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Zero001
03-21-2008, 06:21 AM
http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/03/roads-and-highw.html



Roads and Highways Will Go Private, Thanks to the Iraq War

At the outset of the Iraq war, the Bush administration estimated that it would cost roughly $50 to $60 billion to oust Saddam Hussein and set that nation on the road to democracy. Five years later, the price tag is $600 billion and counting. As the economy sours, it becomes clear that one overlooked casualty of this war will be America's creaking infrastructure.

Free markets may be the only way to save the nation's roads and highways. They might even be the best way to save them. The Department of Transportation, under this Administration, has made no secret of its desire to lease highways to private companies, to use tolls and congestion pricing, to auction off fast access to those willing to pay and to otherwise let free markets drive transportation. Under this view, breaking up the government monopoly on transportation could lead to innovation and more choices for the public. Let those who use a resource pay for it, without burdening everyone else with the costs. Let the pain of price ease gridlock. It will reduce both fuel consumption and emissions. Heck, it might even drive down your insurance premiums.

This is a sunny scenario, of course. Private companies who own rights to a crucial artery have no incentive to maintain it. They could charge extortionist's tolls during peak hours. In short, they could become slum lords. The trucking industry is already up in arms over privatization. The poor will take it on the nose. And public transportation, which remains the best solution for reducing imported-fuel dependency, emissions, gridlock and highway death tolls, is left out of the equation. New rail and bus projects eligible for federal funding dropped from 48 in 2001 to 17 in 2007, even as ridership hit a 50 year high.

Regardless of who wins the White House, privatization seems to be the inexorable path. There is virtually no political will to raise the gas tax. And the war in Iraq, with its staggering costs, grinds on . . .

Sources: Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg, BBC

Privatizing roads = bad idea
The free market will just end up hurting the public in this situation. I don't think there is serious thought to put this into action just yet, but if it does come down to it I hope the government makes the right choice.

Itch
03-21-2008, 09:14 AM
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,861259,00.html

EVERYBODY agrees that the U.S. needs more and better roads, but almost nobody agrees on how to pay for them. While the argument rages, Texas has gone ahead and devised something new: the nation's first privately owned and privately financed modern toll roads. This week the Texas Turnpike Co. will start constructing a 223-mile, four-lane thruway from the Dallas area to Houston, at a cost of $140 million. At the same time the Sam Houston Toll Road Corp. will start building the first leg (Dallas-Waco, 83 miles) of its $140 million. 246-mile Dallas-San Antonio Thruway. The two corporations, franchised as nonprofit public utilities by the Texas legislature, will float 40-year bonds at 4-5%, pay all costs of construction and operation, including salaries for the promoter-operators. When the bonds are paid off, the turnpikes will become state property.

This has been done before and if I'm not mistaken more than once.. depending on how it is done it is not necessarily a bad thing. We just need to be very careful on how it is implemented to avoid gouging etc.

Italian Jew
03-21-2008, 11:24 AM
The problem is Bill Gates buying up all the roads or a company that is not interested in maintaining the road. The greedy companies will squeeze whatever they can from the people, so some Gov't regulation is needed. I would prefer a completely gov't funded and maintained road structure because it would have no interest in creating certain choke points to squeeze money out of people. If they did, they would be in a major shit storm over it.

However, if we were not wasting so much money on the war we would not have issues like this right now... creating more problems does not solve problems.

Slavic
03-21-2008, 02:02 PM
I'm going to buy my road and succeed from the United States : D

VirDeBello
03-21-2008, 02:28 PM
As long as the roads stay in order and what not I could care less if its owned by a corporation or government. I just hope its taken care of.

Zero001
03-21-2008, 04:40 PM
This has been done before and if I'm not mistaken more than once.. depending on how it is done it is not necessarily a bad thing. We just need to be very careful on how it is implemented to avoid gouging etc. That's just it. I wouldn't trust them to be very careful. Even if they did somehow manage to do it right the increase in cost of travel would still be detrimental.


