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Old 02-06-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
I'd like to see a shift from gasoline taxes to pricing all freeway use, HOV lane or otherwise.
A user tax is a user tax; also, people who never drive on freeways would pay what, exactly?
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Pricing freeways alone won't work as well as they should unless the alternative routes are tolled as well. There's just too much potential for diversion otherwise, particularly if the price is set too high.

It's a good idea, though, and certainly better than a gas tax, which only pays for around half of all road construction and maintenance and is declining. It would be even better if it's extended to all road users, including public transit.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:44 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,108,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
A user tax is a user tax; also, people who never drive on freeways would pay what, exactly?
User fees are not created equally; for instance, the ability of per-gallon gas tax to maintain infrastructure decreases as VMT decreases (which it has) and as MPG increases.

And, the argument is that the marginal cost is not being assessed in the current system.

Good read: Principles of Efficient Congestion Pricing

Also, beyond potentially increased costs of goods delivered to them by truck, there is no reason for people who don't use the freeways to pay.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:27 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
A user tax is a user tax; also, people who never drive on freeways would pay what, exactly?
Not sure how to handle that. But, a usage tax on highways, as HOV lanes have shown, are simple enough to be achievable systems.

Surface streets, by comparison, are complicated by nature. How can you toll use with so many access points? It's a mess.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:32 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tired Man View Post
As more and more roads become toll consumer behavior will change and there will be less trips to the mall or a restaurant or a show just for something to do. It becomes too expensive when you add the cost of the tolls to go out so we just stay at home. (and the malls and restaurants suffer)

The plan for charging us based on the number of miles we drive (along with $4 a gallon gasoline) will also discourage us from going places and business will suffer.
Existing business would suffer, yes, as the client base changes. But, this is the nature of business. It makes more sense to cushion the blow than to hold off moving away from an outdated model (gas tax). Meanwhile, new businesses would arise to serve the needs of consumers closer to home. I doubt the net effect to businesses, as a whole, would be anything other than zero.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:50 PM
 
226 posts, read 195,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
User fees are not created equally; for instance, the ability of per-gallon gas tax to maintain infrastructure decreases as VMT decreases (which it has) and as MPG increases.

And, the argument is that the marginal cost is not being assessed in the current system.

Good read: Principles of Efficient Congestion Pricing

Also, beyond potentially increased costs of goods delivered to them by truck, there is no reason for people who don't use the freeways to pay.
The problem with only charging freeways is trip diversion onto non-tolled arterials and side streets, which just moves the problem and riles those living in those areas. So even if one doesn't use the freeways, an argument can be made that major arterials that would receive a significant amount of diverted traffic should be tolled as well.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:54 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,108,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tifoso View Post
The problem with only charging freeways is trip diversion onto non-tolled arterials and side streets, which just moves the problem and riles those living in those areas. So even if one doesn't use the freeways, an argument can be made that major arterials that would receive a significant amount of diverted traffic should be tolled as well.
True. It wasn't my argument that only freeways should be tolled.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:02 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tifoso View Post
Pricing freeways alone won't work as well as they should unless the alternative routes are tolled as well. There's just too much potential for diversion otherwise, particularly if the price is set too high.

It's a good idea, though, and certainly better than a gas tax, which only pays for around half of all road construction and maintenance and is declining. It would be even better if it's extended to all road users, including public transit.
The argument can be effectively made that, while your point on diversion is true, congestion itself, due to underpricing of freeways (and arterials, for that matter), is a "tax" paid for by all road users, even if any given user doesn't use a freeway. So, congestion already "charges" a "price" to society; we'd be better if we internalized that "price" to actual users.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:13 PM
 
1,380 posts, read 1,888,761 times
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Or you could just live in a city with minimal traffic like I do
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Glendale, CA
1,298 posts, read 2,113,405 times
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When they converted the 110 to HOT lanes, at first I was against the idea of charging for something that had been "free" originally.

But since I go to LAX and the airport area frequently, we got a transponder. I have to say I am now a big fan. Whereas before if I was driving solo I wouldn't even have the option to use the carpool lanes, now if I pay $2.80 or whatever, I can bypass 30 minutes of congestion fairly easily. I make the economic decision that my time is worth more than the toll they are charging.

And the good news for everyone else is that there is one less car (me) sitting in traffic taking up space on the regular lanes.

I just hope that they use the money they collect on transit improvements, and it doesn't go to some "general fund" somewhere.
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