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Old 01-05-2015, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Lynn, MA
325 posts, read 403,132 times
Reputation: 412

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I think this might explain it better than induced demand. I'm going to use a simple analogy.

Say you have a network of water pipes connected to each other in a grid pattern.
You want to make water flow faster so you replace one section of pipe with
a larger diameter pipe. Will the water flow faster? No. Because only one section of
the pipe has been widened. The pipes in the network that have not been widened create a bottleneck.
What about adding more pipes? Well if you take a drinking straw and made it longer does it
make the liquid flow any faster? No of course not.

Same idea with roads. Widening a major road does little or nothing to reduce traffic congestion because
of the bottleneck created by the grid network of roads connected to it. Traffic basically flows as fast as the
slowest road in the network. To really make traffic flow faster you'd have to widen or add more lanes to
every major road in the entire city, but of course that is cost prohibitive. And even if you did that it wouldn't
improve the flow because of induced demand.
The opposite certainly occurs. When they narrow a road (to do road construction), it absolutely creates congestion and discourages nobody from giving up their cars.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:06 PM
 
1,999 posts, read 2,940,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Yeah as people stop heading to the area or park elsewhere in the city to get the bus and so on. All bad effects.People are not being irrational by driving into an area they are simply choosing the method which best suits their needs.
You're ignoring the good effects that come from people having more time on their hands to do whatever they want because there is less congestion and thus less traffic delays. I would argue that even if I assume you are right that the tolls lead to "bad effects" for the 10% that have to change their mode of transport (and I don't think you're right there, but let's assume you are for the sake of argument) that cost is outweighed by the benefit of faster commuting times for the 90% of people still on the road.

But you also keep changing your argument: first it was that tolls won't reduce congestion and will just be "a simple tax" because people can't shift their time or mode of transportation. Now you admit that it can move traffic off the road, but now you are saying that is actually a bad thing because... some people will have to ride the bus? First, not everybody hates public transit as much as you. I could drive everyday to work but I find transit much more convenient and pleasant for my commute. Second of all, it's not true that the toll will just lead to people shifting to transit. It also means that people who are able to make their drive at less-congested times now have a financial incentive to shift that drive to a different time. Remember, you already admitted that at least 10% of people driving in high congestion don't actually need to be there.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:12 PM
 
9,796 posts, read 4,601,984 times
Reputation: 12726
Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
As you already admitted, as much as 10% of the people driving during high congestion times don't need to be there. If you get those 10% off the road it saves time for everybody else. And I suspect the true number is more than 10%.
This isn't just theoretical. There are tons of studies out there about how congestion pricing, when tried, has reduced commuting times.
I think it's a lot less than 10% but it depends on how you define "need". I don't know anyone that enjoys driving on congested roads more than driving on clear roads. Do you? So therefore they must feel they "need" to make that trip at that time. At least to the point that driving in congestion is not in itself a deterrent.

Of course, how much they "need" to make a trip depends on how painful it will be, right? Congestion pricing makes it more painful so maybe they decide to have soup for dinner instead of going to the store to buy the ingredients for the lasagna they had hoped to make. Or watch TV instead of going to the theater or ball park.

Still, I don't want to live in an area that tries to govern my lifestyle choices by deliberating causing me economic pain.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:15 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,868,339 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
You're ignoring the good effects that come from people having more time on their hands to do whatever they want because there is less congestion and thus less traffic delays. I would argue that even if I assume you are right that the tolls lead to "bad effects" for the 10% that have to change their mode of transport (and I don't think you're right there, but let's assume you are for the sake of argument) that cost is outweighed by the benefit of faster commuting times for the 90% of people still on the road.

But you also keep changing your argument: first it was that tolls won't reduce congestion and will just be "a simple tax" because people can't shift their time or mode of transportation. Now you admit that it can move traffic off the road, but now you are saying that is actually a bad thing because... some people will have to ride the bus? First, not everybody hates public transit as much as you. I could drive everyday to work but I find transit much more convenient and pleasant for my commute. Second of all, it's not true that the toll will just lead to people shifting to transit. It also means that people who are able to make their drive at less-congested times now have a financial incentive to shift that drive to a different time. Remember, you already admitted that at least 10% of people driving in high congestion don't actually need to be there.
It is an bad thing if you need to drive somewhere else, park and ride the bus. You are taking parking from that area. I don't hate transit. I have used it when it makes sense but often it does not and I would hate anyone forcing me to make an slow inconvenient trip. Most people have to be at work at an certain time and have deadlines if shifting time would give them an faster trip they would do so but in the real world you need to drop this off by X time or be there by Y and you have little ability choose times.

I have driven at high congestion times and usually because there was no choice. Kinda hard carrying stuff on the bus. People drive to work because it is often the best method period and not the only one.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:22 PM
 
1,999 posts, read 2,940,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
It is an bad thing if you need to drive somewhere else, park and ride the bus. You are taking parking from that area. I don't hate transit. I have used it when it makes sense but often it does not and I would hate anyone forcing me to make an slow inconvenient trip. Most people have to be at work at an certain time and have deadlines if shifting time would give them an faster trip they would do so but in the real world you need to drop this off by X time or be there by Y and you have little ability choose times.

