Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Exodus - was: Latest from Jim Kunstler

Expand Messages
  • Jet Graphics
    ... transportation ... needing no ... great ... economic ... [JG] Human powered vehicles (bicycles, tricycles) have limited application where distance, terrain
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 1, 2008
      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...> wrote:
      > I disagree that there is no viable land-based alternative
      transportation
      > to replace petroleum, even in the near-term (6-24 months), and further
      > disagree that rail (or a more likely alternative to rail) cannot
      > substitute to allow survival during transition. Human power and grid
      > connected vehicles (such as trolley buses and trolley trucks,
      needing no
      > battery) coupled with reogranized travel and delivery patterns have
      great
      > potential even on initial transition during a crisis. Politics,
      economic
      > interests and cultural ossification in a context of ignorance are the
      > barriers.

      [JG] Human powered vehicles (bicycles, tricycles) have limited
      application where distance, terrain or climate is not suitable.
      Electrified street transport may be an option - IF - (a) enough
      surplus electrical generation capacity is available, and (b) the
      conflicting interest groups can find consensus.


      > In the U.S. (Kunstler's locus), freeways provide the primary available
      > right-of-way for any inter-urban (short or long distance) transit
      system
      > and are available immediately for transit use. Most development in the
      > U.S. and particularly most populations are close to freeways (by the
      same
      > basic principles of densification as direct rail-based development),
      > albeit a much more dispersed development than is ideal for rail.
      But is
      > it impossibly dispersed for most? No.

      [JG] Freeways (limited access) are limited rights of way, and more
      likely, involve a turf battle between government bodies (Fed and
      State). In addition, providing the electrical power to them may be
      more difficult, due to their design and distance from utilities.

      > While the distances to likely hubs is, of course, not ideal (e.g., X
      miles
      > each way for many residences), many of these distances are walkable and
      > particularly bikeable. In a crisis, adaptation can occur without
      > completely interrupting accessibility of essentials.

      [JG] In a real crisis, it may be unlikely that one will be safe and
      secure in suburbia.
      An excellent fictional account of suburbia "AFTER" the shoe falls:
      Download lightsout1-10.pdf, lightsout11-20.pdf
      (Do search on Google for the site. I refuse to give it, since they
      banned me.)

      For a more frightening "right now" account, see:
      http://www.nowandfutures.com/d2/ferfal-argentina-2001.txt

      > A trolley network for both people and goods transport would be much
      more
      > physically and economically feasible in the short-term than rail,
      and much
      > more able to provide integrated feeder service and be adaptable to
      > ever-changing conditions;

      [JG] I agree that rails limit options. But in the search for greatest
      efficiency and frugality, it's hard to beat steel rails. And remember,
      the funding for most paved roads is derived from taxation on petroleum
      consumption. Any shift to electrified roads in a world where petroleum
      use is going down, means less taxes available for the roads. And
      without the constant flood of tax money, paved roads will no longer be
      as economical as steel tracks.

      > but the core idea is the same. Trolleys can use
      > existing roadway infrastructure and share it with any remaining
      vehicles
      > which carry their own power without the costly investment in tracks,
      > heavier-duty bridges, more expensive cars, etc.

      [JG] Electrifying a roadway may offer some relief. But the law of
      physics still apply.
      The most efficient surface transportation is steel wheel on steel rail
      - due to the low coefficient of rolling resistance.
      It has been estimated, that a single rail track has the equivalent
      carrying capacity of 9 lanes of superhighway. (NYC's 4 track subway
      provides the equivalent of 36 lanes of superhighway transportation.)
      Roads, even if electrified, cannot approach the inherent efficiency of
      rail transportation.

      Unfortunately, there are regulatory bodies, such as the FRA, that
      impose unreasonable (irrational?) rules that impede the implementation
      of economical rail transportation systems. Most distressing is the
      limitation on ultralightweight rail. Why not use aerospace technology
      to make lightweight (and frugal) rail vehicles? Imagine a carbon fiber
      stress skin over honeycomb streetcar shell that weighs under 1500 lbs.


