Reason.tv: Three Steps To Get Our Highways Moving Again

When rush hour traffic routinely turns a twenty minute commute into an hour and a half nightmare, we know we have a transportation problem. But how can we fix it? What can we do to get our cars -- and economy -- moving again?

Samuel Staley, Director of Urban Growth and Land Use Policy at Reason Foundation, has outlined three quick steps to improving mobility: (1) increase capacity, (2) support market oriented thinking and (3) employ comprehensive pricing.

Approximately 2 minutes.

Produced by Josh Swain, Jim Epstein and Meredith Bragg.

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  • Tim||

    "Balls of Montezuma":

    Ballistic underwear
    The Marines' order will cost around $2 million,...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42.....?GT1=43001

  • ||

    """Balls of Montezuma":""

    To the shorts of Tripoli

  • Gus||

    "Reason.tv: Three Steps To Get Our Highways Moving Again"

    If the highways are moving, traffic is likely going to come to a hault.

  • Joe M||

  • ||

    You know it's coming...

    DRINK!

  • ||

    Careful, sage, mixing drinking and roads is likely to get you arrested for DWI: Driving While an Idiot.

  • ||

    I know what DWI stands for, Mr. Orange Handle.

  • ||

    OMG! Sage is a blogwhore too! OMG! So am I?!?

  • ||

    We're all blogwhores!!!

  • ||

    Expansion of roads is relatively cheap and funds a lifestyle of sprawl, which is fine until it eventually comes crashing in on itself (which it will unless a miraculous new source of energy to power our world comes about).

    Pricing atleast forces some of the costs forward and builds incentives to not live far away even though transportation is adequate to do so. I think it needs to be a combination of pricing and improved (yet possibly not expanded) infrastructure to get to a more sustainable position of dealing wtih growth.

  • OO||

    in other words, move closer to work

  • ||

    Or....relocate that bidness out of the inner city to the 'burbs.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    I believe that research shows cities with higher density actually have worse gridlock. See for instance here.

  • ||

    but you don't have to drive all the time in sufficiently dense enough cities.

  • kilroy||

    But you have to be extremely dense to live that way.

  • KWebb||

    Not really. I'm in a city with a population of 59k and a density under 1700/sq. mile. It would be fairly easy to drive very little for people who work and live here. By bike, it takes 30 or 35 minutes to cross the entire city compared to 20 or 30 minutes by car. A grocery store is within two or three miles of any point in the city. Not driving just isn't appealing to most people. People don't stop driving places until parking is really hard to find.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Expansion of roads is relatively cheap"

    When the government does it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Three Steps To Get Our Highways Moving Again:

    1) High
    2) Speed
    3) Rail

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Also, I'll be goddamned if I'm going to listen to a guy with an earring. Hippies are why we're in this mess in the first place.

  • e||

    butbutbut SOCIALISM!!11!

  • Jose||

    The gentleman needs to explain what he meant to the common tax payer. What does he mean by pricing? If he means having to pay more for being on the road a certain time, then I am not for it.

  • ||

    ""When rush hour traffic routinely turns a twenty minute commute into an hour and a half nightmare, we know we have a transportation problem. But how can we fix it? ""

    Personally I don't see a problem that needs fixing. The problem is only a couple of hours a day during peak traffic. It's always crowed during peak. Rail can be uncomfortably crowed during peak times too.

    I can't watch the vid but comprehensive pricing sounds kinda like Bloomberg's congestion pricing.

  • squarooticus||

    This video is almost entirely content-free. I expect a lot more information, and a stronger impression, to come out of a 2 minute video.

  • Boooo!!!||

    Totally agree. Did he actually say anything?

  • Warty||

    HI SPEED RAIL LIKE CHINAS TRANS

  • ||

    OH NOES THE CHINKS ARE COMING FOR OUR MASS TRANSIT! RUN!!!

  • Corporate Drone||

    They can have it!

    oh, wait, lemme try that again...
    ALL OUR HIGH SPEED TRAINZ ARE BELONG TO CHINA

  • ||

    The real way to ease congestion is to stop fetishizing the 9 to 5, Monday through Friday workday. I can do 90% of my job anywhere that has an internet connection, but here I sit, waiting to go home at 5 through retard-polluted streets.

  • Brett L||

    Teach managers how to manage by some other metric than seat-time. I've been fighting this fight for 10 years now.

