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Old May 13th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #6841
Penn's Woods
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I know. That was meant to come out more light-hearted ("Psst - don't air our dirty laundry in front of strangers!") than it did. Sorry....

On the other hand, I've encountered plenty of really ornery-about-Americans people on international forums, so I've become a bit defensive.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 01:53 AM   #6842
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I-5 South in downtown Seattle











I-5 North in Downtown Seattle







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Old May 14th, 2011, 03:38 AM   #6843
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This is the sector that will bear the burnt of traffic until the Alaska Way tunnel replacement is being built, right?
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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:21 AM   #6844
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
Clearly
:-P
Hey, I'm trying to improve my French. 90 percent of the people on Le Monde's forum are completely wacko.

Ahem.
Back on topic:

Passed through Maryland today and bought the Baltimore Sun. Front page story today is substantial proposed toll increases for the Baltimore tunnels and Key Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Don't have the paper in front of me now, but I do remember they're proposing $8.00 (but it's only collected eastbound) at the Bay Bridge. It's $2.50 now if memory serves.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:14 AM   #6845
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Actually, I tend to favor the middle lane; less opportunity for conflict with entering and exiting traffic. Sorry....
I agree. On a 3-lane road I tend to stay in the middle (it's so much easier to go left or right if you need to pass). Or if there are lots of grandmas and rednecks around I just move left and stay there (giving way only to faster vehicles).
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:23 AM   #6846
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Actually, I was paying attention to my own driving today and I want to amend my statement :

In an urban area where there are lots of exits (intervals of two miles or less), I'll stay out of the right lane. But I don't camp in the middle lane and stubbornly stick ten miles below the speed limit; I'll do 70ish if the limit's 65.... I don't like passing on the right, and I don't like people who create the need to pass on the right. You're asking for trouble if someone passes you on the left and someone else passes you on the right and they both decide simultaneously to get back into the middle lane.

On a road where exits are farther apart (like 95 in northeastern Maryland, where the exits are 109, 100, 93, 89, 85, 80, 77, 74, 67 - which tells you the distances between them) I'm less inclined to avoid the right lane if the road's empty. If the road's busy, I still end up spending more time in the middle lane , but it's because if I didn't I'd be shifting between the right and the middle to pass.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:35 AM   #6847
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Definitely, if someone's moving in the middle lane he should do at least speed limit speed to keep traffic moving. Right lane is mostly for those taking exits, slow-moving vehicles and "retards".
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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:40 PM   #6848
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Drool...
image hosted on flickr

southbound I-15 at SR-201 C/D ramps by CountyLemonade, on Flickr
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #6849
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
:-P
Hey, I'm trying to improve my French. 90 percent of the people on Le Monde's forum are completely wacko.

Ahem.
Back on topic:

Passed through Maryland today and bought the Baltimore Sun. Front page story today is substantial proposed toll increases for the Baltimore tunnels and Key Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Don't have the paper in front of me now, but I do remember they're proposing $8.00 (but it's only collected eastbound) at the Bay Bridge. It's $2.50 now if memory serves.
Yeah, they're proposing hiking up a LOT of prices. By a lot. Also eliminated the decal system over the Susquehanna in favor of a flat, even higher rate.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:57 PM   #6850
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What are the politics? Does the legislature or governor have the right to veto it (since the Sun called this a "proposal")? Are they likely to? This was also the top story in the early afternoon in the local news blocks on WTOP in Washington (the all-news station); WTOP seemed to be treating this as a foregone conclusion. They had a sound-bite of Maryland's Secretary of Transportation pointing out that maintenance these days costs more than building the various facilities did. She seemed to be behind the proposal. Can I assume the Secretary of Transportation would be an appointee of the governor and that he's therefore likely to go along with it?
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Old May 14th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #6851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scba View Post
Yeah, they're proposing hiking up a LOT of prices. By a lot. Also eliminated the decal system over the Susquehanna in favor of a flat, even higher rate.
The 'decal' system on the US 40 Susquehanna River bridge is like a European 'vignette', in place to allow unlimited crossings for the locals for, IIRC, $5/year. If they eliminate this discount, I would expect, for example, the Domino's Pizza store located right on the southwest end of that bridge to have to add a toll surcharge to all deliveries that would have to cross it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
What are the politics? Does the legislature or governor have the right to veto it (since the Sun called this a "proposal")? Are they likely to? This was also the top story in the early afternoon in the local news blocks on WTOP in Washington (the all-news station); WTOP seemed to be treating this as a foregone conclusion. They had a sound-bite of Maryland's Secretary of Transportation pointing out that maintenance these days costs more than building the various facilities did. She seemed to be behind the proposal. Can I assume the Secretary of Transportation would be an appointee of the governor and that he's therefore likely to go along with it?
The State of Maryland is pretty much in the deathgrip of a liberal wing of the Democratic Party. 'Nuff said. And yes, their policies are sending taxable private-sector economic activity fleeing to droves to other, less expensive states. It's not a pretty picture.

Contrast that with adjacent Delaware. They don't have a direct retail sales tax, rather a simple gross-receipts tax. I have heard many stories of Maryland essentially setting up 'customs' stops at the state line, Maryland 'revenuers' recording Maryland license plate numbers in parking lots of shopping centers in Delaware (and the local cops arresting the Maryland cops for trespassing while they're doing that!), Maryland sending harassing letters to their residents threatening severe penalties for not reporting what the state thinks that they bought in Delaware, arresting Delaware-based delivery drivers at the state line, etc.