The problem is Bill Gates buying up all the roads or a company that is not interested in maintaining the road. The greedy companies will squeeze whatever they can from the people, so some Gov't regulation is needed. I would prefer a completely gov't funded and maintained road structure because it would have no interest in creating certain choke points to squeeze money out of people. If they did, they would be in a major shit storm over it.

However, if we were not wasting so much money on the war we would not have issues like this right now... creating more problems does not solve problems. Agreed, but I'm kinda iffy on the war thing. It just should have been and currently should be better managed. I actually highly disagree with the fear mongering the article it giving off. Again, this is why I said there's no serious thought in putting this into affect.


I'm going to buy my road and succeed from the United States : DGood luck on that.


As long as the roads stay in order and what not I could care less if its owned by a corporation or government. I just hope its taken care of. Of course you should care. That is unless you're prepared and willing to be ass raped by tolls.

Itch
03-21-2008, 04:52 PM
Although it can and has worked in the past.. it seems like corp. corruption is at an all-time high.. The real solution is public transportation fewer vehicles = less need to invest in roads...

Just my 2 cents..


btw - I'm writing this from the bus! (free bus pass + free wireless for teh win!)

Italian Jew
03-21-2008, 05:06 PM
yeah, Europe has some nice public transportation. Wouldn't mind some over here...

Zero001
03-21-2008, 05:17 PM
Unfortunately public transportation isn't an option for me as well the majority of the population. Public transportation is decent at local levels, but getting anywhere beyond that is a nightmare in many parts of the U.S.

Captain Colon
03-21-2008, 05:55 PM
Although it can and has worked in the past.. it seems like corp. corruption is at an all-time high.. The real solution is public transportation fewer vehicles = less need to invest in roads...
Even without corruption, the aim of a business is to turn a profit, not provide everyone with high-quality public works out of the goodness of their hearts...so you'll get to pick two of the three to have: cheap, good, fast.

Mass transit isn't really an option in the majority of the country like it is in Europe...which is gonna be cheaper...maintaining a bus route to bumfucksville USA, population 1500, or just maintaining the road? Our population is far more spread out so that mass transit only shines in majorly congested population centers like NYC or Boston where it really is faster to take the subway or bus than to drive most places.

Italian Jew
03-21-2008, 05:59 PM
I know that, but maybe public transportation for each of the coasts. It is a very expensive endeavor meaning it probably won;t happen but it would be nice to have.


PUBLIC HOT AIR BALLOON TRANSPORTATION FTW!!!

LegalSmash
03-21-2008, 06:21 PM
I tend to agree with Zero here in part. Roads are serious business, a serious business that has been largely neglected. Florida is a prime example of this. Despite multiple high tolls on the roads in dade county, the highways are largely in disrepair or in constant construction. As a state/fed joint program, the highway systems, DOT, and the related agencies in general suffer from all the ills of bureaucratization and economic waste. This could be remedied by yearly accountings of the agency by a third party rather than by in house counsel.

I dont think that road quality would improve with privitization, but I doubt it would get MUCH more expensive. Tolls go up all the time, at least in florida, and it goes to an agency that doesnt bother to allocate the money with utmost efficiency. IN THEORY, the privatization would permit someone to put a "goal" so to speak on providing the best road. The privitization, however, COULD serve to at least add a scintilla of motivation towards upkeep.

Thing is, people need to drive, that is a fact, especially in areas like the middle of Willow Springs, Missouri, a town between two other larger towns on two highways. Many people will pay whatever they have to to cover the cost of driving to work, etc. What MAY happen as an indirect effect is a resurgence in carpooling, or at least using cars that are more frugal, fuel efficient, or at least less purposeless driving. I cant really see a downside there.

I think there is a need for more Public transportation that is run efficiently and well audited to prevent waste of taxpayer dollars. Basically, a Japanese Tran system. The problem with this is that we are far too large a country to affordably cover an appreciable area to actually make it an efficient trans system.

Captain Colon
03-21-2008, 09:06 PM
Legal is dead-on about the necessity of some kind of independent oversight. I dunno about other places but here if you want a do-nothing job that pays well, you try to get a job as a DoT worker. They'll assign completely pointless projects to give people jobs, it's like welfare except it pays way better and everyone pays for all the benefits you get as a state worker too :\

In a lot of places with bad roads, I think it's usually because the roads are managed by a local department that just doesn't have the money or manpower to keep up. Some places here it gets really bad in the winter on roads that aren't plowed by the state or a large town.