      > Limited transit service coupled with a reorganization of travel
      patterns
      > for essentials along with delivery of goods would be enough to extend
      > basic economic ability quite a bit, to cover many scenarios. Culture,
      > business and government willing, of course.

      [JG] As long as humanity keeps doubling every 40 years (and our
      neighbors don't practice ZPG), there will be MORE and MORE people
      within the boundaries of our finite surface area. U.S.A. has 300
      million now, estimated 600 million in 2050, and an estimated 1.2
      billion in 2090. Since we can't eat concrete, it is plainly evident
      that public policy (and common sense) must encourage restoration of
      former farmland from suburbia, and a consolidation of people in high
      population density villages and towns. NOW. Not later. NOW.

      (And pessimistically expect warfare, worldwide, to be used as a means
      to "thin out" the herd if we fail.)

      > Transition contingency plans for suburbs are key to best outcomes in
      the
      > coming crises. After the oil shocks several decades ago, there was a
      > limited production of energy contingency plans. Unfortunately my
      efforts
      > to raise this topic with cities has fallen on deaf ears in recent
      years,
      > but the time may be right to try again. It's certainly important
      with or
      > without official participation.

      [JG] Smart money will get out of suburbia before the bottom falls out
      of that market. Already, there are signs of folks relocating back to
      central cities, in anticipation of the "big whoops".

      > This is critically important: When crises hit, we can expect the worst
      > case plans and objectives to be waiting in the wings, already
      developed by
      > industry and other large interests (see the Patriot Act, or the
      California
      > Energy crisis of 2000-2001 for recent examples). Couple that with
      panic
      > behavior in the absence of a clear vision and assurance of some kind of
      > individual stability, and we'll see a real mess indeed.

      [JG] Agreed. There's nothing like a panic for the camel to sneak its
      nose under the tent.

      > To prepare excellent comprehensive alternative proposals for
      response to
      > crises, so at least a well-known vision exists and a debate can
      occur, is
      > highly prudent. Where else will change be possible than during
      crisis, in
      > this "wait until it breaks" society? The window of opportunity for
      > sweeping policies may be very short indeed before something truly
      > catastrophic is chosen instead, which derails options and
      trainwrecks many
      > future possibilities.

      [JG] I doubt that there is a political solution, since government is
      part of the problem. There may be individual solutions, where people
      form intentional communities, and cooperatively support each other.
      (Do not rely upon the "Socialist Safety Net". When the "shoe falls",
      there will be too many in need to provide relief for all.)
      If you think that government is the best source of your relief, just
      remember Katrina, and multiply that scenario across the nation.

      (A tip of the hat to now defunct "K ville" TV show, about post Katrina
      New Orleans.)

      > On Sat, 31 May 2008, Jet Graphics wrote:
      > > [JG] Tis true you cannot negotiate catastrophic change. Unfortunately,
      > > the petroleum fuel based transportation system cannot be replaced by
      > > either alternative fuels or alternative transportation (land based).
      > >
      > > Rail based transit systems require a high population density
      > > destination model, so that point to point travel is efficient.
      > >
      > > To achieve a rail renaissance requites consolidation of suburban
      > > destinations into compact villages, so that it is cost effective to
      > > run track between them and nearby urban enclaves.
    • chbuckeye
      ... consumption Not exactly, but close. In the U.S., the Federal Highway Trust Fund was set up to fund interstate road transportation construction and
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 3, 2008
        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
        <Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
        >the funding for most paved roads is derived from taxation on petroleum
        consumption

        Not exactly, but close. In the U.S., the Federal Highway Trust Fund
        was set up to fund interstate road transportation construction and
        maintenance. And while it is true that the federal gas tax is about
        90% of the trust fund revenue, a significant portion of road
        building/maintenance funds come from general tax revenue as well as
        the gas tax.

