation where the access-controlled highway is not available to accommodate the traffic that already exists.

Zoning reform is, strictly speaking, off-topic for this thread. So I will just note that zoning was introduced in the first place to deal with the externalities associated with different kinds of development. Zoning has enjoyed a high level of popular support because people don't want to live adjacent to development which brings environmental pollution and endangers the investment they have in their dwellings. I freely acknowledge that zoning has been bent to serve vested interests, and in many areas has resulted both in failure within the real-estate market and in policies which actively work against the basic social goal of low-cost, high-quality housing occupied by its owners. But anyone of medium income who has $100,000 or more tied up in his or her dwelling will be very, very aware of the downside risks, so any zoning reform proposal you come up with has to be foolproof.
Zoning reform and this issue are related and you can't deal with one without talking about the other. The time savings could be achieved if we allowed higher density. Instead, we cap density, force people to move further out, and then someone has to pay for that transportation. WE ARE WASTING WEALTH! If people choose to live far away that's their choice and they should have to pay for it. Right now, however, people are forced to live far out because of zoning laws. That isn't right.

Quote:
Transaction costs are a reality that must be dealt with.
I'll admit, it is an issue, but with more toll roads and competition those costs would go down. And besides, we can't ignore that people wouldn't have to pay for what they don't want and our tax money would virtually be insured to not be wasted.

Quote:
The > 90% figure applies to the US and is the total revenue from road user fees (tolls, excise taxes on motor fuel, vehicle registration tax receipts, taxes on automotive oils and greases, etc.) divided by the total spending on road construction and maintenance across all levels of government. It varies a little from year to year.
I guess as my quote before showed, things look very different when you consider the state and the federal government.
__________________
“Violence is not necessary to destroy a civilization. Each civilization dies from
indifference toward the unique values which created it.” - Nicolás Gómez Dávila

"A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways." - Proverbs 21: 29
phattonez no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old March 26th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #4022
J N Winkler
Road enthusiast
 
J N Winkler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oxford
Posts: 265
Likes (Received): 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
All of those could be solved with higher density. Why should we opt for the more expensive solution?
High density has a tendency to drive up costs because it requires a more sophisticated infrastructure for accessibility. It also represents more intensive use of land, and is therefore highly transport-dependent because it cannot operate in the same spaces as extensive land uses such as farming, market gardening, or ranching.

Note that your densification idea relies on people living close to their workplaces, so they can just walk, cycle, or use an efficient form of mass transit to reach them. But there is no guarantee that a more dense society would allow people to live closer to their work. You are also not considering the costs of switching from a low-density to a high-density society--those costs exist and are substantial. Some of them relate to capital investment and are higher because more people and more land interests are displaced per unit of land area, while others relate to recurrent costs--for instance, low-density areas rely on highways, which can be left alone (within certain limits), while high-density areas depend on mass transit, which requires continuous staffing during its hours of operation (24/7 in some cases).

You could easily find that the savings in commuting costs (even assuming people are able to live close to their work) are offset by the enormous costs of bringing in food, fuel, and other raw materials from outside to allow the high-density society to function.

The general rule of thumb is that the density of a community should be what is most appropriate for its patterns of economic production. Some communities need very high density in order to realize the economies of scale and agglomeration that are necessary to carry out highly specialized jobs, such as investment banking. Meanwhile, a small farming village can afford to have low density because that is all that is required to keep essential services like the grain elevator, a small bank or farmers' credit union, and a small general store together. You would not expect to conduct investment banking in a small town in Kansas or to farm in midtown Manhattan, but the two need each other because they are essential components of a balanced economy.

Quote:
http://metroriderla.com/2008/04/03/e...-libertarians/

Not what I'm seeing up above.
The Marshall column being cited in that blurb is here. He cites Highway Statistics 2005, which contains information about motor fuel consumption, tax rates on same, and disposition of motor fuel taxes according to state and federal statutes. It looks like Marshall is depending on summary table HF-10. It does say that the total of highway spending at all levels of government was $152.7 billion in 2005. However, 75.06% of this amount was met by highway user revenues through a variety of direct and indirect mechanisms. If you add in investment income at 5.31% of disbursements (because highway user revenue is banked before it is spent, at both the state and federal level) and 11.15% in proceeds from bond issues (because many states have opted to issue bonds instead of raising taxes to the level required to continue a PAYG system), the highway user is responsible for over 90% of 2005 disbursements, either through making tax money available to invest or in accepting liability for bonds which will have to be paid off later.

