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Old June 4th, 2011, 09:49 AM   #6921
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I realized after my post - just hadn't been back until now - that I'd forgotten about 355 (actually, the entirety of it is well after 1956, isn't it?). Figured someone, probably of our Wisconsin cohort, would point it out.

But is it the exception that proves the rule?
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:09 PM   #6922
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I'm not really in favor of privatized toll roads. Their tolls tend to be very high (in France it's frequently over $ 0.25 per mile) and a regular tax gas is better for providing adequate funding, that is, when gas taxes are adequate.
You may be right in the US but what about Europe? Heavy trucks that burden roads much more than cars can take 1,000 kms or more without refilling the tank - they will buy gas where it is cheaper and not necesserily in the country where they make the roads bad.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:42 PM   #6923
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Most of the traffic does not drive a thousand kilometers every day. Frequent fuel tax evasions only happens in border areas. Even if you refuel in one state, and "wear" the roads in another one, this means it will happen the other way around as well. Of course people prefer to refuel in tax-friendly states (or countries) but this is a minor percentage of all traffic.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 08:03 PM   #6924
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but this is a minor percentage of all traffic.
Not necesserily. E.g. Hungary has a heavy truck transit between SK (Rajka) - SLO (Hódos). Our roads in this way are almost completely destroyed by heavy trucks. And be sure that not any of them fills the tank in Hungary, although they make at least 60% of the traffic and at least 90% of road damages.
Without transit the widening of M0 southern section wold not be necessery.

Shall I continue? I know I shall not since it is off topic here but I think you understand me.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #6925
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Although it's slightly off-topic, but the Hódos border crossing carries only 1,100 vehicles per day. How many of those would drive all the way to Slovakia? The total amount of this kind of transit traffic on the entire traffic of Hungary is negligible. Same for most of Europe, and also the United States. Much like Europe, taxes also vary by state in the U.S. It's cheaper to refuel in New Jersey than in New York for instance.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #6926
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I-80 is even tolled as far west as San Francisco. However, regular toll Interstates are indeed farthest west in Kansas and Oklahoma....
We should perhaps note, for those unfamiliar with the roads and who are wondering what a "regular toll Interstate" is and what's tolled in San Francisco, that that toll on I-80 in San Francisco is on a longish (about 7 miles), pre-Interstate (1930s) bridge. :-) Kansas and Oklahoma, by contrast, have full-fledged intercity toll roads, for some reason.

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Politicians are too cowardly to raise the gas tax now. What's being considered for the US is a mileage based toll. So perhaps it's a similar system to France. I think it's less effective because it provides little incentive for people to switch to more fuel efficient cars.
Where* is this mileage-based toll being considered? I'm not challenging you, just hadn't heard that and I'm fairly attentive to federal-level politics. (*By "where," I don't mean in what part of the country, but "in Congress, or...?")
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Old June 4th, 2011, 08:52 PM   #6927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Although it's slightly off-topic, but the Hódos border crossing carries only 1,100 vehicles per day. How many of those would drive all the way to Slovakia? The total amount of this kind of transit traffic on the entire traffic of Hungary is negligible. Same for most of Europe, and also the United States. Much like Europe, taxes also vary by state in the U.S. It's cheaper to refuel in New Jersey than in New York for instance.
And look at how bad our roads are....compared to our neighbors....this country needs to get serious about fixing our roads and bridges.... People wouldn't mind paying the high taxes in the Northeastern states if they went towards other things not just schools.....
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Old June 4th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #6928
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Raising the federal gas tax by 10 or 20 cents can already create a huge extra flow of revenue to build and maintain the road network. Of course it is not necessary to bring it to European levels, where the gas tax alone generates more revenue than is spent on the road network. (not to mention other taxes). $ 0.20 per gallon, which is similar to € 0.035 per liter, is hardly noticeable for the general public, but with the fuel consumption in the U.S. being as high as it is, will generate substantial funding for the road network. And city dwellers driving in pickup trucks should be the last to complain about fuel prices.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 02:05 AM   #6929
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I-80 is even tolled as far west as San Francisco. However, regular toll Interstates are indeed farthest west in Kansas and Oklahoma.
The thing that one needs to remember when trying to understand why things are the way they are is: in the absence of a funded federal superhighway program, states were very much left to their own devices as far as deciding whether, when, and how to upgrade their major intercity highways. Some states built turnpikes early on, some dualized existing highways or waited until they could afford to build free superhighways. Some did all three.

In the case of Kansas, until the Kansas Turnpike was opened in 1956, there was no direct highway between Wichita, the state's second largest city, and Topeka, the capital. Kansas is the west, where roads tend to run pretty much east-west or north-south, while Wichita-Topeka is very diagonal. To me, it's amazing that no such highway was even started until 1954, even as a two lane at-grade road.

In Oklahoma, the idea of a superhighway between the state's two largest cities and along the US 66 corridor was pretty much a no-brainer-- the only question was whether to build it sooner with tolls or later without. As it happened the Turner Turnpike was authorized in 1947 and opened by 1953. It's easy to forget that Texas built a turnpike between Dallas and Fort Worth, too, which would've been slightly further west than the Kansas and Turner Turnpikes, though it was long ago made free. But it wasn't even started until 1955.