        The lack of funds is primarily the result of overbuilding not
        under-driving. We have been spending more money on road projects than
        the trust fund has been receiving in revenue for many years. US gas
        taxes are fixed as a percentage of the volume of gas purchased rather
        than a percentage of the purchase price, so the revenue from the gas
        tax is not increasing with the rise in price. Even if Americans
        continued to use the same amount of gasoline each year, as was the
        case until the past year or two, gas taxes were insufficient to
        maintain the existing roads. Yet we steadily increased the number of
        lane-miles of roadway, the cost to maintain all of our roadways
        increased accordingly, and the recent rapid rise in petroleum prices
        has increased the cost of road projects exponentially.

        The state and local governments followed a similar pattern to the
        federal government. In my area a number of major road projects are
        over-budget, and several major projects that are needed (including
        replacing a bridge of the same type that collapsed in Minnesota) have
        been put on hold indefinitely. I hope that we will revisit our
        transportation priorities and consider that alternative modes should
        at the very least be considered as worthwhile investments to encourage
        competition with the roadways. I suspect that privatization will be
        the order of the day.
      • Jet Graphics
        ... JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private monopoly on
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 4, 2008
          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I suspect that privatization will be
          > the order of the day.

          JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and
          maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private
          monopoly on roads or other means of transportation.

          Perhaps a compromise would be in order.

          A public corporation / authority, or a cooperative ownership of
          transportation assets may be more palatable.
        • chbuckeye
          ... I don t favor privatization either. But the existing car-based transportation system in the US is unsustainable. I think toll roads operated and
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 5, 2008
            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
            <Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > I suspect that privatization will be
            > > the order of the day.
            >
            > JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and
            > maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private
            > monopoly on roads or other means of transportation.
            >
            > Perhaps a compromise would be in order.
            >
            > A public corporation / authority, or a cooperative ownership of
            > transportation assets may be more palatable.

            I don't favor privatization either. But the existing car-based
            transportation system in the US is unsustainable. I think toll roads
            operated and maintained by private toll-road operators with long-term
            leases from the government is the current trend.

            As I understand it, this is how that currently works. The lessee/toll
            road operator has to maintain the roadway to a certain standard set by
            the government, and a government oversight committee usually has some
            say in toll rates, but the lessee gets a monopoly on the route and can
            keep the profits. Sort of like a utility, only the government
            ultimately owns the land and can revoke the lease if the private
            company isn't following all the terms of the lease. The leases are
            generally 25 years or more.

            As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
            will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
            roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
            dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
            abandon too many roadways.
          • J.H. Crawford
            Hi All, The discussion of toll roads, paying for repairs, and other auto-trivia really does not belong on this list. Yours in moderation, Joel ... J.H.
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 5, 2008
              Hi All,

              The discussion of toll roads, paying for repairs, and
              other "auto-trivia" really does not belong on this list.

              Yours in moderation,

              Joel



              At 2008-06-05 08:34, you wrote:

              >--- In <mailto:carfree_cities%40yahoogroups.com>carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
              ><Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
              >>
              >> --- In <mailto:carfree_cities%40yahoogroups.com>carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@>
              >> wrote:
              >> >
              >> > I suspect that privatization will be
              >> > the order of the day.
              >>
              >> JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and
              >> maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private
              >> monopoly on roads or other means of transportation.
              >>
              >> Perhaps a compromise would be in order.
              >>
              >> A public corporation / authority, or a cooperative ownership of
              >> transportation assets may be more palatable.
              >
              >I don't favor privatization either. But the existing car-based
              >transportation system in the US is unsustainable. I think toll roads
              >operated and maintained by private toll-road operators with long-term
              >leases from the government is the current trend.
              >
              >As I understand it, this is how that currently works. The lessee/toll
              >road operator has to maintain the roadway to a certain standard set by
              >the government, and a government oversight committee usually has some
              >say in toll rates, but the lessee gets a monopoly on the route and can
              >keep the profits. Sort of like a utility, only the government
              >ultimately owns the land and can revoke the lease if the private
              >company isn't following all the terms of the lease. The leases are
              >generally 25 years or more.
              >
              >As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
              >will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
              >roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
              >dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
              >abandon too many roadways.
              >
              >



              ----- ### -----
              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
            • Jason Meggs
              ... Hm. At TCFC IV in Berlin, a presentation was made about toll roads and the importance of capturing their revenues for alternatives. There was vocal
              Message 6 of 17 , Jun 5, 2008
                > As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
                > will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
                > roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
                > dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
                > abandon too many roadways.

