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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 58846  
Subject: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 11:45 AM
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Interesting story behind our new 85 mph speed limit.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044358930457763...

The new segment of the toll road, State Highway 130, is set to open this fall and will be run by SH 130 Concession Co., a consortium of private road builders.

A contract the company signed with Texas in 2007 offers the state a one-time payment of $100 million for approving an 85 mph speed limit. The payout would have dropped to $67 million if the limit was set at 80 mph.

Consumer advocates voiced concern that Texas has sacrificed safety for money.

"Desperate for cars on a vacant toll road, private toll-road operators now offer the state an extra $33 million to win a reckless competitive advantage," said Andrew Wheat, research director for Texans for Public Justice, an Austin-based consumer-advocacy group. "Such cozy deals are unsafe at any speed."

David Stall, a co-founder of CorridorWatch.org, a Texas advocacy group opposed to the privatization of roads, said he objects to the fact that the state this year cut to 55 mph from 65 mph the limit on a highway that runs alongside the new stretch of toll road.

"The state is penalizing the motoring public by lowering the speed limit on the free alternative so that it can draw more business to the toll road,"
he said.

</snip>


intercst
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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45278 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 12:03 PM
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intercst:""The state is penalizing the motoring public by lowering the speed limit on the free alternative so that it can draw more business to the toll road," he said."

Obviously, intercst has not been on I-35 through Austin.

My last trip down to Austin for a hamfest one month ago......you get south of Round Rock and the traffic is moving 40 mph....as you approach Austin, it drops to 5mph for the next 10 miles...on a good day.

It took me over an hour to go the last 7 miles to get to my hotel.

It was the same last year...and this at 2pm on a Friday afternoon. It is worse at rush hour...heh heh...then the traffic comes to a complete stop...and you might average 3 mph....from 8am to 10am, and from 4pm to 7pm EVERY DAY OF the week.

Yeah..they actually lowered the speed limit to 55..but unless you are traveling through there at 3 am in the morning.....(and no accidents from drunk drivers blocking the road).....you'll never get close to it.

DId they tell you the 'bypass SH130) is also 15 miles LONGER? So you can do 85 mph...vs 55 at 3am in the morning...

IT STILL TAKES longer to use the bypass.

Inconvenient facts for intercst.

Worse, it will cost you over 6 or 8 bucks or so to use the bypass.....for the 35 miles....

so they let you go 85...duh!...the speed limit on the north part is already 80 mph...it is a fantastic road built for high speed.....heck, last time I used it...3 years ago....my Prius had no problem zipping along at 80 mph......

Now, if you want adventure, try the Dallas I 635 beltway....speed limit 55 and 60...with idiots doing 80 mph......and heavy traffic.....drivers with road rage.....temps at 105 deg and some cars on the road with no a/c.....at rush hour...... I hit it once a month to attend a club meeting...other than that....I stay as far away as possible.


t.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45279 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 12:24 PM
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Sort of funny that intercst whines about the new 'toll road'...built with private funds..

when, in his hometown of Houston, they have TOLL ROADS all over the place.

Ya know.....we need lots of new roads and bridges....and we don't have the money to build them all.

So why not let users pay for them?

And if private enterprises want to build them, and build them to world class standards allowing 85 mph speeds, why not? It costs money to build to those standards.....

And if the state wants to collect a part of the tolls.....great..that's the way it should be.......

But users should wind up paying for much of the new infrastructure.

In Dallas, they are 16 laning, yes 16 lanes, on the I 635 beltway. Half of them will will 'tollroad'...... to pay for the horrendous billion dollar cost for a few miles of road. Great...that's the way it should be.



You have the option of not using the toll roads.


Heck, you go to NYC...the tunnels are all toll...the bridges are all toll.....someone has to pay for 'infra structure'.

But, intercst really whines because, by golly, someone actually hopes to make a profit!..wow....sounds like Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Warren and her socialist rant, and those of the delegates of the DNC, who would vote for a bill to ban corporate profits....be fun to watch intercst starve to death if they managed to do it and all his investments went to zero.

Meanwhile the George W Bush Tollroad here isn't cheap, but it is the fastest way out of town to the northeast..so I pay the toll.....and avoid the beltway or the back roads with ever more traffic lights....

Oh...and you can zip along at 75 mph on it.....

t.

