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Transport Policy? An Explanation for

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  • Andrew Dawson
    ... One thing about having tolls on Interstates is that they are just trunk roads. There are a lot feeder roads that wouldn t be tolled. It s like with
    Message 1 of 6 , May 4, 2005
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      Fred M. Cain wrote:
      >Well, maybe not. It'd make a big difference if the highway and
      >airport modes would just be made to pay their full share. One
      >thing, I believe, that could be done would to convert the Interstate
      >Highway System along with all other major superhighways to "pay-as-
      >you-go" tollways. 100% of the maintenance costs would be required
      >to come directly from tolls. This would then in turn permit the
      >complete elimination of the federal fuel tax.
      >
      >Once this system's in place, the tollways could then be sold to the
      >private sector. Then, the tolls would not only be required for
      >maintenance, but for property taxes and shareholder distributions.

      One thing about having tolls on Interstates is that they are just trunk
      roads. There are a lot feeder roads that wouldn't be tolled. It's like with
      railways mainlines are profitable but branches aren't always. It's also rare
      to see roads get abandoned.

      >"Conservatives" that like to have one standard for passenger
      >train "profitability" and another for highways don't like such a
      >suggestion. Nor should they be expected to. If motorists were ever
      >forced to pay the *TRUE* cost of driving, say, from Cleveland to
      >Chicago, guess what? The comparative cost of a passenger train
      >ticket would look pretty darn good, wouldn't it?

      The accounting gets confusing. Wendell Cox always complained about the cost
      of a new rider for a transit system, but he never complained about the cost
      of a new driver or the loss of a passenger.
      Then again Cox and numbers mix like crude oil and salt water.

      Till later, Andrew Dawson
    • Mike Morin
      ... As much as I detest automobiles, the noise that trains make are equally as noxious. Trains would be OK if people didn t live by the tracks. But they do.
      Message 2 of 6 , May 4, 2005
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        >If motorists were ever
        >forced to pay the *TRUE* cost of driving, say, from Cleveland to
        >Chicago, guess what? The comparative cost of a passenger train
        >ticket would look pretty darn good, wouldn't it?

        As much as I detest automobiles, the noise that trains make are equally as
        noxious. Trains would be OK if people didn't live by the tracks. But they
        do. Simiilar things could be said about highways and busy streets.

        With today's information technology and such, why would people need to
        travel from Cleveland to Chicago. Telecommuting may be a better idea than
        passenger trains. Besides, railroads have such an unsavory history.

        By the way, enlighten me about the "true cost" of driving. Other than the
        unsustainable nature of autocentricity and the impacts of global warming, I
        don't know what you mean. Perhaps that is what you mean. Am I missing
        something? Certainly gas taxes do pay for road maintenence and construction.
        No?

        My two dollars worth...


        MM



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Andrew Dawson" <m82a1_dawson@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 8:45 PM
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Transport Policy? An Explanation for


        > Fred M. Cain wrote:
        >>Well, maybe not. It'd make a big difference if the highway and
        >>airport modes would just be made to pay their full share. One
        >>thing, I believe, that could be done would to convert the Interstate
        >>Highway System along with all other major superhighways to "pay-as-
        >>you-go" tollways. 100% of the maintenance costs would be required
        >>to come directly from tolls. This would then in turn permit the
        >>complete elimination of the federal fuel tax.
        >>
        >>Once this system's in place, the tollways could then be sold to the
        >>private sector. Then, the tolls would not only be required for
        >>maintenance, but for property taxes and shareholder distributions.
        >
        > One thing about having tolls on Interstates is that they are just trunk
        > roads. There are a lot feeder roads that wouldn't be tolled. It's like
        > with
        > railways mainlines are profitable but branches aren't always. It's also
        > rare
        > to see roads get abandoned.
        >
        >>"Conservatives" that like to have one standard for passenger
        >>train "profitability" and another for highways don't like such a
        >>suggestion. Nor should they be expected to. If motorists were ever
        >>forced to pay the *TRUE* cost of driving, say, from Cleveland to
        >>Chicago, guess what? The comparative cost of a passenger train
        >>ticket would look pretty darn good, wouldn't it?
        >
        > The accounting gets confusing. Wendell Cox always complained about the
        > cost
        > of a new rider for a transit system, but he never complained about the
        > cost
        > of a new driver or the loss of a passenger.
        > Then again Cox and numbers mix like crude oil and salt water.
        >
        > Till later, Andrew Dawson
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Richard Risemberg
        ... Not electric trains. I was once standing with a friend by a string of freight cars whose engine was about three quarters of a mile ahead. he put his
        Message 3 of 6 , May 4, 2005
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          On May 4, 2005, at 9:03 PM, Mike Morin wrote:
          > As much as I detest automobiles, the noise that trains make are
          > equally as
          > noxious. Trains would be OK if people didn't live by the tracks. But
          > they
          > do. Simiilar things could be said about highways and busy streets.