                Hm. At TCFC IV in Berlin, a presentation was made about toll roads and
                the importance of capturing their revenues for alternatives. There was
                vocal opposition to the idea that attendees spend any time doing anything
                that might further the goal of roads; no deals with the devil. Joel
                Crawford evidently concurs in a recent email regarding this thread.

                At this time, congestion pricing is a topic on the rise, and toll roads
                are essentially a subset. I'd be surprised if anyone legitimately on this
                list is opposed to congestion pricing zones (and would love to know why).
                CarBusters has its section on watching car culture, which I take as a
                strategic necessity. I don't want to discuss toll roads either, although
                congestion pricing is of great interest. The issue of where the revenues
                go remains at large, and is important; it can further car culture, or it
                can quicken a transition away from it. Political pressure is the order of
                the day, as usual. In the U.S., political opposition and perhaps some
                fumbling in New York and San Francisco are the status reports on
                congestion pricing efforts here. The Federal Government has reportedly
                recently assigned $1 Billion USD to the study and implemention of
                congestion pricing strategies, so there is some hope of success.

                Does it matter? (And do we care about roads at all?) Personally, if oil
                supplies drop off at the expected rate (8% per annum is not at all
                unlikely, resulting in half the available oil in under 8 years), there
                will be a rather large dampening on road building, toll collection, and
                driving in general. The current rate of roadway disappearance in the U.S.
                will accelerate. The focus will shift to providing basic services, and
                ideally, to an emerging sustainable economy with even higher quality of
                life for all (the likely reality may be more bleak). The wealthy who may
                yet enjoy that limitless access to fuel feeling will opt for large
                vehicles which happily trounce the worst of roads.

                More importantly...

                Speaking of $1 Billion: At the World Ecocity Summit in San Francisco, one
                of our members involved in funding in Asia discussed the novel idea, "What
                if a large funder gave $1B for GHG reductions to the WCN overnight?"

                After some initial wretching at the implausibility of the idea, she saw a
                light and said, "It might actually be the best possible use of a billion
                dollars -- if the funds were distributed to all the member groups" and let
                them run with it.

                Boggling the mind, one ponders the proper sequence of events to secure and
                distribute such a large fund without compomising that vision. The recent
                communication from Christi Brooks, until recently the fund raiser in
                Prague, forwarded by Joel Crawford on May 30, further informs that boggled
                mind.

                Yours in bureacracy-speak,

                Jason in Berkeley



                On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, chbuckeye wrote:

                > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
                > <Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@>
                >> wrote:
                >>>
                >>> I suspect that privatization will be
                >>> the order of the day.
                >>
                >> JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and
                >> maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private
                >> monopoly on roads or other means of transportation.
                >>
                >> Perhaps a compromise would be in order.
                >>
                >> A public corporation / authority, or a cooperative ownership of
                >> transportation assets may be more palatable.
                >
                > I don't favor privatization either. But the existing car-based
                > transportation system in the US is unsustainable. I think toll roads
                > operated and maintained by private toll-road operators with long-term
                > leases from the government is the current trend.
                >
                > As I understand it, this is how that currently works. The lessee/toll
                > road operator has to maintain the roadway to a certain standard set by
                > the government, and a government oversight committee usually has some
                > say in toll rates, but the lessee gets a monopoly on the route and can
                > keep the profits. Sort of like a utility, only the government
                > ultimately owns the land and can revoke the lease if the private
                > company isn't following all the terms of the lease. The leases are
                > generally 25 years or more.
                >
                > As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
                > will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
                > roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
                > dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
                > abandon too many roadways.
                >
                >
                >
              • bruun@seas.upenn.edu
                Jason Actually, the Feds stole the $1 Billion from the Transit Trust Fund to finance demo congestion pricing projects. However, since they are opposed to
                Message 7 of 17 , Jun 5, 2008
                  Jason

                  Actually, the Feds stole the $1 Billion from the Transit Trust Fund to
                  finance demo congestion pricing projects. However, since they are
                  opposed to raising the gas tax, which hasn't increased since 1993,
                  they have made no plans to ever give the money back. That is why I use
                  the word "stole" rather than "borrowed".
                  They wanted to "borrow" the remaining $4 B from the Transit Trust Fund
                  too, but thank God the Congress stopped that idea.