  • OO||

    brett - that's because most mgrs deal w info 2 or 3 times removed fm the source. so they only know what they're told or what they see. or perhaps they've been promoted to their natural level of incompetence

  • ||

    ""The real way to ease congestion is to stop fetishizing the 9 to 5, ""

    It's really not about congestion, it's about how to get more money out of people's pockets.

  • ||

    True, but then my 10 minute drive turning into a 30 minute ordeal when I've got beer waiting for me at the house is annoying.

  • ||

    Why don't you just fly home on your broomstick?

  • ||

    You really need to stop read Harry Potter. It's rotted your brains, dude.

  • ||

    If it's a good beer, it's worth the weight?

    Ever try Innis and Gunn?

  • ||

    Weight = wait.

    Preview button, how the hell does it work.

  • Joe M||

    Plus a fucking million on this one. I'm somewhat luckier at my job: we're allowed to arrive anytime between 7-10am, as long as we put in our full day's work.

  • WDIK||

    I feel your pain. I'm in the same situation. I don't even work for the location I have to sit at and my manager is in another state, yet I'm required to drive to an office and sit there. All the work I do is remote ( I don't do anything for the location I'm at) yet my company insists I have to do it from one of their offices.

  • ||

    I think libertarians way over sell pricing. If everyone were out driving at 8 am and 5 pm everyday for fun, rush hour pricing would work great. But they are not. Unless you make the prices incredibly high, people will just pay the fees and be that much poorer. You have to get to work. You can say "well move closer to work". But it is not that simple. People live in the places they do for a lot of reasons and will often pay a pretty high premium not to move.

  • Joe M||

    I think you're at least partly right here. I live about 35 miles from where I work, but I don't want to move closer because all my friends and family live in the same area too. It's either drive a long way to work, or drive a long way to everywhere else.

  • ||

    There are lots of reasons for living far away from work. Some libertarians are no better than nanny staters thinking they have a right to control people's lives and reshape society.

    Newsflash folks, controling people through taxes and fees is no better than controling them through law enforcement.

  • ||

    Agreed. Plus, why should anyone pay the state any more money for the use of the roads when he has already paid for the same many times over through the course of his life.

  • ||

    roads wear out. Imagine if truckers paid for the true damage they cause to the roads.

  • ||

    What about people that don't use highways, should they then get some sort of refund check?

  • ||

    it would require revamping the way taxes are distributed and removing them entirely (or atleast limiting their range) from property taxation.

  • ||

    Sorry, I was responding to Libertymike.

    Personally, I blame the squirrels.

  • ||

    while there is no good way to get payment for use of surface streets currently, I'd rather pay taxes based on usage than just filtered through everyone in general property ownership.

  • ||

    Why should you have to pay taxes based on usage beyond your fair share of the building and maintenence of the road? Why tax people for driving beyond the cost of maintaining the roads?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    All limited access highways, major bridges, and tunnels can easily be privatized (that's privatized without government). As far as surface streets, why not just turn them over to property owners as public easements?

  • ||

    Market power is the proper way to control people.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The only libertarian form of pricing is market based private sector services. It may "control" lives and reshape society, but it will be the result of voluntary choices.

  • ||

    Depends on what the pricing goes to. If commuters faced the true cost of the road they're using and urban dwellers saw an equivalent decrease, then road development could be paid for to ease commuter's pain of travel without leaning on the backs of the urban dwellers. It could also potentially fund the alternative travel that city dwellers see as suburbia subsidization (HSR, LR, etc). But you have to rid yourself of the free riders to accomplish this, else you run the city into the red to satisfy everyone.

  • Brett L||

    So do we charge urbanites weekend fees for driving out to the 'burbs/rural areas?

  • ||

    assuming they used the roads with the fees to get them there, yes

  • ||

    What is the "true cost" of the road other than to build it? How can you justify fees which go beyond what it takes to build and maintain the road? That is where I part ways with the congestion pricing people. If I am paying a toll which covers my fair share of the maintenence of the road, you have no right to charge me more just because you don't like it that I am driving so much.

  • ||

    because there is no way right now to charge you for the equivalent use of surface roads, so in theory that money would have to be made up from your use of freeways. Atleast that's how I would envision it.

  • ||

    But you are arguing for something different than congestion pricing. And why not just charge people gas taxes for their use of the roads? Or a fee on how heavy their car is? That would solve that problem.

