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  #11  
Old 05-18-2009, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Beater View Post
playing lucifer's attorney here, BUT:

these fee's pay for road maintenance. Most of these vehicles live 80% on those roads. I know I use those roads to make a living. Costs are going up. Revenue is flat. This is not a situation where you can say "just get more customers" because the cost ratio now for the current service model is flat to negative. Something has to change, so increase the revenue stream by increasing price based on something tangible that actually impacts the required maintenance and or product output.

Seems logical to me. You can complain about curb to gvw all you want, we drive vehicles designed to carry loads. To Dave's point, we do carry them. You do not build networks to carry the mean average, you build networks to handle the max spike repeatedly.

Ok - fume away

We already have some of the highest registration fees in the nation. It certainly it makes more sense to charge more for heavier vehicles but the percentage increase on an older vehicle is a bit of a jolt. I would be curious to see if a $.02 increase in the fuel tax wouldn't actually generate FAR more revenue since it would have visitors paying their "share" of road usage (while costing residents less)

So I agree that as time goes on we need to increase revenue as costs increase BUT I also have an issue with the way the money is currently being spent. Over the past few year I have watched several road projects and was dumbfounded by the "waste".

Medians built and then ripped out again a year later ... landscaping that is installed ... dies .. and replaced only to die again. Along that same line ... what about "pretty" bridges ... seriously WTF? Does anybody here live a better life by driving under or over an ornate bridge? How about the decorative sound barrier walls .... sure plain concrete is unattractive but should we really be looking away from the road enough to notice?

Honestly I have NEVER understood why we worry about that stuff. While I concede that others may feel it is important now that costs are up and revenue is down ... we need to quit wasting money on them.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2009, 11:40 AM
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Another approach that is being used extensively in Europe is GPS based tolling incorporated into telematics systems. By doing this commercial vehicles are charged by actual usage.
Just another way to sneak into my personal space without me having a say in how that invasion is being done or the information used. I like the toll road idea because I can PHYSICALLY CHOOSE to take a drive on the road and pay for use or not to, or even how much. With a lo-jack in my car and a black box under my seat, someone else chooses to read the data of my personal choices and use that data to tax me or whatever.

How many of us who imbibe in the water of the barley recipe want to have a BAC meter tapped right into our arteries? And when the BAC goes over an amount designated by the government the police show up and fine or arrest you? Not me. If I want to get stupid drunk in my own home by myself, I want to know I can make that choice as freely as I wish. Granted, if I were to disturb the neighbors, then somebody has an argument to whether or not I should be confronted to cease what I am doing that disturbs.

Point being, this idea that every citizen owes X amount regardless is phooey.
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2009, 11:54 AM
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Along that same line ... what about "pretty" bridges ... seriously WTF? Does anybody here live a better life by driving under or over an ornate bridge? How about the decorative sound barrier walls .... sure plain concrete is unattractive but should we really be looking away from the road enough to notice?
I agree with the rest of what you said, but I disagree with your statements above.

It is always hard to justify making architecture look nicer in the face of the "It's a waste of money" argument. But if everything was made to the cheapest standard available, all buildings would be made of gray concrete with only enough windows for fire safety. Bridges would all look the same: boring, flat, lifeless. Everything would look like it was constructed in East Germany under communist rule. Horrible.

Life isn't about saving every penny all the time. Every time I drive under the new bridges on I-25, I smile. They look nice: elegant and refined. They look better than what they replaced (which is always my standard for tearing down old stuff). They will likely stand for 50-100 years, and people will still enjoy and appreciate the care and design that went into them long after we're dead and the T-Rex debt has been retired.

The sound barrier walls have a strange design on them, but at least they tried. It's still better than flat concrete. If money was no object, I'm sure we'd all love red brick covered with ivy, but obviously that would be cost prohibitive. Stamping the flat concrete with a design probably didn't add much to the cost but it definitely improved the visual appeal.

Here are a few public works projects were someone didn't choose the cheapest option. They took engineering and make it art. I love stuff like this.

Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge , Brasilia , Brazil

The JK Bridge in Brasilia is a lesson in elegant bridge design. The 3 huge arches diagonally hopping over the deck of the bridge give the structure an amazing visual fluidity and make the whole 1.2km bridge look effortlessly cool. Since being built the bridge has won awards for its design but is still massively underappreciated on a wider scale.

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Rolling Bridge, London , UK

Thomas heatherwick's award-winning rolling bridge is an ingenious addition to the grand union canal system in London and is unique in its design. Unlike regular movable canal bridges, the rolling bridge curls up on itself to form an octagon by way of hydraulics. It's an amazing sight and a reminder that a fresh perspective can produce great, innovative results, even when dealing with a structure as common as a bridge.

