To Save Our Infrastructure, Make Every Road a Toll Road

FEW THINGS EXEMPLIFY the United States’ disconnect between personal freedom and collective responsibility like our automobile habit. Drivers travel at will, as long as they have money for gas and road snacks. But what they pay for that privilege, in the form of gas and other taxes, doesn’t come close to covering the costs of maintaining the roads on which they travel—let alone recoup all the productivity lost in congestion and the damage that tailpipe emissions do to our health. [...]

This is what it looks like when hundreds of thousands of drivers use the federal highway system

The above map, made by Eric Fischer at Mapbox using federal data, shows in yellow every road in the country, from Interstates to local arterials, that's part of the Federal-Aid Highway Program. This is the road infrastructure that's supported by the Highway Trust Fund and, in short, your gas taxes. Zoom in, and Fischer has mapped each road by how heavily it's used. The 14th Street Bridge connecting Washington and Virginia, for instance, saw on average more than 175,000 cars traveling [...]

Google’s Self-Driving Car Software Considered a Driver by U.S. Agency

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees with Google that its cars “will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than 100 years,” the agency said in a Feb. 4 letter to Chris Urmson, director of the company’s self-driving car project. Continue reading here. It is also worth mentioning that the first bus without a driver has been in full operation in Greece, in the city of Trikala, since 2015.  Read [...]

More evidence favouring road tolls

The main purpose of road tolls isn’t to raise money – it’s to change behaviour. Critics who dismiss “congestion pricing” as just a government cash grab miss that fundamental point. But it’s amply made in a welcome new report by a cross-section of respected Canadian economists. Anyone trapped in stop-and-go traffic knows road space can be a rare and precious commodity, especially at rush hour. But with a few exceptions, it’s being given away free — available to drivers without [...]

Is this the world’s worst tailback? Thousands queue on 50-LANE Chinese motorway during holiday rush

These were the unbelievable scenes as millions of Chinese drivers took to the country's roads during a week of national celebration. Hundreds of cars queued across dozens of lanes as holidaymakers tried to make it home for the end of the week-long National Day festival, which commemorates the creation of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949. The vehicles were travelling on the gigantic G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway, which has about 50 lanes in places. But these immense tailbacks - [...]

More Americans relying on toll roads, says report

A new report issued by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) in advance of the busy Fourth of July holiday travel season indicates that as Americans take to the roads this summer they will more often choose toll roads to get them to their destinations than in years past. The report, 2015 Report on Tolling in the US, reveals that the number of trips drivers have taken on tolls roads has increased 14 per cent over the last [...]

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