  • ||

    true, gas taxes and weight taxes would be adequate substitutes

  • ||

  • Nick Bradley||

    Higher prices will lead to the production of more roads and congestion will go back down.

  • ||

    That's funny. But assuming it's true, it would also lead to more taking of land. But on the flipside, it's easier to give that last holdout landowner a few million dollars for a little piece of land and charge the drivers accordingly.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Immediately there is no effect. Choices will be influenced over time.

  • Tim||

    "We didn't explain that very well."

    US still doing almost all the fighting in Libya and has been all along.

    "U.S. aircraft have flown 97 of the 134 air defense mission sorties since April 4. "

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42...../n_africa/

  • kilroy||

    Somewhat related:

    Ga. 400 toll survives Senate meeting


    But after hearing concerns about the bill’s legality from the State Road and Tollway Authority, the committee tabled it. The committee is unlikely to take the matter up again this year, said the committee’s chairman, Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta.

    The Ga. 400 toll was originally scheduled to come down when the bonds were paid off this summer. But in September the State Road and Tollway Authority board, with Gov. Sonny Perdue as its chairman, extended the toll until 2020 in order to build projects along the Ga. 400 corridor. Perdue said there was no other way to fund all the desperately needed projects.
  • Cyto||

    Didn't read the article, but it is an incredibly ridiculous situation. The original promise was that the toll would only be used to pay off the road. Set in stone by statute, so you don't have to take it on faith, so you can go ahead and support us with your vote.

    But lawyers found a loophole. The true wording was that the bond had to be paid off, not that the money was collected. So they held the money in an account and didn't pay off the bond while they worked on ways to keep the toll in place.

    In other words, they are a criminal conspiracy that stole tens of millions of dollars from motorists after the amount needed to fund the project was collected. Under felony RICO prosecution they should be facing multi-decade prison sentences.

    But since "they" includes the guys who run the prosecution, no such events occurred. They just kept collecting tolls until the legislature handed them their legalization. Effin' crooks.

  • Juice||

    What happened to cars that drive themselves? Supposedly, this would make traffic much smoother. The technology exists today. Right now.

  • T||

    Yeah, I watched that DARPA contest. There's lot of debugging left to do.

  • Joh[nn]y Lo[n]gtorso||

    Atlas Shrugged involved trains. Obama is pushing for trains. Rand was a non-Progressive and therefore a racist.

    OMG!! Obama is a racist!!!!!

  • Joh[nn]y Lo[n]gtorso||

    You know who else made the trains come in on time?

  • SIV||

    Fuck Reason

    Why should the state get a brand new revenue stream from a formerly "free" lane already constructed and maintained by already collected fuel tax revenue? Why does Poole support turning existing roads into toll roads with no more "improvement" than a painted stripe and armed revenue collectors? There really is such a thing as "market fetishism".

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    How about we leave the construction and maintenance of infrastructure to private companies?

  • ||

    How will they get paid? Public/private partnerships can be a serious money pit on the taxpayer. Think defense contractors.

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  • George||

    I agree with the need for pricing as a method of rationing use of the highways, but to suggest that the solution to our traffic problems is to build more highways through urban areas strikes me as ludicris given the experience of the last 50 years. Building highways through our cities has not succeeded in eliminating congestion; it has sliced up communities, added polluting eye-soars, and discouraged people from using transit, which I think makes a lot more sense for getting around a city.

  • e||

    I think the idea is to destroy cities as places where people can live without cars. Instead everyone lives in the suburbs, drives everywhere, and cities become nothing but interchanges between highways. It has the nice side-effect of removing concentrations of Democratic voters, union members and other undesirables.

  • MrGuy||

    How to fix the roads:
    (This may be a little radical, but fuck you)
    1. Raise the speed limit.
    2. Tax breaks for companies that utilize telecommuting.
    3. Enforce the left lane as the goddamned passing lane!
    4. Enforce no passing on the goddamned right!
    5. Enforce getting out of the goddamned lane if someone is trying to pass you!
    6. Set hours when young people, senior citizens, and the unemployed can drive on highways.
    7. Tax breaks for companies that have non-standard business hours -- other than 9am-5pm.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    ThaNk U

  • goallen||

    ty rights, etc. seem like a more accurate measure of freedom than democracy.

  • kangzhu||

    This plan has no merit

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