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Author: Howie52 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45280 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 3:13 PM
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"we need lots of new roads and bridges....and we don't have the money to build them all. "

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Actually, we do have the money to build them.
We choose to spend the money on other things.

Howie52
We have a choice - even if the choice is not articulated by the
political candidates.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45281 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 3:31 PM
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Howie:"Actually, we do have the money to build them.
We choose to spend the money on other things."

Ha...just like the borrowed porkulus?


There's 10 trillion in needed infrastructure repair alone....not including any new construction.


That's why TX has lots of new toll roads going in.


Oh, you libs would raise taxes 50% to pay for them. So the folks with no cars or who live out in the boonies have to pay for them.


Sorry..now is the time, like the first 100 years of our country....where 'turnpikes' and 'toll roads' were the norm. Privately built roads.


Then, PA built a toll road. So did WV...and IN..and IL.....and even DEL..... and built toll bridges...... by the hundreds.


Now you libs expect everything for free...paid for by others.

SOrry, your message is laughable. All the 'highway bill' is borrowed money.

The entitlements will eat up 100% of the budget in less than 10 years. There won't even be money for schools.....



t.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45282 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 4:42 PM
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Heck, in Western Washington State Democrats are slapping tolls on everything they can, as fast as they can, and as high as they can ---and we're not getting any fancy speed limits either.

I'd MUCH prefer Texas.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45283 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 7:27 PM
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So, after all this effort, Texans will get a replacement highway that they have to pay for every time they drive on it. And what does Texas gain from all this? Forty-one miles of highway that will shorten their trip by 15 minutes. Well . . . Actually it would only have shortened that trip by 9 minutes, but the bribes allowed them to lengthen the drive time on the state-built highway option when they lowered the speed limit from 65 to 55 mph.

Put this in perspective. A 41 mile long, 4 lane divided highway in a rural non-mountainous terrain would cost about $230M to build from scratch (http://www.arkansashighways.com/roadway_design_division/Cost...). Bridges will add some to that total. These are construction costs. Our for-profit highway builders added $100M to that cost to pay off the state of Texas to allow them to tax all drivers who will use their road. So drivers will have to pay at least about a 40% markup for the profiteers just to break even.

It's teabagger philosophy in action. How do you think the tea-baggers would have reacted if the state simply anounced they wanted to spend $330M so that Texas drivers could save 15 minutes on this particular 41 mile stretch of roadway?

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Author: lindytoes Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45284 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 9:11 PM
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Here goes my defense of Jimmy Carter again. Maybe not the best politician but he had some excellent ideas and he's a very good person. Probably too good to be a politician in Washington.

He mandated the 55 mph national speed limit for a reason. It saves gas under most circumstances. The problem, of course, is that is takes forever to get somewhere and we are all in a hurry to get somewhere.

http://acrosstheboard.blogspot.com/2005/10/driving-55-mph-do...
<snip>
The old rule that driving no faster than 55 mph to save on gas still works. This guy tested a Chevy Malibu, and got an average of 35 mpg. However when he went bit over 70 mph, the mileage dropped sharply -- to 25 mpg.

For every mile per hour faster than 55 mph, fuel economy drops by about 1 percent, the drop-off increases at a greater rate after 65 mph. The faster you go, the faster the fuel goes.

from the comments section:
At 11/28/2005 11:23 PM, Steve Hendry said...
I have a 2004 Corvette, at 55 MPH (I ran the test for 1 hour) I got 27 MPG. I then ran it at 75 MPH for the same amount of time, I got 28 MPG, hmmmm... why?

I then checked the RPM that my car was producing at each speed and the gearing. At 55 MPH, the transmission was in the same overdrive gear as at 75 MPH. Next I looked at the RPMs, I was at 1800 at 55 and 2100 at 75 MPH. This was the only major difference. I then looked at the power curve on my engine and saw that my main horsepower does not flatten until I hit around 2000 RPM, which is the constant power on my car.

I then looked at your Malibu and saw the curve. I would say that this is the reason that you are getting worse gas mileage at 75 vs 55. Your car is way, way underpowered. This is the same as in Europe. I have visited there dozens of times and was always amazed that I could rent an Audi A4 or Seat or whatever, and get 35 MPG at 120 KM = 75 MPH and why that was. The reason is that European cars are built for highway driving, their power curve is set as flat at higher RPMs, therefore they are more efficient at highway speeds - 110-130KM per hour, 65-80 MPH.

