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Old 01-02-2017, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Here.
14,538 posts, read 13,262,767 times
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Sounds to me like you are just a statist who has a very unhealthy and unrealistic admiration for government. I believe the government should only own/control those things that the private sector is not able to on its own. It is proven, without a doubt, that a private enterprise can own and efficiently operate an international bridge. Thus, you have no standing to claim that they shouldn't.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN -
6,464 posts, read 3,518,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
Sounds to me like you are just a statist who has a very unhealthy and unrealistic admiration for government. I believe the government should only own/control those things that the private sector is not able to on its own. It is proven, without a doubt, that a private enterprise can own and efficiently operate an international bridge. Thus, you have no standing to claim that they shouldn't.
Um, no. I'm ultimately a pragmatist. The proof is in the pudding. It's always in the pudding. Travel throughout Ontario, and then travel Michigan, and notice the differences in infrastructure.

And, where's the proof that a private enterprise can efficiently operate, in the long-term, an international bridge? Is the current condition of the Ambassador Bridge that proof? You say the Ontario government is defiantly obstructing Maroun's altruistic "public" policy plans for the bridge. If HE, as a private businessman is so effective, why hasn't he been able to better negotiate and close the deal? Why can't he convince the government that his plan is best for the public good?
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,929,903 times
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My only gripe with your post, newdixiegirl, was your attempt to single out Michigan as having poor infrastructure when in fact it's on the better side of average, at least as far as public roads and bridges go. Now I will admit, Detroit proper has some pretty garbage roads, but as a state Michigan has pretty decent roads, and as a Metro area we're about on par with most major cities.

If you're bored, here are a few links talking about states and regions with the worst roads:
Crumbling America: 10 states with the worst infrastructure
The 20 US Metros With The Worst Roads - Business Insider
States With the Worst Roads - 24/7 Wall St. (Ranks all 50 with #1 (Connecticut) being worst - Michigan comes in at #37, so... pretty good actually)

Outside of the booming sprawl suburbs in the West and Southeast, the entire nation has poor infrastructure. We build it to last 40 years, then we don't do anything with it because of budget constraints. We've got armies to keep, nukes to maintain, and billionaires to subsidize - you can't expect the USDOT would have the funds to subsidize MDOT to provide passable infrastructure, we ain't Socialists, we're 'Murica . The only reason infrastructure is good in let's say.. Suburban Phoenix is because it's all new. In 30 years it'll suck. We have our priorities, and infrastructure isn't one of them.

And that takes me back to my point of why a greedy billionaire like Moroun is permitted to do what he does. The dude spends a night in jail over his greed and desire to be a roadblock to development, and yet nothing. Sure there's a bit of public outrage on the far left, but many Michiganders don't care, and others are like, "Yeah, right on dude. Stick it to the man!" - that's screwed up. "The man" is all of us, (well in theory, let's not go there for the sake of this topic) and collectively most of us would like a second bridge.

It isn't the US government standing in the way of the Ambassador expansion. Well, it is, but only for the purpose of international relations. You see, Canada happens to be in charge of 50% of the countries that Moroun's proposed bridge expansion would enter into. Canada doesn't like the expansion plans. It may yet happen, but there are things to be worked out. Meanwhile, a second bridge is in development down river, and Moroun is trying to tie that up, not because it'll empty into his neighborhood, nah he probably lives in Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe Shores or something, nah he's trying to tie that up because he's a selfish greed-monger and he believes that his billions aren't enough billions .
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN -
6,464 posts, read 3,518,967 times
Reputation: 7954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
My only gripe with your post, newdixiegirl, was your attempt to single out Michigan as having poor infrastructure when in fact it's on the better side of average, at least as far as public roads and bridges go. Now I will admit, Detroit proper has some pretty garbage roads, but as a state Michigan has pretty decent roads, and as a Metro area we're about on par with most major cities.

If you're bored, here are a few links talking about states and regions with the worst roads:
Crumbling America: 10 states with the worst infrastructure
The 20 US Metros With The Worst Roads - Business Insider
States With the Worst Roads - 24/7 Wall St. (Ranks all 50 with #1 (Connecticut) being worst - Michigan comes in at #37, so... pretty good actually)

Outside of the booming sprawl suburbs in the West and Southeast, the entire nation has poor infrastructure. We build it to last 40 years, then we don't do anything with it because of budget constraints. We've got armies to keep, nukes to maintain, and billionaires to subsidize - you can't expect the USDOT would have the funds to subsidize MDOT to provide passable infrastructure, we ain't Socialists, we're 'Murica . The only reason infrastructure is good in let's say.. Suburban Phoenix is because it's all new. In 30 years it'll suck. We have our priorities, and infrastructure isn't one of them.