LegalSmash
03-21-2008, 10:40 PM
DOT is BY FAR the most badly run agency in the US's Alphabet soup caldron of fed agencies. I've done estimating work with a contractor in miami, fl... working out APPOINTMENTS with DOT is like slitting your wrists with spoons.

Their workers KNOW their jobs are about as secure as can possibly be, and have NO incentive whatsoever to speed up a process or act with expediency. Money gets pissed away in projects that never get finished because federal agencies suffer from overbureaucratization... the workers are indifferent and difficult to deal with to the point where the dealing with the DOT is like dealing with a REALLY REALLY REALLY low functioning autistic kid.

Sadly, so long as there is a lack of non-bureaucratized, non-in house oversight, the agency will continue to do as it currently does... perform at a submediocre level.

Italian Jew
03-21-2008, 10:42 PM
Do what the Romans did, employ soldiers as public workers when there wasn't a war. They get out and do stuff, earn their pay, and do something productive for the country. Obviously you are not going to have the Seals or special ops peeps doing all that, but I am talking about the grunts. It sounds a little askew, but it worked for the Romans. They were movers and shakers.

Captain Colon
03-21-2008, 11:17 PM
For that you'd have to centralize all road management (unless you used state national guard units, but then you'd have to pay NG solders full-time pay and they'd have to work full-time hours) and practical as that would be (if only for standardization), I'm pretty sure managing intrastate transportation is delegated to the states by the constitution. We all know what happened to Rome when they started ignoring their constitution :p

LegalSmash
03-22-2008, 01:16 AM
Using prisoners is a viable alternative. Free, or next to free labor.

Captain Colon
03-22-2008, 02:05 AM
True enough...but didn't they used to do that (taking prisoners out to work) a lot more often than they do now? I know I wouldn't trust a lot of prisoners with heavy machinery, for sure. And while it would save money, I don't think the lack of dependable labor is the issue. Free/cheap workers won't help if the management isn't sending them where they're needed instead of out to do random bullshit so that they've got a big number in the "things fixed" column on their departmental review. Not to mention the cost of driving lots of workers out of employment into a job market that doesn't have a great outlook right now.

Italian Jew
03-22-2008, 11:51 AM
Rome did very well with Augustus and several other emperors. It was the onslaught of Christianity mixed with horrible emperors that divided the empire that caused problems and eventually self destruction.

Captain Colon
03-22-2008, 12:26 PM
Actually christianity was the unifying force that managed to hold it together for another century or so after it was legalized. Its illegality was a majorly divisive issue among citizens, especially as the religion started to become popular despite the risks involved.

If Augustus hadn't elevated the position of emperor to godly status then there would have been no problem with Christianity, but as they can't worship any gods besides Yahweh they were in a bit of a bind with rome having a "you can be whatever religion you want as long as you also worship the emperor" policy.

Italian Jew
03-22-2008, 12:53 PM
Christianity was one of the factors that caused its decline. If it had not come about, there would be no religious division for the people. Rome was very tolerant of other religions and cultures whereas Christians were not at all. The reason Rome was so powerful was because they could adapt and use every culture they found, not try to fight it. Once that attribute was gone, Rome was nothing special anymore.

Also, for Havok's sake, we were talking about how Rome used soldiers for public works projects and how that could be relevant to today in doing public works projects.

Captain Colon
03-22-2008, 01:46 PM
Rome was very tolerant of other religions and cultures whereas Christians were not at all.
Uh that's completely untrue. Evangelical religions have to preach tolerance of other religions out of necessity...you're not going to win many converts by just telling them you're right and they're wrong. It's especially true of Christianity in its early development. The Romans were the ones who were intolerant - it was a crime punishable by death, exile or slavery to not worship the emperor as a god, which was something a Christian simply could not do while also remaining a good Christian.