So, the problem again lies in auto manufacturers here - you need to get a car that is powered for the bulk that it is carrying and it has to be geared for highway speeds.

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Author: ariechert Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45285 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 10:03 PM
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"Actually, we do have the money to build them. We choose to spend the money on other things." - Howie52, "We have a choice - even if the choice is not articulated by the political candidates."


Like land mines to blow the arms and legs off innocent women and children.

Art

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Author: Howie52 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45287 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/8/2012 11:52 PM
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""Actually, we do have the money to build them. We choose to spend the money on other things." - Howie52, "We have a choice - even if the choice is not articulated by the political candidates."


Like land mines to blow the arms and legs off innocent women and children.

Art "

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
And the planes to fly innocent women and children to medical
treatment as well.
And support for the poor.
And support for the disabled.

The choices are there - funny that the political folks don't
seem to want to discuss them - just use them as advertising fodder.

Town halls don't always provide the answers folks want to hear from
any perspective.

Course, there are some things that do not come across clearly -
where there are benefits that may not be obvious - the military
industrial complex produces jobs and revenue as well as mines -
and there is a need for defense spending extending to keeping trade
routes open. The world is not as simple as any of us see it at times.

Howie52

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45289 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 1:48 AM
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<<Like land mines to blow the arms and legs off innocent women and children.

Art>>



The biggest use of land mines by the United States has been at the contested border between North and South Korea, still at war with each other sixty off years after the last invasion by North Korea, which cost the lives of 33,000 Americans and hundreds of thousand of others.

Land mines are preventing hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from being killed or blowing off their legs and arms.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: CountUpp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45290 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 2:13 AM
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Lindytoes: I then checked the RPM that my car was producing at each speed and the gearing. At 55 MPH, the transmission was in the same overdrive gear as at 75 MPH. Next I looked at the RPMs, I was at 1800 at 55 and 2100 at 75 MPH. This was the only major difference. I then looked at the power curve on my engine and saw that my main horsepower does not flatten until I hit around 2000 RPM, which is the constant power on my car.

I then looked at your Malibu and saw the curve. I would say that this is the reason that you are getting worse gas mileage at 75 vs 55. Your car is way, way underpowered. This is the same as in Europe. I have visited there dozens of times and was always amazed that I could rent an Audi A4 or Seat or whatever, and get 35 MPG at 120 KM = 75 MPH and why that was. The reason is that European cars are built for highway driving, their power curve is set as flat at higher RPMs, therefore they are more efficient at highway speeds - 110-130KM per hour, 65-80 MPH.


The usual internal combustion engine has a full throttle efficiency peak somewhere between the torque peak and the horsepower peak. Most of us drive well below either peak, and almost no one drives at full throttle for any length of time. I don't know anything about part throttle efficiency.

The horsepower required is roughly proportional to the speed cubed, regardless of anything else. The drag is proportional to the speed squared. (For a flat road - obviously a hill requires horsepower to raise the weight of the car up the hill.) These are physical facts.

My Chevy Venture gets around 21 mpg at 80. At 70, it's more like 26. At 60 it's up to 28. (These numbers are based on driving long distances.) I have observed the same thing in several cars.

Your Corvette is running way off of peak horsepower, or even peak torque, at the speeds you mention. Its efficiency is still increasing, even at 85 mph, which may offset the increased drag. Do you know when the efficiency peak is? Not knowing your numbers, the new Corvette boasts 430 HP at 5900 rpm, and peak torque of 424 ft-lb at 4600 rpm, both well above the speeds (and rpm's) you mention. Peak full throttle efficiency would be between these speeds, say 5000 rpm.***

Barring some numerical analysis, I doubt your thoughts on European cars. An Audi A4 is likely the same car here as in Germany. Do you know that the engines are different? (Drive trains are almost surely different. I once bought a Jaguar E-type coupe (stick shift) in Germany. At 100 mph, I could finally shift into 4th gear.

Count Upp
*** Oops! I see this is not your experience, but that of a reader to the blog. So now I feel free to call BS on the lot of them. It is true that inflating the tires and keeping the engine properly tunes will increase gas mileage. It is also true that operating well below the efficiency peak (normal situation) will hurt gas mileage.

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45291 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 3:40 AM
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Count Upp
*** Oops! I see this is not your experience, but that of a reader to the blog. So now I feel free to call BS on the lot of them. It is true that inflating the tires and keeping the engine properly tunes will increase gas mileage. It is also true that operating well below the efficiency peak (normal situation) will hurt gas mileage.

