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Old 09-03-2019, 10:54 AM   #1
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Highways Horrible? Here are some facts

After our June tour of CA, I said the roads were awful. Here is a survey that agrees with me. CA is about 45th overall and far worse than neighboring states.

Check out your state's ranking

https://patch.com/california/banning...ign=newsletter
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:22 PM   #2
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After our June tour of CA, I said the roads were awful. Here is a survey that agrees with me. CA is about 45th overall and far worse than neighboring states.

Check out your state's ranking

https://patch.com/california/banning...ign=newsletter
Those in charge in CA probably just turn the chart over and them brag how they #8 from the top.


Since roads are supposed to be primarily supported by fuel taxes it would be nice to see a law passed prohibiting diversion of these funds to any project that doesn't go directly into road maintenance or construction. Here in my state these funds are being siphoned off to create bike lanes/paths and other forms of transportation. Excuse is that the money is going to projects that help reduce traffic but unfortunately don't do anything for reducing potholes, fixing bridges, or creating new roads in areas that have had population increases.

It gives me a "big warm fuzzy feeling" when I know that $0.68 (State + Federal) is being collected on every tank of gas I buy (an average tax of $15 per tank for me) which lasts right up to the point I pull back on the road and wonder where the heck it's being spent.

Something many overlook is the actual increase in vehicle operating cost due to crappy roads. Excessive wear on suspension parts, damage to tires, wheels, and suspension parts, not to mention all the loose nuts and bolts caused by the lousy roads.

It's estimated that it costs CA drivers collectively $61 Billion per year due to their aging roads, $22.1 Billion in Vehicle Operating Costs alone.

https://www.equipmentworld.com/bad-r...esearch-shows/

In my view it's not going to ever get better. As cities grow to the size of LA, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and now Seattle, the population is more concentrated around a central core and more and more people use public transportation. Since they've used up their open spaces they are growing upward with people living in high rise apartments. The people who benefit from good public transit often don't own cars and rarely if ever purchase a gallon of gas. Being voters they elect legislators who support their views that more highways (including highway maintenance) is unnecessary but want all gas tax money to go into more buses, light rail, and bike lanes.

Makes it tough for those who actually need to drive a vehicle to get to work.

Last big frustration, bicycles. When it comes to bike lanes and road use (yes, they do take space on streets) bicycle riders are essentially "free loaders". No license of any kind required (or insurance for that matter). Buy a bicycle and you get free use of the roadway. Buy a car and you get to pay a fuel tax (even electric cars in this state are assessed an annual fee to use the road) but not bikes Last time I went to Seattle I noticed that many streets were reduced by one lane just to accommodate bicycles and while traffic is bumper to bumper, the bike lane is empty.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:25 PM   #3
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Last big frustration, bicycles. When it comes to bike lanes and road use (yes, they do take space on streets) bicycle riders are essentially "free loaders".
How about those darn pedestrians? All those sidewalks and they don't pay any pedestrian tax(yes..sidewalks do take space). We need to start taxing pedestrians...those "free loaders".
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:04 PM   #4
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How about those darn pedestrians? All those sidewalks and they don't pay any pedestrian tax(yes..sidewalks do take space). We need to start taxing pedestrians...those "free loaders".
Sidewalks aren't paid for by highway funds. Usually separate bond issues and pedestrians DO pay when they pay their property taxes.

In cities the sidewalks have to be installed by the developers who build the buildings next to them as is the case with housing developments.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:08 PM   #5
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Sidewalks aren't paid for by highway funds. Usually separate bond issues and pedestrians DO pay when they pay their property taxes.
And cyclists also pay taxes on MOST of the roads they ride on in one way or another.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:12 PM   #6
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I guess highway funds do pay for sidewalks at times...

https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike...ort/chap2f.cfm

Quote:
Communities in North Carolina, Arizona, Oregon and Washington that were contacted specifically mentioned gas tax monies being used to fund sidewalk maintenance.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:21 PM   #7
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OMG - I complain all the time about how crappy Missouri's roads are!


If we're #3, I'm afraid to leave the state.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:24 PM   #8
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I am always looking for a better ride with my truck/camper ... set-up-tire pressure-replace the rocks and it is clear now (yea I know captain obvious) I get a great ride on a good road .... so much construction on our last trip ... but there were some nice smooth roads along the way... I am learning some of the routes that will be regular trips and where to avoid some bad roads .... so many people moving to Florida I doubt we will ever catch-up
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #9
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Just checked the list ... Florida #40 ... no wonder my ride SUCKS ....
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:54 PM   #10
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And cyclists also pay taxes on MOST of the roads they ride on in one way or another.
If they own a car, perhaps. The trend is growing for more and more adults not own cars. Recent survey showed 12% of American adults do not own cars and in a 44 country survey the median for car ownership was 1/3.

We'll never see car ownership that low occur in the US but it's possible that we could see it drop drastically in large cities.

BTW, the earlier post regarging sidewalks getting highway funds, the key word was "maintenance". That's a far cry from construction when you compare costs.


If you really want to understand the source of my displeasure over bicycles getting favor over roads (and money from funds supposedly dedicated to highways_ you have to come spend some time in Seattle. I grew up in the area and remember when even at rush hour traffic still moved. Today all the arterials through the city have reduced vehicle capacity due to all the added bike lanes. Ever since the city elected a Mayor that rode a bike to work the bike lobby has successfully thrown the city's traffic into total gridlock. Oh yeah, not only do the bikes get to use their exclusive bike lanes, they still get full use of the sidewalks and if you see a bicyclist stop for the pedestrian signal, you just spotted a unicorn

Back to highways, if "talk" was concrete and asphalt we'd all have beautiful, velvet smooth, roads. Unfortunately all most state legislatures produce is "talk" when the subject of crumbling roads comes up.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:01 PM   #11
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And cyclists also pay taxes on MOST of the roads they ride on in one way or another.
This is true if they carry their bike on the back of their car to their starting point.

