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5 thoughts on “Sounds messy

  1. bsummers

    “The plan has no money…”

    The two words I’m on the lookout for with this AND the I-26 widening are: “tolls” and “privatized”.

    • Jay Reese

      Me too. More user fees such as tolls and congestion pricing would help pay for needed improvements and encourage people to find alternative forms of transportation.

      • bsummers

        More user fees such as tolls and congestion pricing would… encourage people to find alternative forms of transportation.”

        Are there any studies out there demonstrating that this actually happens? All I can find are unsupported assertions from toll-related professional advocates.

      • bsummers

        More user fees such as tolls and congestion pricing would help pay for needed improvements

        The “help pay for” part of that is a little tricky too. Look at how the State and it’s taxpayers are being “helped” by the I-77 HOT lanes widening, for example. A huge amount of the “cost” is going towards building out the tolling infrastructure itself – separate lanes at each intersection for those getting into HOT lanes vs. free lanes, etc..

        And whatever amount the State is “saving” by giving the foreign-owned Cintra a practically-no-bid contract to fleece motorists in that region for 50 years, is lost by all that money leaving the US. We should keep our infrastructure money here. But all the biggest privatized toll companies are foreign-owned. And they have better lawyers writing those contracts than we do. Recent history is littered by ungodly amounts of taxpayer money being shoveled onto these foreign private companies, even as their ‘projects’ go bankrupt. As in the I-77 project, if your hoped-for decline in road usage occurs, the State is liable for making up the difference in profits – ie., paying them an extra $75 million annually.

        • Jay Reese

          I can’t really attest to the issues with private funding but it would seem to me given our national debt and knowing how many roads our government built since the 50’s I would say taxpayers have been burdened by the public funding of our roadways also. And I am sure there were plenty of examples of graft and corruption on the part of the American companies that built these roads. All I know is that the automobile has become a burden on society and it’s time it took a backseat to other more sustainable and safer modes of transit. Many City leaders around the world and in the US understand this also and have begun reducing the need for an automobile by providing alternatives and by charging motorist more to drive. Given that the cars kills and injures millions of people every year, significantly contributes to the obesity epidemic, and pollutes our environment it only make sense that drivers be charged more.

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