Quote:
Zoning reform and this issue are related and you can't deal with one without talking about the other. The time savings could be achieved if we allowed higher density.
It is questionable whether those savings would be realized in practice because densification itself entails high switching costs.

Quote:
Instead, we cap density, force people to move further out, and then someone has to pay for that transportation. WE ARE WASTING WEALTH! If people choose to live far away that's their choice and they should have to pay for it. Right now, however, people are forced to live far out because of zoning laws. That isn't right.
No, zoning laws do not force you to live far out. Zoning laws do not force you to live in Rancho Cucamonga and commute in to Santa Monica every day. People subject themselves to super-long commutes on congested freeways because they want housing which they can afford to buy and thereby eliminate a huge running cost while establishing enough equity to progress on the property ladder. The problem is not lack of density so much as it is a shortage of housing which is both affordable and available for occupancy by the owner. Los Angeles has this problem because its population is still expanding fairly rapidly, and it will continue to have it for as long as this is the case. Geography, underinvestment in infrastructure, and Proposition 13 combine to drive up costs both directly and indirectly too, with the result that housing in LA is more expensive and harder to find than in Phoenix even though Phoenix has a similar zoning framework and has been growing faster than LA for decades.

The alternative is to rent someplace close to your work. For many people this is often a better use of their time and equity, but to do it in the long term you need to have confidence in your ability to make productive use of your time and capital once the rent has been paid. You also have to be prepared for your tenancy to be voided on short notice. Some highly dense cities have tried to develop renting into a viable alternative to owner occupancy by introducing rent control laws, but those bring their own sets of problems. Remember London during the heyday of "creeping decontrol" and Rachmanism in the 1960's? Or Hong Kong in the 1970's?

Quote:
I'll admit, it is an issue, but with more toll roads and competition those costs would go down. And besides, we can't ignore that people wouldn't have to pay for what they don't want and our tax money would virtually be ensured to not be wasted.
But people who use a toll road are doing precisely that--paying for what they don't want. Who wants to have one-third of his tolls wasted just on toll collection? And when is the last time you heard of a toll road agency (either public or private) actually welcoming competition?
J N Winkler no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #4023
Koesj
Historian
 
Koesj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: 050
Posts: 429
Likes (Received): 72

I just wanted to chime in and tell you guys these are some excellent posts!
Koesj no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #4024
ChrisZwolle
Road user
 
ChrisZwolle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Zwolle
Posts: 43,572
Likes (Received): 19366

A truck hit this sign on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in New York:


Quote:
NEW YORK -- The busy Whitestone Bridge over New York's East River was shut down in both directions Friday after a large overhead sign fell onto the roadway.

The sign and metal support system fell after it was struck by a truck near the Queens side of the bridge. Two contractors hired to paint the Queens and Bronx bridge towers suffered minor injuries, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
ChrisZwolle no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2009, 06:46 PM   #4025
ChrisZwolle
Road user
 
ChrisZwolle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Zwolle
Posts: 43,572
Likes (Received): 19366

Interesting "exits xx - xx" thing, never seen that before.
image hosted on flickr

by iccdude
ChrisZwolle no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #4026
WA
DJ Michael
 
WA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Boston MA
Posts: 465
Likes (Received): 14

What interstate is that?
WA no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #4027
ChrisZwolle
Road user
 
ChrisZwolle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Zwolle
Posts: 43,572
Likes (Received): 19366

It's a Pennsylvania Turnpike entrance.
ChrisZwolle no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 12:03 AM   #4028
Nexis
Dark Wolf
 
Nexis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Along the Rails of North Jersey..
Posts: 15,684
Likes (Received): 17033

heres some from my small trip on Saturday

New Jersey Turnpike Eastern Spur Hackensack River Bridge





Newark Skyline in the distance with NJ TPK Eastern spur to left




heading South to Jersey Gardens "The largest outlet Mall in New Jersey" via the NJ TPK







Newark Liberty In't Airport to the right oh the NJ TPK













Exiting @ 13A in the Car lanes to the mall!