                  Eric Bruun


                  Quoting Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...>:

                  >> As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
                  >> will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
                  >> roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
                  >> dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
                  >> abandon too many roadways.
                  >
                  > Hm. At TCFC IV in Berlin, a presentation was made about toll roads and
                  > the importance of capturing their revenues for alternatives. There was
                  > vocal opposition to the idea that attendees spend any time doing anything
                  > that might further the goal of roads; no deals with the devil. Joel
                  > Crawford evidently concurs in a recent email regarding this thread.
                  >
                  > At this time, congestion pricing is a topic on the rise, and toll roads
                  > are essentially a subset. I'd be surprised if anyone legitimately on this
                  > list is opposed to congestion pricing zones (and would love to know why).
                  > CarBusters has its section on watching car culture, which I take as a
                  > strategic necessity. I don't want to discuss toll roads either, although
                  > congestion pricing is of great interest. The issue of where the revenues
                  > go remains at large, and is important; it can further car culture, or it
                  > can quicken a transition away from it. Political pressure is the order of
                  > the day, as usual. In the U.S., political opposition and perhaps some
                  > fumbling in New York and San Francisco are the status reports on
                  > congestion pricing efforts here. The Federal Government has reportedly
                  > recently assigned $1 Billion USD to the study and implemention of
                  > congestion pricing strategies, so there is some hope of success.
                  >
                  > Does it matter? (And do we care about roads at all?) Personally, if oil
                  > supplies drop off at the expected rate (8% per annum is not at all
                  > unlikely, resulting in half the available oil in under 8 years), there
                  > will be a rather large dampening on road building, toll collection, and
                  > driving in general. The current rate of roadway disappearance in the U.S.
                  > will accelerate. The focus will shift to providing basic services, and
                  > ideally, to an emerging sustainable economy with even higher quality of
                  > life for all (the likely reality may be more bleak). The wealthy who may
                  > yet enjoy that limitless access to fuel feeling will opt for large
                  > vehicles which happily trounce the worst of roads.
                  >
                  > More importantly...
                  >
                  > Speaking of $1 Billion: At the World Ecocity Summit in San Francisco, one
                  > of our members involved in funding in Asia discussed the novel idea, "What
                  > if a large funder gave $1B for GHG reductions to the WCN overnight?"
                  >
                  > After some initial wretching at the implausibility of the idea, she saw a
                  > light and said, "It might actually be the best possible use of a billion
                  > dollars -- if the funds were distributed to all the member groups" and let
                  > them run with it.
                  >
                  > Boggling the mind, one ponders the proper sequence of events to secure and
                  > distribute such a large fund without compomising that vision. The recent
                  > communication from Christi Brooks, until recently the fund raiser in
                  > Prague, forwarded by Joel Crawford on May 30, further informs that boggled
                  > mind.
                  >
                  > Yours in bureacracy-speak,
                  >
                  > Jason in Berkeley
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, chbuckeye wrote:
                  >
                  >> --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
                  >> <Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
                  >>>
                  >>> --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@>
                  >>> wrote:
                  >>>>
                  >>>> I suspect that privatization will be
                  >>>> the order of the day.
                  >>>
                  >>> JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and
                  >>> maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private
                  >>> monopoly on roads or other means of transportation.
                  >>>
                  >>> Perhaps a compromise would be in order.
                  >>>
                  >>> A public corporation / authority, or a cooperative ownership of
                  >>> transportation assets may be more palatable.
                  >>
                  >> I don't favor privatization either. But the existing car-based
                  >> transportation system in the US is unsustainable. I think toll roads
                  >> operated and maintained by private toll-road operators with long-term
                  >> leases from the government is the current trend.
                  >>
                  >> As I understand it, this is how that currently works. The lessee/toll
                  >> road operator has to maintain the roadway to a certain standard set by
                  >> the government, and a government oversight committee usually has some
                  >> say in toll rates, but the lessee gets a monopoly on the route and can
                  >> keep the profits. Sort of like a utility, only the government
                  >> ultimately owns the land and can revoke the lease if the private
                  >> company isn't following all the terms of the lease. The leases are
                  >> generally 25 years or more.
                  >>
                  >> As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
                  >> will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
                  >> roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
                  >> dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
                  >> abandon too many roadways.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                • Jason Meggs
                  Ah! Thank you for elucidating my knowledge and sorry for my ignorance. I got that factoid from the SFCTA web pages on the topic. All the more reason for any
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jun 6, 2008
                    Ah!