</snip>

Apparently the most efficient form of transportation is a man on a bicycle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance

Check out that heavy-weight freight bike in the picture --sweet.

intercst

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Author: BlueGrits Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45293 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 3:52 AM
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Tele, you're confused.

The speed limits discussed in the article have nothing to do with I-35.

The tool roads in the Austin area must be losing money hand over fist judging by how little traffic is on them.

If you're coming through Austin during rush hour, the toll road is the way to go. If not, get on MoPac or 360 and hope for the best.

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Author: BlueGrits Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45294 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 3:58 AM
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Heck, in Western Washington State Democrats are slapping tolls on everything they can, as fast as they can, and as high as they can ---and we're not getting any fancy speed limits either.

We don't use tolls as much as we do fees. There's probably even a fee to get an answer about fees.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45295 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 6:41 AM
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The savings from slower speeds is less than might appear at first glance.


Let's use CountUpps mileage figures as an example:

he gets 21 MPG @ 80 MPH.

So to travel 80 miles in an hour he uses 3.8 gallons of fuel that costs $15.23 @ $4/gallon.


At 60 MPH he gets 21 MPG.

That means he will consumer 3.8 gallons of fuel to travel 80 Miles at a cost of $11.42.

At 60 miles per hour he will have to drive 1.33 hours to drive 80 miles.

The fuel savings will be $3.81 driving at 60 MPH rather than 80 MPH, but it will take 20 minutes more driving to go the same distance.

That means that CountUp's cost savings per hour of driving time is $11.43. If two people are in the vehicle, the cost savings per hour would be $5.75 per hour, and if four people are in the car, the cost savings per hour dwindle to $2.86 per hour.

How much is your time worth?



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45297 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 10:33 AM
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That means that CountUp's cost savings per hour of driving time is $11.43. If two people are in the vehicle, the cost savings per hour would be $5.75 per hour, and if four people are in the car, the cost savings per hour dwindle to $2.86 per hour.

Per-person is an odd way of looking at it unless you're comparing it to plane, train or bus tickets.

When we go RVing, tolls and mpg can make a big difference in the cost of a long trip, and I take the trade-offs into account when I plan each day's drive. And speed is not more important than other factors, not to me anyway, not since I retired. It's more fun to drive secondary roads (at least when they're in good shape--thank you, Stimulus funds!) and see small towns and farms up close.

I've never been to Austin. I had the chance when we moved from San Francisco to Charleston, but I chose to go to Odessa-Midland (to visit the Commemorative Air Force museum), San Antonio (the Alamo and Riverwalk), and Galveston (camped right on the beach :-) instead. Next time we pass through mid-Texas, we'll check out the Austin area. But avoid the toll road.

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Author: lindytoes Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45298 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 10:51 AM
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Count Upp
*** Oops! I see this is not your experience, but that of a reader to the blog. So now I feel free to call BS on the lot of them. It is true that inflating the tires and keeping the engine properly tunes will increase gas mileage. It is also true that operating well below the efficiency peak (normal situation) will hurt gas mileage.
------------------
Yeah, it's all Greek to me. I only posted the comment because it seemed clear that speed doesn't appear to be the only factor (I knew about tires and tune ups, but the other was baffling).

I do know that in my 2000 Acura (auto transmission) I get better mpg at a lower, steady speed, e.g. 60mph. I have watched the rpms on my car and 2000 seems to be a steady rate when I am traveling on the highway with cruise control on. But I'm not sure about higher speeds. I am traveling this week and will watch it just for my own information. Now I'm curious, not that I will go out and exchange my car because of gas mileage. My car is running great, has 175k miles and gets decent mileage on the road considering its size and age.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45299 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 10:57 AM
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Why don't you folks actually check the facts?








"In June 2002, Lone Star Infrastructure, a consortium of major highway construction contractors and civil engineering firms, was awarded a Comprehensive Development Agreement by the Texas Department of Transportation to design and build the section from I-35 in Georgetown to US 183 southeast of Austin.[6] The cost of this section was expected to be $1.5 billion, a figure which includes utility relocation, right of way, design and construction. Right-of-way costs alone were estimated at $389 million.

