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Old March 24th, 2007, 04:39 AM   #541
gladisimo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
I think that all interstates should be funded by federal government only. It would ensure the even distribution of funds among all states and would keep some uniformity in road quality. At the same time, if a particular stretch is in a bad shape, people will not say something like: "Hey, this road is aweful because [insert a state] is a shithole and doesn't spend enough money on it." For instance, the decrease in road quality on I-80 once you cross Nevada-California border is just shocking.
Don't know if it's been said, but the problem with that is that the contrast between the interstate and us highways/state highways would be too great in some of the poorer areas/states. I rather recommend the state distribute all its funding equally to ensure good road quality all around.

Of course, I haven't thought it out clearly yet, I can sing both ways. My real problem is that the interstates are too tightly integrated with other roads (esp in metropolitan areas) and the change in quality might differ. Also, states can lobby for different amounts of funding etc... and disparity might nevertheless result.
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Old March 24th, 2007, 05:21 AM   #542
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Connecticut's highways are in crap condition because of many reasons...

-Cost. In some areas, the land is just too expensive to make widenings, and NIMBYs will block any widening at all. On I-95, right outside the NY state line, they are thinking of removing some exits, to let less cars in.

-Outdated techniques. There are too many left exits, too much unused interchanges, and too much crazy turns, from plans that were cancelled. A lot of the interchanges are not needed.

-Too much use. Connecticut, being a relatively dense state on the east coast, has a crap public transportation system compared to it's neighbors. Commuter rail doesn't serve the capital, and nobody wants to take buses, so more and more people will crowd the highways.

-Corruption. An over $1b construction process to refix and widen Interstate 84 has been finished with shoddy storm drains and shoulders. The best contractor to do the job wasn't allowed to do the job, but the one with the most connections were. This isn't the first time this happened.

Connecticut's highways are a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. They are traffic filled, which has lead to many devestating accidents in the past and present. If the state government wasn't so corrupt and lazy, or more people took PT, probably it wouldn't be that bad, but it is. We're paying the price.

The East Coast has the WORST highways period though, do NOT get me started on New York or Mass.
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Old March 24th, 2007, 05:48 AM   #543
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The US is broke. Our economy and expeditures are based on creating debt.

We've gotten a free ride in a fancy car that's about to end.

Nate
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Old March 24th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #544
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
Dutch fuel tax is € 0,668 per liter, plus 19% VAT. Some 64% of the fuel price exists out of tax. The US fueltax is a laughter compared to the Dutch fueltax.

But i heard, in Venezuela, it costs around € 0,03 per liter, that is about 5 dollarcents.
Yes it is true... it's very cheap here and because of that we have too much cars in the streets, then we have things like this:

image hosted on flickr


those are repaired and aren't everywhere but i just post the picture because the one posted early on this post seemed like nothing hehe
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Old March 24th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #545
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You realise the difference between a city street and a motorway, don't you? You may find same potholes in the US cities too, but on the motorways these potholes would be unacceptable.
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Old March 24th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #546
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Whaaa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
The US is broke. Our economy and expeditures are based on creating debt.

We've gotten a free ride in a fancy car that's about to end.

Nate
The U.S. is far from broke. Local jurisdictions may be broke, but that is their fault. Why blame the feds for every local problem? Local prosperity begins with local economic growth. I believe the best answer to fixing our roads comes from the local and state level.

Last edited by pwalker; March 25th, 2007 at 12:05 AM.
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Old March 24th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #547
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^I was referring federally.

Nate
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Old March 24th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #548
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If the federal government were any normal institution, it would be having collection calls every nano-second the debt is that large. But who can call the most influential government in the world on its debt? Deficit spending is an artificially created construct when we're talking this level, so the rules are a bit different.

But getontrac has a good point - a problem that manfests its symptoms in our deteriorating transportation infrastructure. It is my belief that sometime within the next 50-100 years, they'll be a crisis. Our way of life is too expensive and we arn't paying for it. I can't back that up with any hard proof, obviously, so only time will tell. I hopefull got another 60 years on me so maybe I'll see if I'm wrong. Maybe.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #549
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Sure. This is I-80 near O'Donner Pass.



And some zooming for you.


Does it qualify as a bad road? Absolutely. Trust me, you can damage your axle over there.
If this is Donner Pass in California - you must remember one thing... 33feet of snow every winter - temperature extremes. The road is going to take a beating. Lots of heavy trucks. Ice. Melting water. Ice. I spent a couple of months working at the Sugerbowl Resort - and the I80 is definately hammered by severe weather. That makes upkeep more of a challenge. We are luckier down here in South Africa. No real climatic extremes. Just big trucks destroying our roads. With an insane upkeep backlog.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #550
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I worked at a couple of ski resorts in this tahoe area while studying. Donner Ski Ranch and Sugarbowl. The weather extremes combined with heavy traffic takes a toll on the I-80. In spite of the roadsurface - what a drive! And with 33 feet of snow average a year at Donner summit - how hectic is that!? In 2003 we had a single storm dumping 24 feet of snow at the summit - with something like 14-18 feet in truckee... It was crazy.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #551
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With this country so vast, and states maintaining their own roads, it's kinda like we're trying to compare the roads in 50 different countries with 50 different geography/climates in one fallow swoop.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 08:31 PM   #552
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It's not really the Federal Government responsible for these roads. They came to the states 50 years ago and said:

"listen - we'll build you these expensive roads to connect the country together, but if we pay for these roads, you need to take care of them".