And that takes me back to my point of why a greedy billionaire like Moroun is permitted to do what he does. The dude spends a night in jail over his greed and desire to be a roadblock to development, and yet nothing. Sure there's a bit of public outrage on the far left, but many Michiganders don't care, and others are like, "Yeah, right on dude. Stick it to the man!" - that's screwed up. "The man" is all of us, (well in theory, let's not go there for the sake of this topic) and collectively most of us would like a second bridge.

It isn't the US government standing in the way of the Ambassador expansion. Well, it is, but only for the purpose of international relations. You see, Canada happens to be in charge of 50% of the countries that Moroun's proposed bridge expansion would enter into. Canada doesn't like the expansion plans. It may yet happen, but there are things to be worked out. Meanwhile, a second bridge is in development down river, and Moroun is trying to tie that up, not because it'll empty into his neighborhood, nah he probably lives in Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe Shores or something, nah he's trying to tie that up because he's a selfish greed-monger and he believes that his billions aren't enough billions .
I know the US has poorer roads than it should. And I'm pretty familiar with the issue of the Ambassador Bridge. I'm a dual US-Canadian citizen who grew up in Ontario, just outside of Toronto. And I am not singling out Michigan. I talk only about Michigan infrastructure because this thread is in Michigan/Detroit's sub forum, not Nashville's, not Atlanta's, not Phoenix's.

It's understandable why the Ontario and Canadian governments don't like Maroun's proposed plan. Having driven the Detroit-Windsor route via the Ambassador countless times driving back to Toronto while I lived in Detroit, it's obvious it wouldn't work. It would make the current 2nd World-style transportation conditions on both the Detroit AND Windsor sides even worse. I have again posted below the link to a good article that explains the Bridge battle. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 3:


Chapter 3: The 18 Traffic Lights

"The Morouns had their own alternative plan: if a new bridge was needed, well, they would build it and own it, too. Specifically, they offered to use their own money to “twin” the old, four-lane bridge, building a separate span of six lanes next to it. A twin span would allow for easier maintenance and repairs on the old bridge, they said.

But the Moroun twinning plan faced its own challenge: downtown Windsor. Truckers have long complained that after cruising down interstate highways from Miami and crossing the bridge, they must stop at 18 traffic lights—all of them in downtown Windsor. Ontario’s Highway 401 stops 12 km short of the foot of the bridge, squeezing international tractor-trailers into a stretch of Huron Church Road dotted with red lights.

Residents like it even less. “Imagine all of a sudden you have 10,000 trucks in your backyard. You can no longer live with your windows open. You can no longer use your home or your backyard. You’ve got 10,000 trucks spewing diesel fuel, you’ve got 10,000 trucks stopping and going, revving up their engines, clamping down on their air brakes,” says Eddie Francis, who was embroiled in litigation with the Morouns before he stepped down as Windsor’s long-time mayor last November.

Moreover, a twinned Ambassador Bridge would require construction of a massive new customs plaza, levelling a chunk of downtown and part of a historical neighborhood called Sandwich, says Francis. The Morouns argued the bridge could be connected to the highway, but Ottawa and Windsor disagreed. “All feasible road access options to the Ambassador Bridge were examined and all of them were found to have high negative impacts,” the federal government concluded. When Ottawa ruled out a twinned bridge, the Morouns sued in the Federal Court of Canada, alleging bias. The court found the government’s decision reasonable, and an appeals court upheld the ruling. Likewise, a federal court in the U.S. found that the government had a “reasoned basis” to conclude that a twinned span “did not meet the need for system connectivity, redundancy, capacity, or economic security need.”


Why Canada is paying $4 billion for a new Detroit-Windsor bridge:
The inside story of Canada
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:34 AM
 
74 posts, read 60,627 times
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Moroun purchased (Pros and Cons: Bridge owner Matty Moroun owns at least 625 parcels in Detroit | MLive.com) the properties on both the American and Canadian sides in response to the planned new bridge to obfuscate the process. The proposed second span of the Ambassador came after the purchases.

A couple of thousand dollars at the tax auction is more than paid for by the 5-10 years of tolls extracted from construction delays. There's a reason trolls are associated with bridges.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,538 posts, read 13,262,767 times
Reputation: 17006
Quote:
Originally Posted by newdixiegirl View Post
Um, no. I'm ultimately a pragmatist. The proof is in the pudding. It's always in the pudding. Travel throughout Ontario, and then travel Michigan, and notice the differences in infrastructure.

And, where's the proof that a private enterprise can efficiently operate, in the long-term, an international bridge? Is the current condition of the Ambassador Bridge that proof? You say the Ontario government is defiantly obstructing Maroun's altruistic "public" policy plans for the bridge. If HE, as a private businessman is so effective, why hasn't he been able to better negotiate and close the deal? Why can't he convince the government that his plan is best for the public good?
A pragmatist would ask which method is more beneficial to the taxpayers. It is no secret that everything the government does costs much more than it would if the private sector did it. Now, I am not suggesting that the private sector do everything. Obviously, the government should run the justice system, police forces, fire departments, etc. But if it can be proven that private enterprise can run something, I am completely opposed to the government taking it over. In fact, I think it is wise for government to experiment in privitization of government-run assets, as some states have done with toll road highways.

