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Friday, December 29, 2006

Excellent Letter To The Editor About Highway Funding

PNI - 12/29/06 Wrong turn on roads

  • As a member of the National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, I am concerned about the tone and direction of the discussions on getting more money for highways. Privatization is a splendid idea - for new roads and new lane capacity. But Rendell & Co. want to sell existing highways. Would the Turnpike Commission disappear? My feeling is that the private owners and government entities would exist in parallel, doubly punishing motorists financially.
  • If you think a private owner of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (monopoly) is a terrific solution, think Comcast. Add to that the fact that "smart growth" planners actually want more traffic congestion, in the mistaken belief that it will force people onto transit, and it is predictable that we will be stuck with current road capacity and higher taxes.
  • Value pricing of roads, similar to off-peak prices for phone calls, is a good idea. For instance, with an extra charge at rush hour, congestion would be significantly alleviated; people would do errands at cheaper times. However, the universal GPS technology needed to do this is years away.
  • For new roads, go ahead and privatize. Value pricing and competition will determine success or failure. For existing roads, stop spending gas-tax money on failing mass transit, bike paths and "greenways." Spend road taxes on roads.
    Tom McCarey of Berwyn

1 comment:

Peter Surmanis said...

I agree with what you said about spending gas-tax funding on other projects. I live in New Hampshire, and the state law indicates that no gas taxes can be used towards mass transit, bike paths, or any of the plethora of liberal ideas that make themselves feel good. Mass transit and other ideas in this state need to gather funding on their own with public support, and as a result, usually fall flat on their face.
I live in Concord, a "city" of 30,000 people, about 70 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. When the public figures out that mass transit means you would need to get to the station and then maybe the train brings you to where you need to go, they give up on the idea.
Value pricing I don't agree with. The GPS systems you mention get us one more step closer to "big brother" being in our cars and lives. Sure, as a start it would be to monitor who comes into town when, but how much longer before it's used to monitor where you have been, how fast you were going, whether or not you made a safe lane change, and so on. We don't need to open pandora's box on monitoring our lives, just so a few more dollars can be generated and mis-spent by the government.