Check out Origins of the Interstate. It's lengthy and rather mistitled-- in fact it gives a fascinating picture of road related issues virtually from the dawn of the automobile age and reminds us (or me, anyway) how herculean the task was of building a somewhat adequate road network in the vast, oft-sparsely-populated US during an era ridden by depression and war.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 03:45 AM   #6930
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You have to remember our gas taxes are low but a lot of tax money is spent in subsidizing the oil industry to keep the prices low, that is why the prices are lower in the US.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #6931
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Politicians are too cowardly to raise the gas tax now. What's being considered for the US is a mileage based toll. So perhaps it's a similar system to France. I think it's less effective because it provides little incentive for people to switch to more fuel efficient cars.
CT's governor proposed a 3 cent gas tax hike a couple weeks ago and it was so overwhelmingly hated that it was shelved and never put to vote.

Meanwhile, at that time, the price of gas was going up like 5 cents a day LOL. Same outcome with no benefit.

There will still be a 3 cent hike in diesel prices starting new month tho.

Last edited by Xusein; June 5th, 2011 at 08:00 AM.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #6932
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And look at how bad our roads are....compared to our neighbors....this country needs to get serious about fixing our roads and bridges.... People wouldn't mind paying the high taxes in the Northeastern states if they went towards other things not just schools.....
if by our neighbors you mean Canada, I don't think their roads are better

Montreal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-coDrnB6SYc

Last edited by Botev1912; June 5th, 2011 at 09:46 AM.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #6933
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Ohio has good roads.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 05:22 PM   #6934
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My Journey along Interstate 80 on a Interstate commuter Bus.

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Old June 5th, 2011, 08:31 PM   #6935
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if by our neighbors you mean Canada, I don't think their roads are better

Montreal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-coDrnB6SYc
With countries such as the US and Canada that have huge land areas and large highway networks compared with their populations, just maintaining the existing highways is a challenge.

Most European countries do not have this problem.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 10:48 PM   #6936
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That was the main thing I didn't like about Canada besides their border patrol, the roads were not good, I still remember the 401 from Windsor past London, very crappy highway.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 04:15 AM   #6937
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That was the main thing I didn't like about Canada besides their border patrol, the roads were not good, I still remember the 401 from Windsor past London, very crappy highway.
There Border Patrol , didn't beleave that my mom was really my mom...i guess they have racists everywhere. It happens everytime i enter Canada...they look at our family differently. As opposed to entering the US.... The 401 , QEW , and the Quebec Autoroutes were in joke condition , and very dangerous. At least Canadian drivers were nice.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 04:54 AM   #6938
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Federal gas tax should be increased to ¢ 0.263 if it were to keep up with inflation since it was last raised in the 1990s.

I think it should be indexed to CPI, so that it would, at least, keep its purchasing power in line with inflation (though construction inflation is not exactly tied to the CPI).

====================================

As of tolls, there are cases of Interstates no longer tolled, particularly in Kentucky. Some other states decided to keep charging tolls as to avoid using general road funds to upkeep those roads.

Most of US turnpike tolls are not really expensive. Tri-Sate tollway, Pennsylvania Turnpike etc. are affordable. NJ Turnpike is not that affordable, but it has expansion planes and the amazing 4-carriageway sectors.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 05:11 AM   #6939
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With countries such as the US and Canada that have huge land areas and large highway networks compared with their populations, just maintaining the existing highways is a challenge.

Most European countries do not have this problem.
Western Europe also has mild weather. It's not like the severe continental climate that predominates in America. That takes a big toll on the roads, especially in the snow belt.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 05:25 AM   #6940
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Federal gas tax should be increased to ¢ 0.263 if it were to keep up with inflation since it was last raised in the 1990s.

I think it should be indexed to CPI, so that it would, at least, keep its purchasing power in line with inflation (though construction inflation is not exactly tied to the CPI).

====================================

As of tolls, there are cases of Interstates no longer tolled, particularly in Kentucky. Some other states decided to keep charging tolls as to avoid using general road funds to upkeep those roads.

Most of US turnpike tolls are not really expensive. Tri-Sate tollway, Pennsylvania Turnpike etc. are affordable. NJ Turnpike is not that affordable, but it has expansion planes and the amazing 4-carriageway sectors.
Part of I-65 in Kentucky was built as a toll road (and is now free); all other Interstates in Kentucky have always been free. You may be thinking of Kentucky's extensive "Parkway" system, which has gradually become toll-free, but doesn't include any Interstate mileage. The Connecticut Turnpike is the longest formerly-tolled-now-free Interstate I can think of.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike (its site tells me) will cost you $32.30 cash, $30.17 with E-ZPass, to cross the state from the Ohio to the New Jersey border, which is about 360 miles, so between 8.4 and 9 cents per mile. The New Jersey Turnpike will cost you $6.80 (E-ZPass "off-peak") or $9.05 (E-ZPass "peak," cash any time) from end to end, about 111 miles, which is about 8.2 or 6.2 cents per mile. Either one's still cheap compared to France, though....
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