I see that there is a New Transportation Bill being worked on in the House. I understand that the bill includes incentives for the building of priviatly owned toll roads. I find this interesting.
I am curious as to who would want privately owned toll roads.
Can anyone here explain why we would want such roads built?
A few comments about P.A.'s post . I have to ask; Is less money being collected or less money collected per mile driven?
I think that the idea of making big trucks pay there fair share has some holes. 1. They use a lot more fuel per mile than cars. therefor they pay a lot more tax. I also believe that they have to pay additional taxes and fees that cars do not. As I think I pointed out previously, virtually every thing we use is transported by road. In order to change that we would need to completly rebuild our railroad system. How do we get railroads built unless the government subsidizes the building of them? The population of Europe is much more highly concentrated than the population of the US.
we have vast areas of unpopulated land that freight has to cross if we are to get products moved from producer to consumer. The railroads were subsidized by the government back in the 1800's. They took advantage of it and charged outragous sums to haul everything. So between 1920 and 1960 the game was changed and the trucking industry came out on top.
Yes, toll roads can be a fairer way of distributing cost, but you better figure out how to control them and keep them from becoming a monopoly. I, personally would rather pay higer taxes and share the roads with everyone.
I actually think that now in Tennessee which is the only state I really know about the amount of money collected is not growing anymore which is actually a decease if there is any inflation and it will only get worse.
We have a very good system of railroads already in place. It just means making better use of them. Trucks would still be needed for local deliveries but using them for long hauls is very inefficient. Yes railroads would need some upgrading and would require regulation.
Have you ever driven I40 through Tennessee? There is hardly any room for cars. So maybe that makes my feeling about long haul trucks different from others who do not have to deal with them as much.
I've noticed that especially at night, cars seem to be lost amidst the long convoys of trucks. I haven't driven in Tennessee lately (or ever) but I know that's how it is up in my area.
I like the idea of the railroads making a comeback, but also agree that I would rather pay more in taxes and less on the turnpikes.
P.A. , I actually have not looked at the statistics to see if the highway tax collections and fuel taxes are going up or down. So, I can't really discuss that part knowledgably until I do.
However, based on experience(which is always questionable) I would say that the amount of funds collected is probably increasing. I base that on observations made while driving an RV back and forth between Washington, DC, Youngstown, OH/Pittsburgh, PA, Key West, FL, Houston,TX, Pecos,TX, Colorado Springs, CO, Russel, Kansas, Atlanta, GA, Knoxville, TN, and West Union, WV during the last 5 years. Oh, also Houlton, Maine.
I-81 seems to have the greatest concentration of large trucks. Followed by parts of I-95, I-10, and I-40.
I-10 used to be the most deteriorated, with I-40 a close second. I-10 was so bad that Iused to US 90 and US 190 across LA and TX to get to the Houston/Livingston area. They have since fixed most of I-10 along that area. Except for a short stretch just West of Baton Rouge, LA. I-40 across NC is much worse than TN. The US Routes (i.e. US 59 in TX, and US 285 in NM) seem to be well maintained. All of the US and State Highways in TX seem to be well maintained so I don't know why Gov. Perry is so hot to build Toll roads.
I have also ridden Amtrack from Baltimore to Orlando. The tracks are so rough that it is almost impossible to sleep in the pullman cars. And watching the acrobatics of the waiters serving food in the dining cars is the 8th wonder.
The biggest problem with Transportation in the country is the bridges. It is only a matter of time befor we have a major bridge disaster.
I'm not sure what the answer is, but something needs to be done soon.
I know that much needs to be done to all our transpotation system but it probably won't happen with the no tax crowd now in Washington.
I have not ridden Amtrack but i have ridden high speed trains in France and Switzerland and they were fast and comfortable. If those countries can do it I see no reason why we can't do it too. Some sort of public transportation has to be part of the solution.