Groundbreaking for SH 130 took place on October 3, 2003. The first segment of SH 130 to open to the public was from US 290 northward to US 79 on November 1, 2006. About a month later on December 13, the highway was extended northward to a junction with Interstate 35. On September 6, 2007, the route was extended southward from US 290 to State Highway 71. Segment 4 opened on April 30, 2008. This 8.7-mile (14.0 km) segment runs from SH 71 to US 183.[7]

On June 28, 2006, Cintra-Zachry, the Trans-Texas Corridor developer, reached a $1.3 billion agreement with the state to build segments 5 and 6 from US 183 to I-10 in Seguin. In exchange for their investment, Cintra-Zachry will receive the right to collect tolls for 50 years in a revenue sharing agreement with the state. The state will own the road while the developer will be responsible for financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance over the life of the agreement.[8] Construction has begun on the final segment, with completion expected in 2012[9]. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_State_Highway_130


Shame shame on your lib math challenged types who can't bother to actually get some of the real numbers


The highway costs well over 1.3 BILLION to build.Just one SEGMENT of the road......so what did the whole road cost?

So your 100 million payment, adds less than 7% 'overhead' to what folks pay in tolls......and remember, the state gets a chunk of the tolls, too....for the next 50 years!.....

The actual cost to taxpayers was ZERO!

Not only that, with other priorities, the highway would likely have not been built for 10 more years.......or more....

So, not only do the folks who use I-35 have an OPTION....even better, some of the traffic that jams the highway to 5mph speeds for half the day will be diverted..and if you don't want to pay, maybe traffic will move at 7mph on I-35 instead....a 25% improvement. And even better, you have the OPTION of using the toll road!

Dumb libs......oh, right...libs want everything for free, paid for by the money fairy!...heh heh.....maybe we should just raise your gas prices by 25c, to pay for new highways that you want for 'free'? So each year you pay another $300 in extra taxes for 'free highways'?

You'd be better off just using the toll road the few times you actually travel I-35!......



t.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45300 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 11:01 AM
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lindytoes whines:"I then looked at your Malibu and saw the curve. I would say that this is the reason that you are getting worse gas mileage at 75 vs 55. Your car is way, way underpowered"


If you travel I-35 during the day through 'Austin'...you need to figure out what your gas mileage is at 5 mpg.

For at least 10 miles of I-35, you are LUCKY to be doing 5 mpg stop and go, every day of the week, including weekends. It's ALWAYS a traffic jam. Saturday, Sunday, Monday to Friday. 7 am to 9pm every day. Horrible stop and stop and move 10 feet and stop and stop and creep.

I'm sure you car is not getting much more than 10 mpg...especially when it is 100 deg or more outside, the pavement is 120 deg, the a/c is doing all it can to keep the car at less than 90 inside......


Now chew on that.

Maybe you should actually drive the highway before you whine about 55 mph speed limit. YOu might actually be able to do that between 11pm and 5am in the morning. Otherwise, it is 10 mph or so through Austin for the rest of the day.



t.

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Author: lindytoes Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45301 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 11:02 AM
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Heck, in Western Washington State Democrats are slapping tolls on everything they can, as fast as they can, and as high as they can ---and we're not getting any fancy speed limits either.
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Why does it always have to be big bad Dems costing more? I live in a Republican state and toll roads appear to be the way to go here, too. When I drive in Florida and their toll roads, I think about the Republican control of the state. The last few governors have been Republican. I think it has a lot more to do with declining government revenue and not wanting to raise taxes. Sounds Republican to me.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45302 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 11:20 AM
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<<Why does it always have to be big bad Dems costing more? I live in a Republican state and toll roads appear to be the way to go here, too. When I drive in Florida and their toll roads, I think about the Republican control of the state. The last few governors have been Republican. I think it has a lot more to do with declining government revenue and not wanting to raise taxes. Sounds Republican to me.>>


I guess the difference is that in Florida revenues are declining and Republicans don't want to raise taxes, so they are enacting tolls instead.


In Washington State, revenues are declining, Democrats are increasing taxes and enacting toll roads on old highways that never had them to boot, as well as on new highways and bridges.

Count yourself fortunate...



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45303 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 12:27 PM
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Here goes my defense of Jimmy Carter again. Maybe not the best politician but he had some excellent ideas and he's a very good person. Probably too good to be a politician in Washington.

He mandated the 55 mph national speed limit for a reason. It saves gas under most circumstances.


That was actually Nixon, believe it not.