The Bayonne Bridge as seen from the eastern parking lot of Jersey Gardens


As i was leaving the Mall i got a shot of Entrance Sign



The NJ Tpk , NJ SR 81 , US 1/9 & Newark Liberty Airport Parking , as well as the Port of Newark / Elizabeth Intersection / Interchange


Hope you enjoyed , that's all for now in'till Saturday or Sundays trip

~Corey
__________________
My FLICKR Page < 54,100+ Photos of Urban Renewal , Infrastructure , Food and Nature in the Northeastern US
Visit the Reorganized New York City Section
My Photography Website
Visit the New Jersey Section
Nexis no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 12:10 AM   #4029
FM 2258
Registered User
 
FM 2258's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Austin
Posts: 5,438
Likes (Received): 612

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
heading South to Jersey Gardens "The largest outlet Mall in New Jersey" via the NJ TPK


For some reason I love this landscape of power lines, cranes and buildings.

I think it comes from seeing this area a lot as a kid growing up in the New England area.
FM 2258 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 09:24 AM   #4030
Timon91
Error
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: just outside Germany
Posts: 5,783
Likes (Received): 46

"Hackensack" is quite a funny name IMO

Nice report anyway, Nexis, well done
__________________
My Flickr account.
Some of my photoseries: Northern Ireland, Prague, Boston, Alaska part 1, 2, 3, Smoggy Moscow, Warsaw, Wrocław, Kiev, Donetsk, Odessa and Chişinău.
Timon91 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 01:33 PM   #4031
Verso
Islander
 
Verso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ljubljana
Posts: 22,087
Likes (Received): 4749

Why's the airport sign so tacky?
Verso no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 01:55 PM   #4032
Nexis
Dark Wolf
 
Nexis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Along the Rails of North Jersey..
Posts: 15,684
Likes (Received): 17033

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
"Hackensack" is quite a funny name IMO

Nice report anyway, Nexis, well done


Its an Indian Name , the Hackensack Indian tribe

More picture from the Meadowlands State Park & of the Hackensack River




The NJ transit Train Lift Bridge












2 Panoramic shots from the park looking South




__________________
My FLICKR Page < 54,100+ Photos of Urban Renewal , Infrastructure , Food and Nature in the Northeastern US
Visit the Reorganized New York City Section
My Photography Website
Visit the New Jersey Section
Nexis no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 07:35 PM   #4033
snowman159
Registered User
 
snowman159's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 4,469
Likes (Received): 3

Thanks Nexis, keep up the good work!

The landscape in your last few pics kinda reminds me of the Sopranos.
Did you see any bodies floating around?
snowman159 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 08:39 PM   #4034
pwalker
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Native Seattleite
Posts: 1,438
Likes (Received): 66

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Interesting "exits xx - xx" thing, never seen that before.
image hosted on flickr

by iccdude
Not usual, for sure. And you are probably way ahead of me here, but this kind of makes sense. Since Pennslyvania numbers their exits from west to east and south to north, this shot shows a reverse route to the west, and a northeast route in numerical order.
pwalker no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 08:53 PM   #4035
ChrisZwolle
Road user
 
ChrisZwolle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Zwolle
Posts: 43,572
Likes (Received): 19366

I-95 in Miami:
ChrisZwolle no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 10:17 PM   #4036
nerdly_dood
Possibly Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 951
Likes (Received): 42

Re: I95 in Miami: Thats funny where the highway has a random jump to the right and then goes back to its original path there...
nerdly_dood no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2009, 11:27 PM   #4037
pwalker
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Native Seattleite
Posts: 1,438
Likes (Received): 66

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdly_dood View Post
Re: I95 in Miami: Thats funny where the highway has a random jump to the right and then goes back to its original path there...
Not sure if this is an urban myth, but I heard the early interstate designers delibertly built slight curves or deviations to keep drivers alert and focused. Not sure if this is case in Miami, probably had more to do with saving certain pieces of property, churches, schools, etc.
pwalker no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2009, 06:47 AM   #4038
ADCS
Kickin' it
 
ADCS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Screwston, Plexus
Posts: 508
Likes (Received): 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman159 View Post
Thanks Nexis, keep up the good work!

