Re: [carfree_cities] big box parking & tolls
- HCTRA doesn't place freeways where they could be most profitable. Hardy
Toll Road is parallel to I-45. The South Beltway will make more money as
people find that commutes from the South are easier than commutes from the
West and North of Houston. As far as the East goes...who wants to live near
HCTRA also built an airport connector which wasn't necessary in the least.
I've never experienced severe traffic enteringg Bush ICA. Some of the newer
routes do make a bit more sense, like the West Park Tollway (a good many
miles south, and parallel to Katy), Fort Bend Parkway (kinda parallel to the
Southwest Freeway; off to the east, stops at 610), and some new toll lanes
on Katy. Hardy Downtown Connector might make some sense, as it might
convince people to get on Hardy the whole way from Downtown out the
I wondered why, since HCTRA seems to favor building parallel to current
roads, why not use up some of the rail ROW near West Loop 610 and build a
parallel bypass stretching from, say, Katy to Southwest, or Norh Loop to
What's bonkers is the Trans Texas Corridor :
I don't care if it is providing all those rail tracks, most of the routing
is through the middle of nowhere. Is it really expected that the "triangle"
of San Antonio-Austin-Dallas-Houston is going to become continuously urban?
All goes to show that one of the few profitable transit ventures are
urban-centric rail systems. I read in "Edge City" that Hong Kong's subway
is the only non-subsidized urban rail system in the world. This was back in
1991, before Chinese annexation. Are there any other systems out there?
The Metro in Joel's plan could be privately run, as it would face virtually
no other competition except from bicycling. The way things are right now,
maybe the only way for the Topology to be built from the ground up is to be
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Harrington" <mike@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 6:32 AM
Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] big box parking & tolls
> Toll roads don't always deliver the revenues they promise. In Houston,
> Harris County Toll Road Authority
> has some of the highest per-mile rates in the US, which populists have
> dubbed "Lexus Lanes." The northern and western portions of its Sam
> tollway make money, but the eastern and southern sections are losers. The
> HCTRA's Hardy Toll Road in the north also loses money. Toll roads have
> become more common out of necessity. TxDOT now pays out sixty percent of
> its cash flow for road maintenance, and little money is left over for the
> construction of new freeways in Texas. TxDOT envision that new road
> will eventually completely dry up as the state's highways age.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "dubluth" <dubluth@...>
> > I may be mistaken, but I believe the object of tolls (aside from
> > realizing monopoly rents) is the recovery of the road or bridge
> > building expenses. Operating costs could (and should) also be
> > included.
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- On 03.12.3 10:> Message: 10
> Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 07:28:12 -0800Actually, that's every twenty minutes during the off-hours. During peak
> From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
> Subject: HSR
> Was recently on the bullet trains in Japan. 2000-passenger loads
> leaving every twenty minutes from downtowns everywhere, the station a
> short subway or taxi ride from anywhere in any town (think twenty
> minutes max), three levels of service (pay a little more for fewer
> stops). And they turn a profit!
hours the trains run every *five minutes*--and that's just the bullet
On my trip three years ago, I was planning to take the train from Tokyo to
visit some friends in Kamakura (home of the emblematic Great Buddha), which
is perhaps 40 miles south. I phoned my friends to make arrangements and said
that I would have to find out when the trains left.
"Don't bother," my friend said. "The trains run every 12 minutes. Just give
us a half-hour window of when you plan to leave Tokyo Station, and we'll be
there to meet you."
On that same trip, I road a country train that literally served as a school
bus for junior and senior high school students who lived in villages that
were too small to support a secondary school.
Japan truly is transit heaven. On my last trip (spring 2002), I found a
whole new railroad line running into Tokyo Station that had not been there
before, and the subways are constantly under construction. They also have a
second Shinkansen bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka on the drawing board
(it would pass through different cities), because the existing one is
Despite their huge auto industry and some regrettable trends in the
direction of car-oriented development in suburban areas, Japanese will be as
ready as anyone in the world when the oil runs out.