Yes, I have no doubt that the ruling overlords in Maryland would be happy as can be to soak drivers transiting the state on I-95 for whatever they can get away with without raising the ire of the Feds for impeding interstate commerce. And look at a map - to avoid Maryland a driver would have to go all the way west to I-79 (that's directly south of Pittsburgh!).



Mike

Last edited by mgk920; May 14th, 2011 at 07:40 PM.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #6852
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No need to bring you political rants here IMO.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #6853
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Very much agreed.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #6854
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Ok, I was just going over that article.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business...,2450166.story

Yep, the tolls would go up as described, and the US 40 Susquehanna River bridge would go from a 'commuter' rate of $10/year for 'stickers' to $36/year plus a $1.50/month E-ZPass fee (MUST use E-ZPass to receive the commuter discount), for a total of $54/year.

Mike
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Old May 14th, 2011, 07:59 PM   #6855
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Quote:
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No need to bring you political rants here IMO.
Well, he asked "What are the politics?".

Mike
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Old May 14th, 2011, 09:52 PM   #6856
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
The 'decal' system on the US 40 Susquehanna River bridge is like a European 'vignette', in place to allow unlimited crossings for the locals for, IIRC, $5/year. If they eliminate this discount, I would expect, for example, the Domino's Pizza store located right on the southwest end of that bridge to have to add a toll surcharge to all deliveries that would have to cross it.


The State of Maryland is pretty much in the deathgrip of a liberal wing of the Democratic Party. 'Nuff said. And yes, their policies are sending taxable private-sector economic activity fleeing to droves to other, less expensive states. It's not a pretty picture.

Contrast that with adjacent Delaware. They don't have a direct retail sales tax, rather a simple gross-receipts tax. I have heard many stories of Maryland essentially setting up 'customs' stops at the state line, Maryland 'revenuers' recording Maryland license plate numbers in parking lots of shopping centers in Delaware (and the local cops arresting the Maryland cops for trespassing while they're doing that!), Maryland sending harassing letters to their residents threatening severe penalties for not reporting what the state thinks that they bought in Delaware, arresting Delaware-based delivery drivers at the state line, etc.

Yes, I have no doubt that the ruling overlords in Maryland would be happy as can be to soak drivers transiting the state on I-95 for whatever they can get away with without raising the ire of the Feds for impeding interstate commerce. And look at a map - to avoid Maryland a driver would have to go all the way west to I-79 (that's directly south of Pittsburgh!).



Mike
It doesn't help that the more conservative-leaning northeastern counties are getting raked for this; most of the money generated by these tolls is going to...the Baltimore and DC areas. Guess that's what we get for not voting for O'Malley.

Want to drive from Baltimore to Wilmington? Have fun, already there's three tolls.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 11:27 PM   #6857
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Well, he asked "What are the politics?".

Mike
I meant, in an institutional sense: in the New York area (where I grew up), the Port Authority is an independent agency but anything it proposes needs to be signed off on by the governors of New York and New Jersey (and possibly the mayor of New York as well, I'm not sure), and proposed toll increases, PATH fare increases, whatever, are by no means assured of a rubber stamp. Which is not the same situation as if the, um, toll-proposing authority in Maryland is the state department of transportation and headed by a gubernatorial appointee.

THAT SAID, if we assume the need to spend more on the bridges and tunnels is genuine, what are the alternatives to toll increases: (1) making state taxpayers responsible for them (keeping tolls where they are now or lifting them altogether; (2) making federal taxpayers responsible for them (which I'd guess would require lifting the tolls); (3) privatizing them? I can't see the other major party going for (1) or (2) and I don't think (3) guarantees lower tolls. I for one don't mind an appropriate level of taxation and spending if the alternative is this country sinking into third-world status.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 03:11 AM   #6858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
This is the sector that will bear the burnt of traffic until the Alaska Way tunnel replacement is being built, right?
Yes that is correct. Northbound I-5 just south of Downtown was also retrofitted with Active Traffic Management to help with the traffic. However, SR 99 will still remain open, but it's reduced to 2x1. There are some temporary roadways and slip roads.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scba View Post
It doesn't help that the more conservative-leaning northeastern counties are getting raked for this; most of the money generated by these tolls is going to...the Baltimore and DC areas. Guess that's what we get for not voting for O'Malley.

Want to drive from Baltimore to Wilmington? Have fun, already there's three tolls.
All American politicians are reluctant to raise the gas tax. Doesn't matter if you're conservative or liberal. American politicians lack the courage to invest in the country, and the American public lack the foresight and long-term intelligence to vote for politicians who do. There's no way around it. Whoever proposes a tax will lose the next election. It's just a fact of living in this country. And that's why we're going for tolls now, because it's gotten to a point where we don't have public or political support to raise taxes, and existing revenues are dwindling.

We're going the way of the Romans. I'm planning on studying elsewhere as soon as possible and moving out.

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Old May 15th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #6859
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I-85 in North Carolina, May 2011
[IMG]http://i55.************/i583zn.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i54.************/142ey4h.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i54.************/21jrpz6.jpg[/IMG]
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Old May 15th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #6860
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Louisiana is raising the speed limit on limited portions of I-49 to 75mph. Hopefully the trend moves eastward throughout the South.
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