          Not electric trains. I was once standing with a friend by a string of
          freight cars whose engine was about three quarters of a mile ahead. he
          put his camera bag on a flatcar, and I told him to take it off right
          away, as the train could start without warning and, with the engine far
          off, he wouldn't even hear it. He grumbled, but removed the bag.
          Within twenty seconds the cars started moving soundlessly towards
          Sacramento. (We were on a very slight incline, so the slack in teh
          couplings was already taken up.)
          >
          > By the way, enlighten me about the "true cost" of driving. Other than
          > the
          > unsustainable nature of autocentricity and the impacts of global
          > warming, I
          > don't know what you mean. Perhaps that is what you mean. Am I missing
          > something? Certainly gas taxes do pay for road maintenence and
          > construction.
          > No?
          In fact, no. Those taxes cover about 50%, often a little less, of road
          construction and maintenance. That's why California roads became
          pothole heaven after Prop. 13 killed property tax collections.

          Then there are those famous externalized costs. Drivers--all
          drivers--are the biggest welfare queens around.

          My 2.3ยข.

          Richard

          --
          Richard Risemberg
          http://www.rickrise.com
          http://www.newcolonist.com
          http://www.living-room.org
        • Tom Morris
          The noise from passenger trains comes from a fairly small number of sources, all fairly easily mitigated: Wheels. Typically, squeaks, groans, creaks. These
          Message 4 of 6 , May 4, 2005
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            The noise from passenger trains comes from a fairly small number of
            sources, all fairly easily mitigated:

            Wheels. Typically, squeaks, groans, creaks. These noises are created due
            to curves and uneven areas on the track. On well-maintained and aligned
            track, wheel sounds are quite minimal.

            Of course, there are systems which run pretty quietly through the use of
            a nonmetallic vehicle to track interface. Examples include the Miami
            Metromover (still pretty loud, due to ancillary equipment) and the
            Toronto subway.

            Track. On older track, non-welded joints cause a click noise with each
            wheel crossing. Newer welded rail, if properly installed and ground
            smooth, creates none. In addition, loose spikes, ties, support plates,
            and other hardware will cause noise as the changes in pressure on the
            track vibrate it. In general, a well-maintained new track is quiet, and
            one that's out of shape is loud.

            Power. Diesel locomotives, gensets, electric motors and gearing. Adding
            vibration isolators and sound insulation can dramatically reduce the
            noise output from any locomotive. Air compressors seem to be especially
            loud on some equipment, and should be packed away in compartments with
            sound absorbing insulation.

            Fans, HVAC equipment. Low noise fans and compressors can be installed or
            retrofitted to locomotives and rolling stock. Systems can be designed to
            be liquid cooled instead of air cooled, with cooling handled by passive
            radiators or heat exchangers with quiet fans.

            Squeaks and rattles from other parts. These are more a passenger
            compartment noise issue than anything else, as they are not loud enough
            to be objectionable. However, if a train's been quieted down overall,
            they may be more noticeable and annoying. The most common sources I've
            found are vestibules between cars, which I suppose could be fitted with
            rubber edges to avoid metal on metal squeaking. Could the interface be
            made magnetic, like a refrigerator door seal?

            I was truly amazed when I was riding Tri-Rail one day and a breaker
            popped (or something). I was in the first car of a northbound train
            (with the locomotive on the south end) on newly replaced track, and all
            the HVAC gear lost power. It was nearly silent. It would be very nice if
            the air conditioning in the cars could run that quietly...