It's like having someone build you a house, but you have to pay the taxes and keep up on maintenance. It's an awesome deal for the states, but after the roads start to fall apart, they need to tweak their budgets to make sure they can take care of them. Many states have stumbled on coming up with the funds to keep the roads in top quality.

Our government only spends 4.1% of its income on Education, 2% on housing, 20% on healthcare, and transportation is included in this huge "other" which eats up 11% of the Federal budget.

I think a lot of people don't understand that the federal government isn't really responsible for our education system or our road networks. It's mostly the states who are in charge of all "civil" matters. The government is in charge of defense more than anything, making sure old people and sick people at least have some option other than starving in the steets, and coming to the rescue during an emergency.

States are in charge of drawing up plans and getting all the cost estimates of road projects. At that point the state goes to the government and presents a plan costing, say, $100 million. The federal goverment looks it over and says - ok, you pay $50 million of this, and we'll cough up the rest to get it completed. They pay a lot, but its all up to the states to make it happen. They have to get their part, and they have to get it on the feds desk, and they have to get it all planned out and budgeted.

Same with education and all civil services. Even health care is almost entirely private in this country, the feds don't run our lives, they just (try) and protect us from dying in ways that are out of our control.

So in discussing our road networks, it's almost like you're talking about 50 different countries here. Their priorities vary greatly, so it's hard to talk about all our interstates as one equal network.

K, i'm done....

Last edited by Chicagoago; March 27th, 2007 at 10:05 PM.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #553
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You have a great point. There seems to be a general discourse in this country about changing the role of the federal government. Heck, it's changed considerably from the 50's. One of the larger debates, which you bring up nicely, is the role of the federal government. Given that our national economy is dependant on our network of highways, shouldn't the federal government have some repsonsability? I mean, if we're to properly adress the problem it ought to be addressed on the scale of the problem, which is, on a whole, national.

I think that even though I brought up this issue, and that it is a problem in many places, the severity and the weight of the problem has yet to hit us on a grand scale. I think I said this before, but give it 50 years and then look at what the problems are, especially if we don't deal with it.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 10:02 PM   #554
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Exactly, I've driven tens of thousands of miles around our country, and very very rarely have I ever thought consciously "wow, this road really sucks". They might not be amazing and smooth, but as long as my drink doesn't spill, my car doesn't lose a wheel, and my CDs are skipping, I really never think at all about the condition of the road.

People here are just use to it, it's honestly not that disrupting 99% of the time. When it is, people bitch to holy hell and they repave the roads. I-88 in Illinois got to be in HORRIBLE condition a few years ago from some massive freeze-thaw potholes that formed within a few weeks.

People's cars got damaged, they sued, the government paid them for any damage, and then immediately repaved 225KM of interstate all at once when the ground thawed.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #555
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^Still, again and again I hear americans(and not only) saying that USA is the most powerful country in the world and I think that a country like this should have excellent freeways.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #556
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^Still, again and again I hear americans(and not only) saying that USA is the most powerful country in the world and I think that a country like this should have excellent freeways.

I think you could safely say that the U.S. DOES have excellent freeways. If you consider the extent of the highway system, the poorly maintained areas must be a small percentage of the total miles of highway.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #557
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California is like the 5th biggest economy of the world, so they must be able to repair the I-80 Sacramento - Reno.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #558
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoago View Post
I-88 in Illinois got to be in HORRIBLE condition a few years ago from some massive freeze-thaw potholes that formed within a few weeks.
People's cars got damaged, they sued, the government paid them for any damage, and then immediately repaved 225KM of interstate all at once when the ground thawed.
And that, perhaps, is the biggest problem. In western Europe, it would never get to the point where cars were getting damaged. It's the responsibilty of the government and its road agencies to not allow it to get even close to that state of disrepair.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #559
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Can your country build 5 level stack interchanges and 24 lane expressways? If not, I suggest you STFU, and shove some kraut up your ass.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 01:09 AM   #560
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If the situation arose within weeks as Chicagoago said, then the ability for the government to respond quickly enough is severely hampered, if not impossible. Some of it's merely bureaucratic paper shuffling, but a goodly portion of it is environmental and other regulations that must be met for highway projects.
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