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Congestion Pricing - Are you for or against it?



  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    edited June 2010
    So in sum, the British, in their quest for the ultimate Orwellian nanny state, have embarked on a gigantic congestion charge crusade and have reached inconclusive results. Seeing how well they manage the rest of that old island, I see no reason why we shouldn't jump in feet first and mimic them 100%!

    I can't say I am sold on it. Let's see that proponent stake everything he owns on his spreadsheets. The cost of the plan is high, and there should be some level of accountability.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    Do buses even run out there in podunk? :shades:
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    edited June 2010
    I don't go thru NYC when I can help it, though I do use I-95 and the GW a couple of times each year. The Tappan Zee is a better alternative many times when you don't want to go TO the city, but merely get by NYC.

    The reason I avoid NYC is because the whole area is nothing but a toll-zone. And those tolls for the most part are the cause of much of the backup. I have sat for 1+ hr on the NJ Turnpike, creeping along, all for the great privilege of paying a $5 (or is it $7 now?) toll. I have paid the toll and then found there really is no other backup other than what the tollbooth has caused! :mad: So they create a backup, and make you pay for the "treat" of having to sit in their self-induced backup! Want to know my opinion - take down every toll booth in this country, and get all the toll workers off the payroll or do something that is productive for society. Tolls and the backups they cause are one of the main problems of traffic in NYC.

    Anyone who's driven the GS Parkway will tell you that yes they get congested and where does the road get congested? Mainly at the toll booths.

    We used to get 1 mile+ backups here on I-95 at the Hampton Tolls on summer weekends. Well guess what - the tolls were cancelled today and there were no backups.

    Take down the toll-booths and you'd find traffic flows much better.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    Not a lot of people working on the holiday though.

    I love visiting NYC but I park an hour away if I'm in a car and train in. With the tolls and the parking rates, and the ease of getting around on the bus and subway, you have to wonder why there's any private car congestion.
  • tomcatt630tomcatt630 Posts: 124
    In Chicago, we have a lot of young 'new urbanists' moving in and 'giving up their cars'. However, to them, "public transportation" is hailing a cab!

    We have more cabs than ever, so these pampered yuppies can go bar hopping after work and get drunk. {Also have party limo SUV's} This defeats the purpose of 'green cities'. :mad:

    They should charge more for cabs/limos clogging the streets. :P
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    I should clarify that by NYC I mean Manhattan. Haven't spent enough time in the boroughs.

    We were in Chicago just about a year ago. Parked the rental car for free on the street at the B&B in Andersonville and didn't drive it again for 4 days. Didn't hail any cabs but we didn't go and get tanked at Lollapalooza either. We did get serenaded on the L by a lot of college age kids who did partake of the refreshments. :shades:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    It's not $40B---more like $15B in US taxes, (includes sales tax). Most of Exxon's tax payments go overseas. They are heavily divested offshore.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    My feeling is that if a road is privately funded and built any fees or tolls charged should be market based. However, if public funds or roads are involved, then there shouldn't be congestion pricing because it discriminates against those that may not be able to easily afford to pay the premium costs. Public funding should not advantage or disadvantage any citizen or income class.

    I also have a problem with states that are allowed to charge tolls on federally sponsored Interstate highways. I don't feel that roads built primarily from federal income taxes should allow an individual state to assess an additional state fee or toll. Any toll in that situation should go back to the federal treasury that paid for the Interstate to begin with.

    Speaking of tollways, why can't there just be one electronic tag that works on all of them?
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Well I don't have a breakdown of where the taxes are going, but I'm looking at the 2008 annual report of Exxon Mobil, and they sure pay a lot of tax. On P.38 of that report they list their Summary Statement of Income that is submitted to the IRS.