Italian Jew
03-22-2008, 03:46 PM
You had to accept the emperor as ruler, not as a god. they were deified after they died. The emperors who wanted to be a god during their reign were the bad ones. The romans accepted every culture into their own. They embraced the positive points and tossed out the rest. Christians are the most hypocritical bunch of people on the planet. The only one who lived up to their creed in its entirety was Jesus. There was no such thing as a good christian back then except for MAYBE the immediate followers, yet they were not perfect followers. Every generation after that changed the way things were run. Once Christianity became a major part of Roman life, it gained control so religious leaders had all the power. the emperor became a religious figure and ever since then, Europe and the rest of the world has been fucked over leading to the crusades, spanish inquisition, fall of the Roman Empire, etc.

The Empire without christianity actually helped the world by unifying in a succesful way.

VirDeBello
03-22-2008, 07:23 PM
Alright well you guys talk aboot Rome, Ima bring up a serious cure for the roads. Flying cars, those are gonna eliminate roads altogether on a regional scale. Just fly or hover or however you may call it, to your destination. How many more years do you think it will take for this to become a daily thing?

Captain Colon
03-22-2008, 07:44 PM
Alright well you guys talk aboot Rome, Ima bring up a serious cure for the roads. Flying cars, those are gonna eliminate roads altogether on a regional scale. Just fly or hover or however you may call it, to your destination. How many more years do you think it will take for this to become a daily thing?
Never gonna happen unless they fly themselves. Flying isn't "hard" per se but I definitely wouldn't trust most people with any kind of flying vehicle. It's just a completely different set of physics you have to learn and it's too much to learn to ever get to the taken-for-granted point that driving is now.

Italian Jew
03-22-2008, 07:52 PM
yeah, you think we have too many teen accidents now? Just wait...

Captain Colon
03-22-2008, 07:54 PM
Not to mention an engine failure in the air is a bit different than an engine failure in your car... :o

Italian Jew
03-22-2008, 08:05 PM
and think of the gas prices for flying cars!!!

Unless they have a new oil alternative or whatev...

Also, don't hit any planes or get shot down by the military. DO NOT FLY OVER THE WHITEHOUSE

Italian Jew
03-23-2008, 11:34 AM
do we need the bombs?

lol

I don't think the zeps from RA 2 are the solution, but they would fun as hell to fly around. You just don't mes with a zep full of bombs....

Italian Jew
03-23-2008, 01:24 PM
lmao

I guess we can use the Killer Squid as underwater transportation as well...

Or the 1337 Dolphins...

VirDeBello
03-23-2008, 07:14 PM
Well you wouldn't be flying as high as airplanes would and if you construct them correctly they can survive a fall if the engines fail just like a black hawk. As long as it crash lands with its belly to the ground. You will survive. Also there are many new ideas of power that we don't normally hear of. Of course we haven't discovered ways to cheaply have these new fuels produced. So they stay as blueprints. And you would have an aid of a navigation computer on board so it can help you with flying.

Italian Jew
03-23-2008, 07:16 PM
Sounds expensive...not to mention the insurance for those things

We need rocket powered surf boards

Captain Colon
03-23-2008, 11:42 PM
Well you wouldn't be flying as high as airplanes would and if you construct them correctly they can survive a fall if the engines fail just like a black hawk.
A blackhawk is a helicopter. ALL helicopters are designed so that they'll enter autorotation in the event of an engine failure, which slows their descent. Unless we're all going to be flying helicars it's not even relevant :P

As long as it crash lands with its belly to the ground. You will survive.[quote]
Whether you survive or not has little to do with whether the helicopter survives or not, aside from the obvious "you die if the frame caves in on you." If you're sitting or standing up you'll probably break your back.
[quote]Also there are many new ideas of power that we don't normally hear of. Of course we haven't discovered ways to cheaply have these new fuels produced. So they stay as blueprints. And you would have an aid of a navigation computer on board so it can help you with flying.
I'm not saying it's not technologically feasible, I'm saying people are too stupid for it. The pods in boat escape have like 5 buttons for control and aren't even governed by real laws of physics and look how many people can't get those from one end of the map to the other :O

VirDeBello
03-24-2008, 07:14 AM
A blackhawk is a helicopter. ALL helicopters are designed so that they'll enter autorotation in the event of an engine failure, which slows their descent. Unless we're all going to be flying helicars it's not even relevant :P
[quote]As long as it crash lands with its belly to the ground. You will survive.[quote]
Whether you survive or not has little to do with whether the helicopter survives or not, aside from the obvious "you die if the frame caves in on you." If you're sitting or standing up you'll probably break your back.