                    Thank you for elucidating my knowledge and sorry for my ignorance. I got
                    that factoid from the SFCTA web pages on the topic.

                    All the more reason for any implementation to result in revenues dedicated
                    to transit and other alternatives, mitigating the impacts of the
                    automobile and transforming automobile-first environments.

                    Jason


                    On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, bruun@... wrote:

                    >
                    > Jason
                    >
                    > Actually, the Feds stole the $1 Billion from the Transit Trust Fund to
                    > finance demo congestion pricing projects. However, since they are
                    > opposed to raising the gas tax, which hasn't increased since 1993,
                    > they have made no plans to ever give the money back. That is why I use
                    > the word "stole" rather than "borrowed".
                    > They wanted to "borrow" the remaining $4 B from the Transit Trust Fund
                    > too, but thank God the Congress stopped that idea.
                    >
                    > Eric Bruun
                    >
                    >
                    > Quoting Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...>:
                    >
                    >>> As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
                    >>> will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
                    >>> roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
                    >>> dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
                    >>> abandon too many roadways.
                    >>
                    >> Hm. At TCFC IV in Berlin, a presentation was made about toll roads and
                    >> the importance of capturing their revenues for alternatives. There was
                    >> vocal opposition to the idea that attendees spend any time doing anything
                    >> that might further the goal of roads; no deals with the devil. Joel
                    >> Crawford evidently concurs in a recent email regarding this thread.
                    >>
                    >> At this time, congestion pricing is a topic on the rise, and toll roads
                    >> are essentially a subset. I'd be surprised if anyone legitimately on this
                    >> list is opposed to congestion pricing zones (and would love to know why).
                    >> CarBusters has its section on watching car culture, which I take as a
                    >> strategic necessity. I don't want to discuss toll roads either, although
                    >> congestion pricing is of great interest. The issue of where the revenues
                    >> go remains at large, and is important; it can further car culture, or it
                    >> can quicken a transition away from it. Political pressure is the order of
                    >> the day, as usual. In the U.S., political opposition and perhaps some
                    >> fumbling in New York and San Francisco are the status reports on
                    >> congestion pricing efforts here. The Federal Government has reportedly
                    >> recently assigned $1 Billion USD to the study and implemention of
                    >> congestion pricing strategies, so there is some hope of success.
                    >>
                    >> Does it matter? (And do we care about roads at all?) Personally, if oil
                    >> supplies drop off at the expected rate (8% per annum is not at all
                    >> unlikely, resulting in half the available oil in under 8 years), there
                    >> will be a rather large dampening on road building, toll collection, and
                    >> driving in general. The current rate of roadway disappearance in the U.S.
                    >> will accelerate. The focus will shift to providing basic services, and
                    >> ideally, to an emerging sustainable economy with even higher quality of
                    >> life for all (the likely reality may be more bleak). The wealthy who may
                    >> yet enjoy that limitless access to fuel feeling will opt for large
                    >> vehicles which happily trounce the worst of roads.
                    >>
                    >> More importantly...
                    >>
                    >> Speaking of $1 Billion: At the World Ecocity Summit in San Francisco, one
                    >> of our members involved in funding in Asia discussed the novel idea, "What
                    >> if a large funder gave $1B for GHG reductions to the WCN overnight?"
                    >>
                    >> After some initial wretching at the implausibility of the idea, she saw a
                    >> light and said, "It might actually be the best possible use of a billion
                    >> dollars -- if the funds were distributed to all the member groups" and let
                    >> them run with it.
                    >>
                    >> Boggling the mind, one ponders the proper sequence of events to secure and
                    >> distribute such a large fund without compomising that vision. The recent