As for the arguement that infrastructure is better overall in Ontario than Michigan: As I have said, this is irrelevant to the discussion. In fact, I would tend to agree with you that Michigan overall has worse roads than Ontario and to most other states. In fact, I think roads are a perfect example of how poorly the government is at running things. But all this is beside the point, which is that Ontario neglected to update their infrastructure approaching the Ambassador Bridge. Maybe because they were spending the money elsewhere to provide excellent roads which you speak of. The Canadian side of the bridge probably looks much as it did when the bridge was built. Meanwhile, on the American side, extensive improvements have been made, again, probably to the detriment of other areas which are, as you say, much more in need of repair.

As for the Ambassador Bridge being in need of repair: Yes, that happens after 90 years and that is why Maroun wants to build a replacement. But government projects deteriorate as well. The bridge in Minneapolis, for example. Many of the expressway overpasses also have falling concrete. The question is: if you had to pay for the construction of a bridge to your house, would you hire the government or a private contractor?

As for Maroun not being able to negotiate a better deal, what other options are there. The Ambassador Bridge has been in place for 90 years. Everyone knew it was there. All improvements on the American side were made throughout the decades. And Maroun owns much of the property surrounding the bridge. So why would he want relocate all the noise, congestion, and pollution to another area and have to put up with the protests? True, on the Windsor side, the proposed site of the government bridge would be in a less populated area, but on the American side, you'd have to go all the way to Monroe to get away from populated areas.

By the way, thank you for the lively debate! You do raise good points for discussion.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,538 posts, read 13,262,767 times
Reputation: 17006
Quote:
Originally Posted by michikawa View Post
Moroun purchased (Pros and Cons: Bridge owner Matty Moroun owns at least 625 parcels in Detroit | MLive.com) the properties on both the American and Canadian sides in response to the planned new bridge to obfuscate the process. The proposed second span of the Ambassador came after the purchases.

A couple of thousand dollars at the tax auction is more than paid for by the 5-10 years of tolls extracted from construction delays. There's a reason trolls are associated with bridges.
Seems to me like a wise business decision: buy surrounding property before you start expanding rather than start building and realize you have years worth of legal work to do. I'm not sure how that obfuscates the process?

As for the claim that buying auctioned properties is a pittance to the amount of money he makes on tolls: Again, seems like a wise business decision. Why build a bridge in an area that would require more expensive buy-outs of current occupants than buying abandoned city-owned property at a fraction of the price.

See, this is the difference between how the government thinks and how private industry thinks. Private industry looks for the cheapest (most financially responsible) way. The government throws a dark at the map and says "We'll build it here no matter the cost - just because we can!"
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Windsor Ontario/Colchester Ontario
1,527 posts, read 1,461,745 times
Reputation: 1794
Im staying out of this debate, as I don't feel like battling stupid Matty Maroun paid mouthpieces!
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,929,903 times
Reputation: 3554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
... See, this is the difference between how the government thinks and how private industry thinks. Private industry looks for the cheapest (most financially responsible) way. The government throws a dark at the map and says "We'll build it here no matter the cost - just because we can!"
No, government says, "We'll build it here despite the slightly higher cost - because that makes the best balance between what works for the people and what works for the budget."

Doing something as cheap as possible often gets you undesirable results. A second span into residential Windsor would be cheap, but not best for the people. A secondary, separate span connecting an American highway to a Canadian highway makes the most sense, when all aspects are considered, and nobody loses, except Moroun - but forget that guy. I'm truthfully shocked to find a person in Metro Detroit who actually supports him and his greed-driven agenda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North 42 View Post
Im staying out of this debate, as I don't feel like battling stupid Matty Maroun paid mouthpieces!
Actually being that you're from Windsor, and this would affect you more than it would me as a Northern suburbanite, I'd really like to have your perspective. I think we may all have something to learn from it.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,749 posts, read 65,558,358 times
Reputation: 32915
There can be little dispute the current Ambassador bridge is in what has become a terrible location for truck crossing. It is great for tourism and business and should remain so, but the trucks should cross outside the Cities where they can cross and get on their way without creating unnecessary snarls and other problems (noise, pollution etc).

If Moroun was offering to build a second bridge in a better location, and if it were not Matty Moroun, I think we ought to take a second look at the options. However a second bridge in a terrible location owned b Matty Moroun (or any private entity, but Moroun is particularly noxious) vs. a public bridge in a good location - there really is nothing to discuss.
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