I'm not saying it's not technologically feasible, I'm saying people are too stupid for it. The pods in boat escape have like 5 buttons for control and aren't even governed by real laws of physics and look how many people can't get those from one end of the map to the other :O

lmao well in real life, we don't glitch out of objects like cars and boats and etc. lmfao I just imagined that happening in real life.......

"Ah fuck! This is my 5th time glitching outta my car going to work."

Gits to work pissed off and meets his co-worker Bob.

Bob-"Hey Frank why yah pissed off?"

Frank-"I must have glitched outta my god damn car like 7 times. When are they gonna fix that shit?"

lmao I <3 my imagination

Italian Jew
03-24-2008, 10:55 AM
Just think if you had kids in a minivan jumping around...

"Shit, we lost Billy! Kevin, SIT THE FUCK DOWN!"

XD

zero
03-27-2008, 12:12 PM
Aren't the roads around Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida privatized? It seems to be working well there.

Italian Jew
03-27-2008, 12:24 PM
But those aren't highways are any super long stretches of road

zero
03-27-2008, 12:41 PM
But those aren't highways are any super long stretches of road

The Walt Disney Company controls freeways six lanes wide in the vicinity of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Zero001
03-27-2008, 01:19 PM
Coming from Central Florida, I can tell you that those roads don't cover the majority of the traffic. While they may be six lanes wide, like Italian said, they really on cover short stretches. There main uses are for traveling within the Disney resort, which basically means it covers the area between the parks and Disney owned hotels & restaurants. I wouldn't necessarily call them private roads, but really just owned by the city of Disney. Disney pretty much owns and runs everything on its own. It has it's own utility plants, it's own police/fire department, emergency medical staff, engineers, technicians, whatever it needs. I think using Disney's roads is a poor example, because everything in that area is made to look Disney Perfect. Get on I-4 and drive into real Orlando and things are a lot different.

zero
03-27-2008, 01:43 PM
Coming from Central Florida, I can tell you that those roads don't cover the majority of the traffic. While they may be six lanes wide, like Italian said, they really on cover short stretches. There main uses are for traveling within the Disney resort, which basically means it covers the area between the parks and Disney owned hotels & restaurants. I wouldn't necessarily call them private roads, but really just owned by the city of Disney. Disney pretty much owns and runs everything on its own. It has it's own utility plants, it's own police/fire department, emergency medical staff, engineers, technicians, whatever it needs. I think using Disney's roads is a poor example, because everything in that area is made to look Disney Perfect. Get on I-4 and drive into real Orlando and things are a lot different.

Maybe so, but I'm not advocating for or against privatized roads. I just know one example that appears to work well. If I could find another example whether it has failed or succeeded, I'd post that too. Obviously, there are many issues that would need to be solved if roads went private. Owning the only road that lets you get on the interstate within a 5 mile radius would be very problamatic, for example.

Your statement, "because everything in that area is made to look Disney Perfect" is a great reason and example as to why privatized roads would be in better shape than public roads, I would think.

Italian Jew
03-27-2008, 01:47 PM
Disney only cares about things near disney, so of course their roads look nice. Its disney property, but if it wasn't, they really could care less as long as the ground is there.

Privately owned roads would be good in some areas and horrible in others and there would not be any regulation to sizes and materials. You would need some form of regulation so the roads remain intact and usable.

zero
03-27-2008, 01:51 PM
Disney only cares about things near disney, so of course their roads look nice.


I see this as one of the benefits of privatized roads, though.

Italian Jew
03-27-2008, 02:53 PM
Its only a benefit if the company that owns it cares about the road and takes care of it