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Author: lindytoes Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45304 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 1:25 PM
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Well, I stand corrected. I was baffled why I thought he was the one who signed that law. Apparently Carter was a big proponent of the law and pushed for Americans to comply with it.
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=8017
Statement Urging Compliance With the 55-Mile-per-Hour Speed Limit
August 31, 1977
When I delivered my energy message last April, I hoped that the national 55-mile per-hour speed limit--already in force--would help reduce gasoline consumption, which is essential if we are to extend the world's finite supply of oil. If we all drove within the speed limit, we could save more than 8 million gallons of gasoline a day.
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During Carter's administration there was a change in regulations on speedometers and odometers, but I couldn't find anything else. All the laws and "news" was mostly from the 1980s when states protested and made their own laws and finally Congress acted to overturn the Nixon law. At least that is what I gleaned just perusing the references from wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Maximum_Speed_Law
On September 1, 1979, in a regulation that also regulated speedometer and odometer accuracy, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) required speedometers to have special emphasis on the number 55 and a maximum speed of 85 mph (137 km/h). However, on October 22, 1981, NHTSA proposed eliminating speedometer and odometer rules because they were "unlikely to yield significant safety benefits" and "[a] highlighted '55' on a speedometer scale adds little to the information provided to the driver by a roadside speed limit sign."
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One last thing. I'm not the only one who thought Jimmy Carter was the "drive" behind the 55. This was posted 2 days ago.

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/speed-limit-slow-movemen...
Let's face it; on this issue, Jimmy Carter was right. There is a movement afoot to bring it back; according to Good Magazine, Drive 55 lobbies state and local governments to lower the speed limit and encourages drivers to maintain a self-imposed 55-mile-per-hour limit.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45305 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 1:34 PM
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<<Let's face it; on this issue, Jimmy Carter was right. There is a movement afoot to bring it back; according to Good Magazine, Drive 55 lobbies state and local governments to lower the speed limit >>



I haven't heard. Id Obama adding a 55 MPH speed limit to his fall campaign platform along with gay marriage?



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45306 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 1:37 PM
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"He mandated the 55 mph national speed limit for a reason. It saves gas under most circumstances"


What a disaster.

It really didn't save all that much gas and cost the economy untold hundreds of millions in productivity. WHen you spend an extra 10-20% of time on the road getting somewhere, when trucks operate at less efficiency....you cost folks tens of millions or more a month. The truck doesn't go as far in 8 hours...meaning the cost of delivering goods goes up.

Then they had odd-even rationing of gas at gas stations...another boon doggle that made it impossible to go on a vacation anywhere. You'd get stranded getting to and from your destination.

What did folks do? BOught spare gas cans, carried around gas in the back of their cars/trucks....giant fire hazards...worse thing you could do was carry 20 gal of extra gas .......have an accident and wowie!.....incineration!....more people roasted to death.

My reaction..? bought a Ford Van with dual gas tanks...could hold 42 gallons of gas.....so I could go places, not even need to buy gas on the days when not allowed. Filled up in the morning, drove all day, filled up at night and could drive the whole next day without being denied gas, then fill up next morning and continue drive.....


It didn't save any gas and that costs BILLIONS in lost productivity as folks sat in long gas lines, kept their tanks at near 'full' just to escape having to do it again in 3 days. Businesses lost billions of hours of productivity as drivers sat and sat and sat waiting in line......for folks to 'top off' their tanks.

It was all phony. Rather than let prices creep up a bit...the gov't put in 'price rationing' through stupid practices.

55 mph was just one of them...in the 1970s......

Stupidity at work. Your implementation of 'social justice' that always fails. Oh, we can't let the poor have to pay more, so let's ration it by inconvenience rather than letting the free market work.



t.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45307 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 1:40 PM
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SP:"I haven't heard. Id Obama adding a 55 MPH speed limit to his fall campaign platform along with gay marriage?"

He's probably working with the folks who came up with the little plug in that Progressive Insurance uses to assess your driving habits.

They'll come up with rules that will charge you a 'carbon tax' for exceeding 55 mph, with about 10c per mile average over you travel......that should raise a few billion for Obama to slush out to his favored bundlers and campaigns in 'greenie projects' that result in green for the bundlers, but 'red ink' for all the loan guarantees that go bad.


t.