I have driven at high congestion times and usually because there was no choice. Kinda hard carrying stuff on the bus. People drive to work because it is often the best method period and not the only one.
Yes, most people aren't flexible. But you don't need "most" cars off the road to significantly reduce traffic delays and thus save "most people" a lot of time.
Next time you are sitting in stop-and-go traffic think about how much faster it would be flowing if even only 5% or 10% of the cars around you weren't there.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:26 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,868,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
Yes, most people aren't flexible. But you don't need "most" cars off the road to significantly reduce traffic delays and thus save "most people" a lot of time.
Next time you are sitting in stop-and-go traffic think about how much faster it would be flowing if even only 5% or 10% of the cars around you weren't there.
It maybe faster but at what cost? How many people inconvenienced or priced off the road? How much loss to retail? How much more traffic get shifted away from the more direct route? The power of the automobile limited to the rich and the poor are told take an hike! Yes the power lawyer time is more important than the single mother trying to get their kids to daycare.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:35 PM
 
1,999 posts, read 2,940,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
It maybe faster but at what cost? How many people inconvenienced or priced off the road? How much loss to retail? How much more traffic get shifted away from the more direct route? The power of the automobile limited to the rich and the poor are told take an hike! Yes the power lawyer time is more important than the single mother trying to get their kids to daycare.
As I already said in this thread, if equity is your concern, we can set up a rebate for the poor who can't afford to pay the toll. That's no reason to oppose the policy in general.

I agree that it is an empirical question as to whether or not the benefits of the toll outweigh the costs. From the studies I have read I believe that the benefits do outweigh, but I am open to evidence the other way. I don't have time to find the studies right now, maybe I will link to them later.

I also think it's a case-by-case basis. I am not suggesting that EVERY road EVERYWHERE needs a toll. But on the same note, I don't think you can say that the costs of a toll ALWAYS outweigh the benefits in EVERY case.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:44 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,868,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
As I already said in this thread, if equity is your concern, we can set up a rebate for the poor who can't afford to pay the toll. That's no reason to oppose the policy in general.

I agree that it is an empirical question as to whether or not the benefits of the toll outweigh the costs. From the studies I have read I believe that the benefits do outweigh, but I am open to evidence the other way. I don't have time to find the studies right now, maybe I will link to them later.

The reason to oppose the policy in general is that it is an simple tax with little value to society. Someone else is attempting to dictate what they think is the best method of me getting around town instead of me choosing it. It hardly reduces congestion because if other methods were an option you would prefer them over congestion. It can had bad effects to retail and cause them to consider moving elsewhere(possible loss of jobs). It can shift traffic to other places to avoid the toll.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:51 PM
 
1,999 posts, read 2,940,431 times
Reputation: 2154
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
The reason to oppose the policy in general is that it is an simple tax with little value to society. Someone else is attempting to dictate what they think is the best method of me getting around town instead of me choosing it. It hardly reduces congestion because if other methods were an option you would prefer them over congestion. It can had bad effects to retail and cause them to consider moving elsewhere(possible loss of jobs). It can shift traffic to other places to avoid the toll.
Somebody already chose for you the method to get around. Did you design the roads you drive on or choose their route? No - they were put upon you by the government. The best method is already being dictated to you.

You can't argue that nobody can shift to other methods but then also admit that as much as 10% of people could be making their trips at other times. It's simply not believable to me that 100% of cars clogging up the roads are making trips that they full-stop HAVE to do at that time and could NEVER shift to another time.

How can you know that the hypothetical bad effects to retail outweigh the benefits until you've looked at research? It's an empirical question. Have you ever looked at any studies about tolls in practice?
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,760 posts, read 9,875,742 times
Reputation: 9896
Widening roads is a "dead end" solution
.....
Light rail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
One line of light rail has a theoretical capacity of up to *8 times more than one lane of freeway (not counting buses) during peak times. Roads have ultimate capacity limits that can be determined by traffic engineering. They usually experience a chaotic breakdown in flow and a dramatic drop in speed (colloquially known as a traffic jam) if they exceed about 2,000 vehicles per hour per lane (each car roughly two seconds behind another). Since most people who drive to work or on business trips do so alone, studies show that the average car occupancy on many roads carrying commuters is only about 1.2 people per car during the high-demand rush hour periods of the day. This combination of factors limits roads carrying only automobile commuters to a maximum observed capacity of about 2,400 passengers per hour per lane. The problem can be mitigated by using high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and introducing ride-sharing programs, but in most cases the solution adopted has been to add more lanes to the roads. Simple arithmetic shows that in order to carry 20,000 automobile commuters per hour per direction, a freeway must be at least 18 lanes wide.

By contrast, light rail vehicles can travel in multi-car trains carrying a theoretical ridership up to 20,000 passengers per hour in much narrower rights-of-way, not much more than two car lanes wide for a double track system. They can often be run through existing city streets and parks, or placed in the medians of roads. If run in streets, trains are usually limited by city block lengths to about four 180-passenger vehicles (720 passengers). Operating on 2 minute headways using traffic signal progression, a well-designed two-track system can handle up to 30 trains per hour per track, achieving peak rates of over 20,000 passengers per hour in each direction. More advanced systems with separate rights-of-way using moving block signaling can exceed 25,000 passengers per hour per track.
...
*(One might argue that 8 times is a conservative estimate - adding a second deck could boost capacity by 50% or more. And the city block limitation on train length wouldn’t apply to subways or trains with dedicated rights of way.)
....
A four track rail system (ex: NYC Subway) has the potential to move 100,000 passengers per hour. This capacity would require 42 lanes of superhighway to match.
No widening will ever resolve the problem.

The Real Reason U.S. Gas Is So Cheap Is Americans Don't Pay the True Cost of Driving - CityLab
The author suggests that Americans need to directly pay around $7.62 a gallon (taxes included) to cover the underlying costs.
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