                    >> communication from Christi Brooks, until recently the fund raiser in
                    >> Prague, forwarded by Joel Crawford on May 30, further informs that boggled
                    >> mind.
                    >>
                    >> Yours in bureacracy-speak,
                    >>
                    >> Jason in Berkeley
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, chbuckeye wrote:
                    >>
                    >>> --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
                    >>> <Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
                    >>>>
                    >>>> --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@>
                    >>>> wrote:
                    >>>>>
                    >>>>> I suspect that privatization will be
                    >>>>> the order of the day.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and
                    >>>> maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private
                    >>>> monopoly on roads or other means of transportation.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> Perhaps a compromise would be in order.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> A public corporation / authority, or a cooperative ownership of
                    >>>> transportation assets may be more palatable.
                    >>>
                    >>> I don't favor privatization either. But the existing car-based
                    >>> transportation system in the US is unsustainable. I think toll roads
                    >>> operated and maintained by private toll-road operators with long-term
                    >>> leases from the government is the current trend.
                    >>>
                    >>> As I understand it, this is how that currently works. The lessee/toll
                    >>> road operator has to maintain the roadway to a certain standard set by
                    >>> the government, and a government oversight committee usually has some
                    >>> say in toll rates, but the lessee gets a monopoly on the route and can
                    >>> keep the profits. Sort of like a utility, only the government
                    >>> ultimately owns the land and can revoke the lease if the private
                    >>> company isn't following all the terms of the lease. The leases are
                    >>> generally 25 years or more.
                    >>>
                    >>> As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
                    >>> will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
                    >>> roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
                    >>> dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
                    >>> abandon too many roadways.
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Ed Beighe
                    ... Arizona has a (pretty standard) 19.4 cents per gallon, and no sales tax on gasoline. Here in fast growing Maricopa county (Phoenix metro area) we already
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jun 9, 2008
                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
                      > <Jetgraphics@> wrote:
                      > >the funding for most paved roads is derived from taxation on petroleum
                      > consumption
                      >
                      > Not exactly, but close....
                      > The state and local governments followed a similar pattern to the
                      > federal government.

                      Arizona has a (pretty standard) 19.4 cents per gallon,
                      and no sales tax on gasoline.
                      Here in fast growing Maricopa county (Phoenix metro area) we already
                      have had a 0.5% general sales tax for years and years to fund highway
                      construction.
                      Now we are told this isn't enough, so a special interest group (with
                      the support of the governor)is pushing a plan for ballot initiative
                      that would add ANOTHER full percent to the general sales tax.
                      (this would cause sales tax in the city of Phoenix, for example, to be
                      9.3% -- among the highest sales tax in the nation).

                      The group (heavy construction companies and whatnot) backing this
                      proposal calls this a comprehensive transportation plan, including
                      bus, trains, etc. However, the large majority of the money is
                      earmarked for road construction.

                      The governor even cooked up a secret deal with home builder's lobby
                      (it leaked) for them to escape any sort of impact fees. (Sheesh, this
                      sounds like some sort of conspiracy theory -- but I'm not making this
                      stuff up!). The governor even stated flatly that this proposal (sales
                      taxes) is the "only way" to raise the money -- in other words, use tax
                      increases were for some reason impossible.

                      http://azbikelaw.org/blog/deal-to-increase-sales-tax-to-build-roads/
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.