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Re: An Argument for Fee-based Roads (long)

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  • Tony Brewer
    ... A pricing mechanism of increasing the cost of fuel is unlikely to bring about these benefits by itself. In my view economics is not a science but a
    Message 1 of 40 , Apr 2, 2002
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      > 4. The Benefits
      >
      > With no other policy change besides this
      > [large increase in fuel cost for motorists], cities will become more
      > compact, automobiles will become fewer and more fuel efficient,
      > people will more often walk or bike, businesses will more
      > conveniently locate themselves, neighborhood groceries, bars,
      > restaurants, and services will multiply, pollution will lessen,
      > natural habitat will increase as rural areas are less encroached by
      > sprawl, parking lots will become fewer in number and smaller in size,
      > homes will be designed with less focus on the garage, and alternative
      > modes of transportation will be expanded and more used. This will all
      > result simply from people making individual decisions on the basis of
      > their personal budget, having to bear the actual costs of their
      > transportation choices, and from businesses responding to the changed
      > demands of their employees and customers. Because people will walk
      > and bicycle more, they will pressure their city governments to design
      > public spaces for this purpose. Private builders will also
      > accommodate to this.

      A "pricing mechanism" of increasing the cost of fuel is unlikely to bring
      about these benefits by itself. In my view economics is not a science but a
      voodoo religion and like many religions it depends upon faith in something
      that does not really exist, in this case the Money-God. [We would be better
      off worshipping the Monkey-God.] Getting people to hand over pieces of paper
      or metal with bigger numbers on will not be enough.

      Tony
    • J.H. Crawford
      ... I m with you up to this point. ... We ve had more than enough experience with elevated transport systems to decide right now never to build another one of
      Message 40 of 40 , Apr 8, 2002
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        Louis-Luc said:

        >It's relative...
        >Knowing there is an environment spoiled with cars, and
        >an underground city filled with life (Montreal Underground Network), I
        >prefer the subway way over the
        >bus, because you can ride it and walk through the underground city for hours
        >(or repetedly for days), without knowing cars even exist.
        >
        >However, in a city with no car, or where car drivers yield to human-powered
        >traffic both in theory and 100% in practice, then streetcars or buses become
        >much more attractive, because you don't have the stress of walking through
        >car traffic when you ride them and walk in the city.

        I'm with you up to this point.

        >The ideal is a monorail:
        >- it runs in the air (over street level) NONONONONONO!!!!!
        >- it frees the street for human uses true
        >- when you ride it, you see outdoors, true, but not at eye-level
        >but I think it's more vulnerable to the weather than a metro. probably so

        We've had more than enough experience with elevated transport systems to
        decide right now never to build another one of the damn things. It's
        true that newer technology is better in this respect than older stuff,
        but it will never be acceptable. (Well, ok, some breakthrough in materials
        that allowed the construction of spider-web thin supports for the tracks
        (or whatever) might change the picture somewhat, but it still is not
        the right way to do it. If you need above-ground transport, trams are
        the way to go. If there's too much traffic from the trams to be acceptable,
        then you HAVE to build a metro, no matter what the cost. If there's that
        much traffic, the cost is not unreasonable (per rider).)



        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... Carfree.com
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