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45308 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 1:48 PM
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OPEC had us over an (oil!) barrel. Bribing states to enact 55 mph speed limits was one easy solution to ease the gas crunch (IIRC, federal highway funds to the states was contingent on enacting 55). But then, I am content to go 55 max anyway.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers day-of-the-week gas rationing based on the first (or was it the last) numeral in your plate number, or was that just a Massachusetts thing? I found that to be no problem, although there were still lines sometimes. I can't remember how often we gassed up back then, maybe once a week, but these days once a month except on driving trips.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45310 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 1:58 PM
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"OPEC had us over an (oil!) barrel. Bribing states to enact 55 mph speed limits was one easy solution to ease the gas crunch (IIRC, federal highway funds to the states was contingent on enacting 55). But then, I am content to go 55 max anyway.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers day-of-the-week gas rationing based on the first (or was it the last) numeral in your plate number, or was that just a Massachusetts thing? I found that to be no problem, although there were still lines sometimes. I can't remember how often we gassed up back then, maybe once a week, but these days once a month except on driving trips. "


That was a joke.

It was 'rationing by inconvenience' rather than letting the free market work.

It was the lib dem mentality of 'we can't let gas prices rise so that folks use less'....let's come up with a convoluted system of odd-even days or odd-even numbers to inconvenience the most people the most amount..... and create horrendous lines at stations as folks 'top off' their tanks.....

There was something like a 2% shortfall. A 25 or 35c/gal increase in price would have instantly solved the problem, but no, the stupid dims and others in Congress voted to cram down stupid rules about rationing by inconvenience.

SOme folks traded in license plates on their second cars....to have one odd one and one even one...and then they brought a few 5 gal jerry cans along to fill up the other one...oh, it's for the snow mobile or for the 'boat' or for the lawn mowers..... yeah, right....

It made a mess of things.....

It stopped vacation travel dead in its tracks.


It stupidly slowed the economy down.....

It was a government caused disaster of horrendous proportions.....

If the gov't just let the free market set the price, there would not have been 2 hour waiting lines (with folks often burning as much gas as they bought to top off their tanks)....or folks being stranded on the highway out of gas since they could not buy any that day.


t.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45313 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 3:08 PM
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telegraph hallucinates:

It was the lib dem mentality of 'we can't let gas prices rise so that folks use less'....let's come up with a convoluted system of odd-even days or odd-even numbers to inconvenience the most people the most amount..... and create horrendous lines at stations as folks 'top off' their tanks.....

There was something like a 2% shortfall. A 25 or 35c/gal increase in price would have instantly solved the problem, but no, the stupid dims and others in Congress voted to cram down stupid rules about rationing by inconvenience.


Uh, remember Nixon? The Republican president who created the 55 mph speed limit you like so much? Nixon is the one who set price controls on oil, which in turn helped cause the shortages.

Carter removed the price controls, which basically doubled the price, but caused a huge increase in domestic production. It was unpopular, but it was the right thing to do. Yet another example of adults being forced to clean up after the Republicans.

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45318 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/9/2012 11:54 PM
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Shame shame on your lib math challenged types who can't bother to actually get some of the real numbers


The highway costs well over 1.3 BILLION to build.Just one SEGMENT of the road......so what did the whole road cost?

So your 100 million payment, adds less than 7% 'overhead' to what folks pay in tolls......and remember, the state gets a chunk of the tolls, too....for the next 50 years!.....

The actual cost to taxpayers was ZERO!

Not only that, with other priorities, the highway would likely have not been built for 10 more years.......or more....

So, not only do the folks who use I-35 have an OPTION....even better, some of the traffic that jams the highway to 5mph speeds for half the day will be diverted..and if you don't want to pay, maybe traffic will move at 7mph on I-35 instead....a 25% improvement. And even better, you have the OPTION of using the toll road!

Dumb libs......oh, right...libs want everything for free, paid for by the money fairy!...heh heh.....maybe we should just raise your gas prices by 25c, to pay for new highways that you want for 'free'? So each year you pay another $300 in extra taxes for 'free highways'?

You'd be better off just using the toll road the few times you actually travel I-35!......


Okay. So if we are to believe Wikipedia, this stretch of about 40 miles of highway across relatively flat desert is actually going to cost about 6 times the average cost of similar highway construction in the US. The article mentions utility re-location as one of the issues that must contribute to this. And that means the $100M mark-up to Texas travelers is not as large a percentage of total cost as a more typical road construction project would be.