The only bicyclists that actually contribute to "roads" they ride on are those who use the trails on public land. They buy a Forest Use pass or in this State a Discovery Pass to ride on State managed lands.

BTW, the argument often put forth "bicyclists pay Sales Tax when they buy their bikes and supplies" doesn't hold much weight. Sales Tax money goes into the general fund (at least in WA) and is more likely spent on Schools, Law Enforcement, or Social Programs.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:03 PM   #12
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Back to highways, if "talk" was concrete and asphalt we'd all have beautiful, velvet smooth, roads. Unfortunately all most state legislatures produce is "talk" when the subject of crumbling roads comes up.
Its why our diesel tax went way up...it's the trucks crumbling all of our roads.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:07 PM   #13
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Why does the "gummint" have to build the roads? With today's tech a single transponder could log each vehicle on a roadway and assess a charge of r its use. That is how the NJ Parkway, Thruway, PA turnpike, etc. got built - via corps whether gummint owned or not. Political government is too inefficient to properly administer our roadways.

Of course, it would take the states 5 years to agree on transponder format - by which time the tech will have changed again.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:59 PM   #14
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Why does the "gummint" have to build the roads? With today's tech a single transponder could log each vehicle on a roadway and assess a charge of r its use. That is how the NJ Parkway, Thruway, PA turnpike, etc. got built - via corps whether gummint owned or not. Political government is too inefficient to properly administer our roadways.

Of course, it would take the states 5 years to agree on transponder format - by which time the tech will have changed again.
I actually agree with the "Pay by mile" concept as long as vehicles are separated into different weight classes and pay accordingly.

I've reduced my highway driving greatly to the point I actually get cheap "low mileage" insurance rates. 7500 miles per vehicle and I have two.

My "pay by mile" cost would be commensurate with my actual highway use.

As it is today, gas tax revenues decrease as the average vehicle mpg increases. A pay by mile system would be one way to put revenue more in line with use.

Unfortunately everyone fighting this is afraid that government will then be able to track their movements ------------like they can't or don't already.

As for the actual transponder/billing issue, here in WA State we've had four different projects involving transponders and tolls. In every case the company responsible for providing equipment and billing services has screwed up big time. Over charges, equipment failure, delayed installations, you name it. Tolls were supposed to start on the new tunnel under Seattle by now but are delayed AGAIN due to system failures.

Before states agree on any transponder system it would be a good request proposals from companies who have stuff that actually works.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:04 PM   #15
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Here's my take on why roads are so bad....
Back in my former life, I was part of a traffic committee in my county. The MD State Highway Admin guy talked about redecking a bridge on I-68. The work is now almost completed.... but the intial meeting I referred to was almost 15 YEARS AGO! That is why our roads and such are in bad shape - it takes the governments YEARS TO ACTUALLY GET THE JOBS DONE!
Thank you and end of rant.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:11 PM   #16
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The per-gallon taxes are, in some sense, a good proxy for pay-by-mile or usage. I don't have a problem with that - per se. As with you, what galls me is that, despite assurances to the contrary, the funds always get diverted for non-roadway maintenance purposes. Same with school taxes .... this could spiral into a political thread real quickly. Maybe we just let folks who are interested check out the link.
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:27 PM   #17
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The per-gallon taxes are, in some sense, a good proxy for pay-by-mile or usage.

That might be true if all vehicles were of the same weight and got the same mileage.

A 35+ Mpg car takes up almost as much space on a highway as a pickup truck getting 15 mpg. When considering just the "space", the pickup is paying a lot more for the privilege than the econo-car. Neither one contributes that much to the actual wear and tear on the highway. That comes from vehicles weighing 40 tons and more. Those are the ones that cause the roadway to flex and eventually break. The redeeming factor there is that they burn a ton of fuel and pay a lot in fuel taxes. Perhaps more in line with their "use" than someone with a high efficiency car.

Yes, I'm in that latter group. I haven't purchased gas yet this year for my Volt and am skating along by just paying the "Electric Vehicle Use Fee" of only $150 although it's probably more than what I'd be paying if I merely ran on gas (and could license it that way).
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:32 PM   #18
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Weight and weather and use destroy roads. Have you driven through Yellowstone? Yes, some places they're replacing the road. But the normal asphalt 2 lane has zero potholes. Narrow, but the actual surface is good.

Why? NO big rigs. NO 80,000 lbs, after 80,000 lbs, after 80,000 lbs, all going 65 mph.

Voila.
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:47 PM   #19
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Weight and weather and use destroy roads. Have you driven through Yellowstone? Yes, some places they're replacing the road. But the normal asphalt 2 lane has zero potholes. Narrow, but the actual surface is good.

Why? NO big rigs. NO 80,000 lbs, after 80,000 lbs, after 80,000 lbs, all going 65 mph.

Voila.

Where do you see big rigs going that slow unless the're climbing a long grade in the mountains
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:06 PM   #20
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Where do you see big rigs going that slow unless the're climbing a long grade in the mountains

over half on I-40 going that slowly. That's part of the problem. Many go 60 mph.



So, you have two back to back going 63 mph, and some big rig behind you wants to go 64 mph, so he eases out into left lane.

Forty elebben minutes later, he pulls back into the right lane, and a FEW can pass him. If I'm pulling the trailer, I just get behind all of 'em and chill. If no trailer connected, it gets frustrating.
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