    They have 3 main tax sections listed: 1) sales based taxes, 2) other taxes and duties, and 3) income taxes.
    For 2006: $30.4B, $39.2B, and $27.9B = $97.5B
    For 2007: $31.7B, $40.9B, and $29.9B = $102.5B
    For 2008: $34.5B, $41.7B, and $36.5B = $112.7B

    I don't know why your media doesn't agree, except the penchant for most news organizations to want to appeal to be on the little-guys side. The IRS seems to accept the numbers that I posted above. :P
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    edited June 2010
    Whatever their tax bill it, it could get bigger.

    Obama: Roll back tax breaks for big oil, embrace clean energy (USA Today)

    I guess this would tie in with the Is a Higher Gasoline Tax Good Or Bad For America? discussion. If gas prices doubled, that would certainly ease congestion.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    edited June 2010
    I got my info from Forbes. Lots of Exxon "taxes" (most of the money) goes overseas, not to the U.S. Maybe that explains the difference. Also what Exxon lists is not necessarily what they have actually paid.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I'm sure most of the money does go overseas as Exxon does not produce or sell MOST of its oil, chemicals and othe rproducts here in the U.S.

    But you are wrong if you think the actual numbers posted on an Income Statement are wrong. Those numbers are audited nd produced by price waterhouse, and submitted to governments around the world. Those taxes are what's paid after all the maneuvering of Exxon Mobil's accountants to minimize their taxes. As you said they could have paid the taxes not to the U.S. but to Bermuda, because their headquarters is a hotel room there. But they pay quite a bit in tax. Their taxes are about double their profits.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Well what can I say? Write to Forbes and ask them I guess.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    Chicago's in, Nashville is out.

    "The report says that key to less traffic congestion, as demonstrated in metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Portland and Sacramento, is land-use patterns and transportation systems that let residents take shorter trips and reduce the burden of peak-hour travel. The report estimates that if cities followed Chicago's lead, residents would drive about 40 billion fewer miles a year and use 2 billion fewer gallons of fuel, for a cost savings of $31 billion annually."

    Study Suggests a New Way of Looking at the Time We Waste in Traffic (Edmunds Daily)
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    edited November 2011
    "As roadways choke on traffic, researchers suspect that the tailpipe exhaust from cars and trucks—especially tiny carbon particles already implicated in heart disease, cancer and respiratory ailments—may also injure brain cells and synapses key to learning and memory.

    Children in areas affected by high levels of emissions, on average, scored more poorly on intelligence tests and were more prone to depression, anxiety and attention problems than children growing up in cleaner air, separate research teams in New York, Boston, Beijing, and Krakow, Poland, found. And older men and women long exposed to higher levels of traffic-related particles and ozone had memory and reasoning problems that effectively added five years to their mental age, other university researchers in Boston reported this year. The emissions may also heighten the risk of Alzheimer's disease and speed the effects of Parkinson's disease."

    The Hidden Toll of Traffic Jams (Wall St. Journal - free link today, story may get truncated tomorrow).
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    It's so crowded on the highways, no one drives anymore?

    "His family made its fortune selling cars to the masses, but now Bill Ford Jr. is fretting about selling too many.

    The great-grandson of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford has been thinking ahead to a time when there will be too much traffic in the world's major cities. Already there is congestion that only will get worse as the world population grows by another 2 billion people to 9 billion in 40 years."

    Bill Ford Jr. says plan now for future traffic jams (
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    edited November 2012
    "The tolls are the latest manifestation of a campaign by Los Angeles officials to challenge the primacy of the automobile to deal with congestion that has long been a threat to the city’s vitality. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa has advocated a sharp expansion of the region’s subway system and encouraged bicycle use.

    “People want relief,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, a Los Angeles County supervisor. “There’s nothing complicated about it. Considering that L.A. distinguishes itself as the traffic congestion capital of the nation, we felt obligated to innovate, experiment, whatever we can do to make driving on the freeways more bearable.”

    Toll Unsettles Los Angeles Motorists Used to ‘Free’ in Freeways (NY Times)
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