But your statement, "The actual cost to taxpayers was ZERO!", ignores both the expense of paying the toll for those that drive that stretch of road and the lost revenue by turning the toll over to private investors. Plus . . . is the Texas Highway Patrol going to patrol the road? Who is going to enforce the 85 mph speed limit? And who pays for that?

You also comment that, "and remember, the state gets a chunk of the tolls, too".

Maybe it isn't obvious to you, but if private builders can pay to build the road, pay $100M to the state of Texas, and pay the state of Texas a portion of the toll, and still have a good investment, then Texas taxpayers are losing out on that investment. Legislators in the state have cheated tax payers out of an investment opportunity in order to provide that opportunity to some business people who plan on getting rich. I wonder if those business people have a record of making any campaign contributions to Texas legislators.

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45322 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/10/2012 9:34 AM
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SG whines:"
Maybe it isn't obvious to you, but if private builders can pay to build the road, pay $100M to the state of Texas, and pay the state of Texas a portion of the toll, and still have a good investment, then Texas taxpayers are losing out on that investment. Legislators in the state have cheated tax payers out of an investment opportunity in order to provide that opportunity to some business people who plan on getting rich. I wonder if those business people have a record of making any campaign contributions to Texas legislators. "

And you too, could have financed the road.

The state would have had to BORROW billions....and construction took, what, seven years? With no income coming in? And then, the tolls will likely just pay the interest on the debt for the first 10 years.

The state is near maxed out on borrowing. Why should TAXPAYERS all over the state fork out HARD CASH this year and next year, in terms of paying interest on state issued bonds? WHy? Why should folks in the panhandle be paying tens of millions in extra taxes for a tollroad in Austin TX they'll likely never use?

You make me laugh and cry.

ANd, worse, if the state borrowed 1.5 or 2 billion or whatever the highway cost, then the 'debt' of the state would go up, the credit rating of the state would go down, and the continual tax burden, for the duration of those bonds issued, would be there for the next 30 or 50 years......

and, there is NO GUARANTEE the toll road will ever make a profit!.....

The state is busy building other roads.....1.5 billion for a 6 mile stretch of I-635...will be turned into 8 lanes of regular road (now) and 8 lanes of tollroad....busiest road in TX with over 275,000 vehicles a day on it......

They just finished the GW BUsh tollroad all the way out to I-30 to LA.....

The tollroad to US 75 from the airport (26 miles) was completed last year.......

The state doesn't have the money or ability to borrow money for EVERYTHING...

The fact is, YOU DON"T HAVE TO USE THIS TOLLROAD if you don't want to!.....


The same is true of the WV Turnpike (US interstate 77)...or the NJ Turnpike...or the NY state thruway...or the OH or IN or IL turnpike.


Talk about toll roads......around Chicago you got them by the gazillion.

Talk about toll bridges....$12 and $!5 to cross bridges into NYC!.....

Miami? Tollroad..


the fact that this is a private tollroad sends you into a tizzy. Wowie!....must be 'bad bad bad'...huh?


I suppose you are typing on a government made computer running goverment made software and driving a government made car in your government made house? Heated and cooled by a government made heating and air conditioning system? While you watch your TV made by the government electronics company?

Using government made electricity to run it all......while having a nice drink from water from the state government drinking water system.


What posses libs to want the NANNY state where they are incapable of making purchasing decisions (such as using a tollroad)?



t.

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Author: MacNugget Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45338 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/10/2012 9:46 PM
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Forty-one miles of highway that will shorten their trip by 15 minutes.

I take it from this comment that you've never tried to drive up I35 through central Austin. The toll road shaves an hour off the trip from San Marcos up to North Austin for me during peak traffic times. I'm blissful that they built it and I don't even live in Austin and I only have to make the drive once a month or so.

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Author: ChiliChild Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 45348 of 58846
Subject: Re: How Texas screws folks to aid 'Big Bidness' Date: 9/11/2012 10:06 AM
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I take it from this comment that you've never tried to drive up I35 through central Austin.

It's not officially the worst stretch of road in Texas (that's I-35W just north of Fort Worth), but it has to be near the top. In my personal experience, it's the worst.

The toll road shaves an hour off the trip from San Marcos up to North Austin


Or more, depending on what's going on in Austin that day or night. The first time I drove it, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Tolls aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny, IMO.

The road actually goes all the way up to Georgetown.
Chili

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