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When I plan vacations to cities, I always want to go see the architecture. Every piece makes a difference. Not every bridge will be celebrated as a design icon, but if thousands of people see it everyday, it's worth making it nice. IMHO, of course.
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2009, 11:58 AM
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I thought you might comment on this... Where is the "Nathaniel-has-gone-off-the-deep-end-again" emoticon.

For the record: In general, I am not a fan of GPS/GNSS based telematics positioning, particularly on individuals or private vehicles. However, I can see some merit to it in COMMERCIAL applications. I should also point out that if you have a cell phone today you ARE being tracked.


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Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Just another way to sneak into my personal space without me having a say in how that invasion is being done or the information used. I like the toll road idea because I can PHYSICALLY CHOOSE to take a drive on the road and pay for use or not to, or even how much. With a lo-jack in my car and a black box under my seat, someone else chooses to read the data of my personal choices and use that data to tax me or whatever.

How many of us who imbibe in the water of the barley recipe want to have a BAC meter tapped right into our arteries? And when the BAC goes over an amount designated by the government the police show up and fine or arrest you? Not me. If I want to get stupid drunk in my own home by myself, I want to know I can make that choice as freely as I wish. Granted, if I were to disturb the neighbors, then somebody has an argument to whether or not I should be confronted to cease what I am doing that disturbs.

Point being, this idea that every citizen owes X amount regardless is phooey.
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendocino View Post
I thought you might comment on this... Where is the "Nathaniel-has-gone-off-the-deep-end-again" emoticon.

For the record: In general, I am not a fan of GPS/GNSS based telematics positioning, particularly on individuals or private vehicles. However, I can see some merit to it in COMMERCIAL applications. I should also point out that if you have a cell phone today you ARE being tracked.
You have the option of turning it off and there may be an inconvenience, but no legal consequence of doing so. With a mandated telemetric vehicle tracking used to calculate road fees there would presumably be some (maybe serious) penalty for ripping the Big Brother POS from under the dash and throwing it into Chatfield Rez. Not that anyone would do such a thing. :-/ Give me a cash-fed toll road, plain, simple and anonymous.
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  #16  
Old 05-18-2009, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mendocino View Post
I thought you might comment on this... Where is the "Nathaniel-has-gone-off-the-deep-end-again" emoticon.

For the record: In general, I am not a fan of GPS/GNSS based telematics positioning, particularly on individuals or private vehicles. However, I can see some merit to it in COMMERCIAL applications. I should also point out that if you have a cell phone today you ARE being tracked.
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Where is that P.O.T.s telephone I have again? Gotta get that thing back.

Commercially it should be, and probably already is, in use for most companies for who it would make the most sense. Tracking employees performance should be one of the managers primary tools for improvement, so why not? Like I always say, when the cat's away the mice will play. Most employees don't realize that they loose the guarantee of their liberties when at work, unless they are in a protected class. The only real "right" employees have is to quit. Working for the man who uses big brother? Don't like it? Quit.

Living at home and big brother is watching? Don't like it? Throw the cell phone, the DSL line, the cable and the DTV converter box all in the trash for spring cleanup.But then you're relying on someone else to tell you when the next RS run is.
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  #17  
Old 05-18-2009, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
With a mandated telemetric vehicle tracking used to calculate road fees there would presumably be some (maybe serious) penalty for ripping the Big Brother POS from under the dash and throwing it into Chatfield Rez.
Not to mention that the Rez would overflow with the increased volume of POS tracking devices at the bottom!
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  #18  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:07 PM
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Here is a nice themed picture...
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  #19  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:23 PM
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Be sure to watch your neighbors extra close.
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  #20  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:38 PM
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I agree with the rest of what you said, but I disagree with your statements above.

It is always hard to justify making architecture look nicer in the face of the "It's a waste of money" argument. But if everything was made to the cheapest standard available, all buildings would be made of gray concrete with only enough windows for fire safety. Bridges would all look the same: boring, flat, lifeless. Everything would look like it was constructed in East Germany under communist rule. Horrible.
I know others feel the same way you do, as you said ... this is just my opinion.
If private enterprise chooses to build for aesthetics, I applaud the effort. Believe it or not I had considered becoming an architect and love the beauty in buildings. I have even taken vacations just to see Frank Lloyd Wright structures. I just don't feel that the expense it is appropriate in most road/bridge projects. If a structure's asthetic has a function, then I am all for it. Decoration for the sake of decoration should be avoided ( if you hadn't guessed I'm a "form follows function " guy). Yes, I would hate to see all government buildings bland and lifeless but in some cases it is perfectly suitable.

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Originally Posted by Hulk View Post
Life isn't about saving every penny all the time.
When it comes to spending our tax dollars ... it should be all about saving a penny( in this case and many others ) so we will have to agree to disagree
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