            Mike Morin wrote:

            >>If motorists were ever
            >>forced to pay the *TRUE* cost of driving, say, from Cleveland to
            >>Chicago, guess what? The comparative cost of a passenger train
            >>ticket would look pretty darn good, wouldn't it?
            >>
            >>
            >
            >As much as I detest automobiles, the noise that trains make are equally as
            >noxious. Trains would be OK if people didn't live by the tracks. But they
            >do. Simiilar things could be said about highways and busy streets.
            >
            >With today's information technology and such, why would people need to
            >travel from Cleveland to Chicago. Telecommuting may be a better idea than
            >passenger trains. Besides, railroads have such an unsavory history.
            >
            >By the way, enlighten me about the "true cost" of driving. Other than the
            >unsustainable nature of autocentricity and the impacts of global warming, I
            >don't know what you mean. Perhaps that is what you mean. Am I missing
            >something? Certainly gas taxes do pay for road maintenence and construction.
            >No?
            >
            >My two dollars worth...
            >
            >
            >MM
            >
            >
            >


            --
            High Prince Sporkington of the Holy Order of Multiball Madness, Suburban
            Warrior of Disarray, Master of the Lost Circuit Collective, Member of
            the Federal Narcoleptic Ostrich Relocation Department (FNORD)

            Also known to the unenlightened as Tom Morris, KG4CYX

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          • Doug Salzmann
            ... No, they really don t. For a good overview, see Todd Litman s Whose Roads? at: Abstract: Many people believe that
            Message 5 of 6 , May 4, 2005
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              On Wed, 4 May 2005, Mike Morin wrote:

              > Am I missing something?
              > Certainly gas taxes do pay for road maintenence and construction.
              > No?

              No, they really don't. For a good overview, see Todd Litman's "Whose
              Roads?" at:

              <http://www.vtpi.org/whoserd.pdf>

              Abstract:

              "Many people believe that nonmotorized modes (walking, cycling, and their
              variations) have an inferior right to use public roads compared with motor
              vehicles. This reflects the belief that motor vehicles are more important
              to society than nonmotorized modes, and that roads are funded by
              motorists. This paper investigates these assumptions. It finds that
              nonmotorized modes have the legal right to use public roads, that
              nonmotorized modes provide significant transportation benefits, and
              pedestrians and cyclists pay a significant share of roadway costs.
              Although motorist user fees (fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees)
              fund most highway expenses, funding for local roads (the roads pedestrians
              and cyclists use most) originates mainly from general taxes. Since
              bicycling and walking impose lower roadway costs than motorized modes,
              people who rely primarily on nonmotorized modes tend to overpay their fair
              share of roadway costs and subsidize motorists."

              And so on...


              -Doug


              --
              "There must be some way out of here,"
              said the joker to the thief.
              "There's too much confusion,
              I can't get no relief."

              -Bob Dylan, "All Along the Watchtower"


              =================
              Doug Salzmann
              Kalliergo
              P.O. Box 1007
              Larkspur, CA
              94977-1007 USA

              www.kalliergo.net
            • Simon Baddeley
              I disagree about the noise of trains being as noxious as that of automobiles. What I find so noxious about freeway noise is the almost constant tearing roar
              Message 6 of 6 , May 4, 2005
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                I disagree about the noise of trains being as noxious as that of
                automobiles. What I find so noxious about freeway noise is the almost
                constant "tearing" roar of tyres on asphalt on all sides of a road as it
                "rips" through great swathes of land blighting it it with a constant low key
                roar audible for miles. The railway train is noisy at the time it passes but
                the sound is intermittent and not unrelenting. After a train passes through
                a rural valley the restoration of serenity is almost palpable.

                One can set one's watch by some regular trains and there is something rather
                special about the sound of a train horn in the night. Yes it must be rough
                if the track of a city rail system passes right by your apartment window -
                and this is a classic signal of the impoverished city apartment shaking from
                floor to ceiling as the train goes by.

                Simon


                On 5/5/05 5:03 am, "Mike Morin" <mikemorin@...> wrote:

                >> If motorists were ever
                >> forced to pay the *TRUE* cost of driving, say, from Cleveland to
                >> Chicago, guess what? The comparative cost of a passenger train
                >> ticket would look pretty darn good, wouldn't it?
                >
                > As much as I detest automobiles, the noise that trains make are equally as
                > noxious. Trains would be OK if people didn't live by the tracks. But they
                > do. Simiilar things could be said about highways and busy streets.
                >
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