The landscape in your last few pics kinda reminds me of the Sopranos.
Did you see any bodies floating around?
Heh, it should... that's the exact bridge Tony drives on in the opening credits
ADCS no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2009, 10:08 AM   #4039
Rail Claimore
Registered User
 
Rail Claimore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 1,152
Likes (Received): 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
Not sure if this is an urban myth, but I heard the early interstate designers delibertly built slight curves or deviations to keep drivers alert and focused. Not sure if this is case in Miami, probably had more to do with saving certain pieces of property, churches, schools, etc.
It's a bit of both. Even interstates that go through very flat and boring regions such as the Midwest have curves every few miles, usually because such interstates are built alongside railroad rights-of-way. Where there was a small town along the railroad, the interstate was built around the town.
Rail Claimore no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2009, 04:22 PM   #4040
J N Winkler
Road enthusiast
 
J N Winkler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oxford
Posts: 265
Likes (Received): 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
Not sure if this is an urban myth, but I heard the early interstate designers deliberately built slight curves or deviations to keep drivers alert and focused. Not sure if this is case in Miami, probably had more to do with saving certain pieces of property, churches, schools, etc.
It is closer to the truth to say that the early Interstate designers were encouraged, but not actually required, to deploy certain principles of alignment design which were intended to enhance the driving experience beyond what would have resulted from following Blue Book geometric design standards narrowly. These included:

* Coordination of horizontal and vertical curves so that vertical curves do not "hide" horizontal curves immediately following them

* Designing each direction of a divided highway on its own alignment

* Checking the alignment from a "driver's-eye" perspective to see whether there are any unsightly kinks, and amending the design to remove them (often at a modest added cost in earthworks)

* Rounding slopes to improve slope stability and lend the road a more natural appearance

* Designing bridges and other features to maintain visual continuity (e.g. using one long bridge instead of two smaller bridges connected by a short embankment)

* Favoring short tangents and long curves (even unto an extreme of no tangents at all--called "continuously curvilinear" in the literature) over long tangents and short curves, whenever location controls permit

There is an expanded discussion of this approach in Tunnard and Pushkarev's Man-Made America. It is also covered in depth in a number of geometric design guides and a couple of NCHRP reports in the 1960's and 1970's provided helpful photographic illustrations of "dos" and "don'ts."

This philosophy originated in Germany during the 1930's and 1940's. One motivation was to provide a more naturalistic approach to Autobahn design which would have plugged into Nazi Blut und Boden ideology, but the deeper rationale--which survived the war and guaranteed international adoption--was to enhance the geometric design, at little added cost, in ways which would reduce the incidence of speed adaptation, highway hypnosis, etc. which were already suspected of contributing to accidents. There was even a proposal, which was not to my knowledge ever adopted, to fix a maximum length of tangent that could be used in design. This German approach was a sharp departure from the previous Italian one, which was much more formal and stressed long tangents and heavy use of ornamental landscaping.

The German ideas proved very popular in Britain after the war and were extensively used on the British motorway network. In the US, however, they were very unevenly deployed. Many state highway engineers were unconvinced that the benefits justified the additional costs (although Tunnard and Pushkarev tried to show that roads with long curves and short tangents had a comparative safety advantage over roads of equivalent type with long tangents and short curves), although others explicitly rejected what were called "straightedge" alignments, and lengthened curves at the expense of tangents.

I also suspect there was a more fundamental reason in that the US has both a much more extensive freeway network and more extremes of topographical variation than western Europe. There are very large expanses of land where the variations in elevation are so small that reasonable choices of location control points are very far apart, and it is difficult to justify long curves just for the sake of having curves. Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, there is difficult mountainous terrain where location control points are close together, and it is difficult to avoid having sharp curves.

Ultimately, highway design--including the choice of road type and the choice of location controls for the proposed road--is an act of economic arbitrage between the benefits to traffic expected to use the new road and the cost of building and maintaining it, and in many locations a highly refined approach to curve design may have been squeezed out by economic considerations.
J N Winkler no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Tags
america, california, highway, highways, interstate, los angeles, united states, urban

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium