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Author Topic: OKDOT Agency News  (Read 7695 times)

Plutonic Panda

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #50 on: January 27, 2020, 11:45:01 AM »

Looks like OkDOT and OTA(Oklahoma Turnpike Authority) could be merged. I would welcome this. I hope Stitt also works to allow OkDOT to take out loans for road construction which is currently banned.

https://oklahoman.com/article/5653341/stitt-aims-to-merge-department-of-transportation-turnpike-authority
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Bobby5280

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #51 on: January 27, 2020, 09:28:08 PM »

I have pretty mixed feelings about the idea. In the article one of the motives for this dept merger is mentioned: using turnpike revenue to fund other non-turnpike highway projects in rural parts of the state. That's a good recipe for toll hikes. Currently the tolls on Oklahoma's turnpikes are somewhat of a bargain when compared to the toll rates in other states around the nation. The rates won't remain that way if turnpike revenue is seen as an alternative to raising fuel taxes. Oklahoma's recent fuel tax hike (the first in over 25 years) was re-directed to fund teacher pay. It's unlikely we'll see another fuel tax hike any time soon. Turnpike toll hikes would make up for that. People who live way out in the sticks wouldn't feel any of the financial "pain" of those toll hikes. The "liberal city slickers" would be footing more of the bill since they use the turnpikes more often.

As it stands, Oklahoma's rural areas are shedding population. Younger people are moving away in increasing numbers and the older people who remain behind are, well, getting older and older. Recent court rulings on both legal and illegal immigration will make it even harder for ag businesses in rural areas to hire either American-born or migrant labor for their operations. If the population and youth demographic declines can't be reversed the state is going to have an ever more difficult time justifying spending a lot of money on roads in those areas.
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rte66man

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2020, 12:45:34 PM »

Looks like OkDOT and OTA(Oklahoma Turnpike Authority) could be merged. I would welcome this. I hope Stitt also works to allow OkDOT to take out loans for road construction which is currently banned.

https://oklahoman.com/article/5653341/stitt-aims-to-merge-department-of-transportation-turnpike-authority

Various administrations have tried this in the past. There are valid reasons for it to be separate and vice versa. The main reason they are separate is so OTA can go into debt. The OK Constitution prohibits the State from going into debt (the so-called balanced budget article). Various court rulings over the years have carved out exemptions for agencies that don't use any State appropriated funds. Unless things have recently changed, ODOT gets appropriated funds. Maybe not from General Revenue, but from other funding allocated by the Legislature.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2020, 05:27:54 PM »

Looks like OkDOT and OTA(Oklahoma Turnpike Authority) could be merged. I would welcome this. I hope Stitt also works to allow OkDOT to take out loans for road construction which is currently banned.

https://oklahoman.com/article/5653341/stitt-aims-to-merge-department-of-transportation-turnpike-authority

Various administrations have tried this in the past. There are valid reasons for it to be separate and vice versa. The main reason they are separate is so OTA can go into debt. The OK Constitution prohibits the State from going into debt (the so-called balanced budget article). Various court rulings over the years have carved out exemptions for agencies that don't use any State appropriated funds. Unless things have recently changed, ODOT gets appropriated funds. Maybe not from General Revenue, but from other funding allocated by the Legislature.
The constitution needs to be amended. OkDOT is the only or one of the very few agencies that can not take out debt for road projects.
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rte66man

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2020, 07:46:19 PM »

Looks like OkDOT and OTA(Oklahoma Turnpike Authority) could be merged. I would welcome this. I hope Stitt also works to allow OkDOT to take out loans for road construction which is currently banned.

https://oklahoman.com/article/5653341/stitt-aims-to-merge-department-of-transportation-turnpike-authority

Various administrations have tried this in the past. There are valid reasons for it to be separate and vice versa. The main reason they are separate is so OTA can go into debt. The OK Constitution prohibits the State from going into debt (the so-called balanced budget article). Various court rulings over the years have carved out exemptions for agencies that don't use any State appropriated funds. Unless things have recently changed, ODOT gets appropriated funds. Maybe not from General Revenue, but from other funding allocated by the Legislature.
The constitution needs to be amended. OkDOT is the only or one of the very few agencies that can not take out debt for road projects.

<sarcasm>FLASH!! Hell freezes over! Film at 11</sarcasm>

The Legislature will NEVER give up their leverage to get pet projects in their districts. They would have to pass enabling legislation in order for an amendment on the ballot. If by some miracle that were to pass, the public doesn't trust anyone in government to spend money wisely. It would never get enough votes to pass.
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bugo

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2020, 08:15:07 AM »

Looks like OkDOT and OTA(Oklahoma Turnpike Authority) could be merged. I would welcome this. I hope Stitt also works to allow OkDOT to take out loans for road construction which is currently banned.

https://oklahoman.com/article/5653341/stitt-aims-to-merge-department-of-transportation-turnpike-authority

Quote
Stitt also said he'd like to see a situation where revenue from the turnpikes helps the state build and maintain other roads and highways, especially in rural parts of Oklahoma.

The only turnpikes that pay for themselves are the I-44 turnpikes. None of rest of them even break even. Those turnpikes subsidize the other turnpikes. And our genius governor thinks I-44 tolls can pay for the rest of the roads and even build some new ones where nobody lives? He's managing to be worse than his predecessor. Between this and picking a fight with the local tribes for no reason, he's managing to lower the bar.
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Bobby5280

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2020, 04:57:09 PM »

Correction: only the Turner Turnpike and Will Rogers Turnpike turn a profit. The H.E. Bailey Turnpike (also I-44) doesn't turn a profit.

I don't know how profitable (or not) the urban turnpikes in OKC or Tulsa may be.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2020, 08:40:45 PM »

Looks like OkDOT and OTA(Oklahoma Turnpike Authority) could be merged. I would welcome this. I hope Stitt also works to allow OkDOT to take out loans for road construction which is currently banned.

https://oklahoman.com/article/5653341/stitt-aims-to-merge-department-of-transportation-turnpike-authority

Quote
Stitt also said he'd like to see a situation where revenue from the turnpikes helps the state build and maintain other roads and highways, especially in rural parts of Oklahoma.

The only turnpikes that pay for themselves are the I-44 turnpikes. None of rest of them even break even. Those turnpikes subsidize the other turnpikes. And our genius governor thinks I-44 tolls can pay for the rest of the roads and even build some new ones where nobody lives? He's managing to be worse than his predecessor. Between this and picking a fight with the local tribes for no reason, he's managing to lower the bar.
Well I think he has handled this situation with the tribes wrong but I also think they need to pay a bit more. They do a lot and are amazing folks but we need more revenue for the state and one of those ways is to bring gaming fees in line with other states.

Regarding I-44 yes Iíve seen that argument but there is a cost reward benefit with everything and I think doing away with all toll roads in the state except for the Indian nation and the urban turnpikes would have a great benefit on statewide travel and commerce. I would be more than satisfied if we just removed tolls on I-44.

Transportation funding needs to be raised regardless. If Oklahoma wants to be a top ten state then the citizens have to pay more taxes. There is no way around that.
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Bobby5280

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2020, 03:48:32 PM »

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
Regarding I-44 yes Iíve seen that argument but there is a cost reward benefit with everything and I think doing away with all toll roads in the state except for the Indian nation and the urban turnpikes would have a great benefit on statewide travel and commerce. I would be more than satisfied if we just removed tolls on I-44.

The Indian Nation Turnpike doesn't generate enough traffic and toll revenue for it to be self-sustaining. If some people decided to remove the tolls on I-44 in Oklahoma then they might as well take down the toll gates on all the rest of the rural turnpikes in the state. I think the Creek Turnpike in the Tulsa metro and the Kilpatrick Turnpike in metro OKC are possibly the only ones that could carry on in a scenario of tolls being removed on I-44.

Removing the toll gates on all those turnpikes would bring about another consequence very few in the anti-turnpike crowd bother to consider: a BIG hike in fuel taxes.

Oklahoma's existing fuel tax base isn't big enough to take in the added burden of maintaining and improving nearly 600 miles of former turnpikes. Fuel tax hikes in this scenario could end up being pretty steep if current population movement trends in Oklahoma continue for a long term. OKC, Tulsa and a couple zones along the Red River are the only areas in Oklahoma making any net population gains. Most other areas in Oklahoma are losing residents. Smaller customer bases in these areas could increase the price of fuel deliveries and the price of gasoline in those areas. Oklahoma has a lot of roads and bridges built in rural areas. But as those places continue to lose population it will get more difficult to justify maintenance and improvement on those facilities.
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Baloo Uriza

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2020, 04:09:15 PM »

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
Removing the toll gates on all those turnpikes would bring about another consequence very few in the anti-turnpike crowd bother to consider: a BIG hike in fuel taxes.

I'm OK with this.  Might reign in the ever-expansionist highway planning that gave us stupid ideas like the East OKC turnpike and the Gilcrease Turnpike.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 10:15:38 PM by Baloo Uriza »
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #60 on: February 16, 2020, 08:48:15 PM »

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
Regarding I-44 yes Iíve seen that argument but there is a cost reward benefit with everything and I think doing away with all toll roads in the state except for the Indian nation and the urban turnpikes would have a great benefit on statewide travel and commerce. I would be more than satisfied if we just removed tolls on I-44.

The Indian Nation Turnpike doesn't generate enough traffic and toll revenue for it to be self-sustaining. If some people decided to remove the tolls on I-44 in Oklahoma then they might as well take down the toll gates on all the rest of the rural turnpikes in the state. I think the Creek Turnpike in the Tulsa metro and the Kilpatrick Turnpike in metro OKC are possibly the only ones that could carry on in a scenario of tolls being removed on I-44.

Removing the toll gates on all those turnpikes would bring about another consequence very few in the anti-turnpike crowd bother to consider: a BIG hike in fuel taxes.

Oklahoma's existing fuel tax base isn't big enough to take in the added burden of maintaining and improving nearly 600 miles of former turnpikes. Fuel tax hikes in this scenario could end up being pretty steep if current population movement trends in Oklahoma continue for a long term. OKC, Tulsa and a couple zones along the Red River are the only areas in Oklahoma making any net population gains. Most other areas in Oklahoma are losing residents. Smaller customer bases in these areas could increase the price of fuel deliveries and the price of gasoline in those areas. Oklahoma has a lot of roads and bridges built in rural areas. But as those places continue to lose population it will get more difficult to justify maintenance and improvement on those facilities.
Fuel tax alone doesnít solely fund highway projects. Suggesting to remove tolls on a freeway because it doesnít turn a profit is the same logic as making transit free. Iím not against toll roads just against interstates being tolled. I do however support HO/T lanes so as long as GP/free lanes are ensured a reasonable LOS which necessitates widenings to keep up with demandó you canít however expect LOS A during peak usage though which is why I support HO/T lanes to provide that for those willing to pay and have it fund free BRT along THAT route and pay for road ONLY improvements.

Oklahoma needs to pay about 30-50 cents more a gallon on fuel. There needs to be more appropriations made to increase highway funding on the federal level. Electric cars should have a per mile tax on them, registrations fees increased to reasonable levels, and along with feds paying higher shares again should be more than enough to pay for the increased maintenance of having I-44 being funded other than tolls.

So I wonder if Oklahoma has 2 non tolled interstates and one tolled interstates how other states are able to do it if I-44 really canít have tolls removed. I just donít but that argument. There needs to be a study done. With that logic if having tolls on I-44 is such a game changer and doesnít impact free trade that much, then I gotta ask, why donít we just toll I-35 and I-44 so OkDOT can focus all of its resources on rural and urban state highway networks.

As I said and Iíll say it again, Oklahoma doesnít need to tax itself like California which is overtaxed, but if the state wants to be a top ten state then higher taxes are in order. Local taxes are in order to be raised to to leverage funding from OkDOT without help from the feds. Though I wholeheartedly support freeway expansion and roads drivers need to pay their fare share or stop complaining about traffic congestion and poor maintenance. I give California a pass on that because something doesnít smell right and I do think there is something criminal going on with politicians taking tax monies for one reason or another.

Apart from increased freeway expansion we need passenger rail between OKC and Tulsa, increased speeds and improvements on the heartland flyer, and an expansion of that route to Newton. So a better use of toll revenue for a period of time would be to allow tolls to remain after increased funding for freeways and use that revenue needed along with other identified sources to fund the billions needed for rail and mass transit investment.

Our current system sucks. Shitty highways that lack capacity(Oklahomaís traffic congestion problems are easily fixable unlike other states), deficient interchanges, substandard freeway and highways designs, and horrible mass transit for a state of 4+ million people. Thereís not even a single commuter rail in the state and yet we spend money on stupid projects like a streetcar. Something has to change and to reiterate I donít buy removing tolls on I-44 is too much to take on. That state is doing shitty anyways with tolls on it.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 08:59:24 PM by Plutonic Panda »
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Bobby5280

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #61 on: February 19, 2020, 12:52:56 AM »

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
Fuel tax alone doesnít solely fund highway projects. Suggesting to remove tolls on a freeway because it doesnít turn a profit is the same logic as making transit free.

You're missing my point about the toll roads. The act of building a turnpike and putting up toll gates makes that road ineligible for many other types of state and federal funding. The turnpike must be able to sustain itself with toll revenue.

Oklahoma would not have been able to build most of its turnpikes without the ability to cross-pledge turnpike bonds and revenue from the Will Rogers and Turner Turnpikes. If the toll gates had simply been removed when the Turner Turnpike and Will Rogers Turnpikes paid for themselves NONE of those other rural turnpikes (including the H.E. Bailey Turnpike) would have ever been built. Those toll roads are NOT self-sustaining on their own revenue. Those highways would have had to be funded through other means, like hikes on the fuel tax rates. Chances are super highways like the H.E. Bailey Turnpike or Indian Nation Turnpike would have never materialized built originally as "free" roads. They don't generate enough toll revenue on their own to pay for their upkeep.

To reiterate, if you get rid of the toll gates on the Turner and Will Rogers Turnpikes then the toll gates have to come down on all of the other rural turnpikes. They can't make it on their own toll revenue. They will need funding from other sources.

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
So I wonder if Oklahoma has 2 non tolled interstates and one tolled interstates how other states are able to do it if I-44 really canít have tolls removed. I just donít but that argument. There needs to be a study done. With that logic if having tolls on I-44 is such a game changer and doesnít impact free trade that much, then I gotta ask, why donít we just toll I-35 and I-44 so OkDOT can focus all of its resources on rural and urban state highway networks.

Most other states don't have nearly as many miles of toll road as Oklahoma. Toll roads in most other parts of the nation are also built in areas with much greater traffic levels. They also carry significantly higher toll rates. The practice of cross pledging is the only thing that made Oklahoma's rural turnpikes possible at all.

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
Apart from increased freeway expansion we need passenger rail between OKC and Tulsa, increased speeds and improvements on the heartland flyer, and an expansion of that route to Newton. So a better use of toll revenue for a period of time would be to allow tolls to remain after increased funding for freeways and use that revenue needed along with other identified sources to fund the billions needed for rail and mass transit investment.

The OTA is basically giving Oklahomans and anyone else using its turnpikes a bargain on toll rates. There's not a lot of surplus revenue to even pay off all its turnpike bonds, must less provide extra "gravy" to fund things like passenger rail projects. Governor Stitt must be smoking some kind of special flavor weed to think he can use turnpike revenue to fund non-turnpike road projects in rural areas.

America is going to get nowhere fast with rail projects in general as long as it continues to totally suck ass at controlling the cost of building such things. We're already pretty lousy at keeping the lid on explosive costs just with highways. But the cost of rail projects is just laughably ridiculous. And there's no guarantee the rail lines will even generate the ridership needed to keep the whole effort from generating an ocean of red ink.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 03:39:42 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Baloo Uriza

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2020, 10:04:29 AM »

The OTA is basically giving Oklahomans and anyone else using its turnpikes a bargain on toll rates. There's not a lot of surplus revenue to even pay off all its turnpike bonds, must less provide extra "gravy" to fund things like passenger rail projects. Governor Stitt must be smoking some kind of special flavor weed to think he can use turnpike revenue to fund non-turnpike road projects in rural areas.

While I think we're in agreement with the assessment on Stitt, the lack of intercity rail service is a missing piece of basic infrastructure.  Rural turnpikes?  There's the gravy.
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In_Correct

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2020, 10:37:12 AM »

Keep the turnpikes. ... and build more of them. If these turnpikes were converted into freeways, would they get more funding? Would The Chickasaw Turnpike finally be upgraded? I really doubt that, or they would not have been built as turnpikes. If there are not enough turnpikes that  provides road funds, then perhaps a much needed corridor can be built as a turnpike. Parallel to S.H. 3 for example.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 10:41:01 AM by In_Correct »
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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #64 on: February 19, 2020, 12:08:16 PM »

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Baloo Uriza

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2020, 02:38:57 PM »

Keep the turnpikes. ... and build more of them. If these turnpikes were converted into freeways, would they get more funding? Would The Chickasaw Turnpike finally be upgraded? I really doubt that, or they would not have been built as turnpikes. If there are not enough turnpikes that  provides road funds, then perhaps a much needed corridor can be built as a turnpike. Parallel to S.H. 3 for example.

I'm not sure doubling down on a money losing idea is going to do anything but double down on the bleeding.  I mean, the OTA already tried that, it's how we got the Cherokee Turnpike and others built around the same time.
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Bobby5280

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2020, 04:07:38 PM »

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
While I think we're in agreement with the assessment on Stitt, the lack of intercity rail service is a missing piece of basic infrastructure.  Rural turnpikes?  There's the gravy.

So your solution is to get rid of the rural turnpikes? If so, what exactly would that entail? Closing them or shifting them onto the fuel tax rolls with all the rest of the state's crumbling roads?

Regarding inter-city rail, neither OKC or Tulsa are big enough cities to support their own light rail networks. An inter-city rail link would lead to 2 stations which would need great big parking lots for all the personal vehicles the passengers would possibly use to drive the rest of the way home. But if I'm in OKC and heading to Tulsa I'm probably just going to drive my vehicle the whole way there rather than camping out at some train station for it to take me the rest of the way (and for probably at a higher cost too).

Quote from: US71
Bill to merge ODOT, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority passes Senate committee

The commentary from lawmakers was, of course, laughably vague. I guarantee if this measure passes big toll hikes will follow. The rural voters, nearly all of whom vote very conservative, would get to stick it up the asses of the "liberal" big city folks who use the turnpikes far more frequently.

Rural areas of Oklahoma are losing population at a significant pace; some counties may see upwards of a 10% drop in population in the 2020 Census compared to 2010. People are leaving those areas for reasons other than crumbling pavement.
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rte66man

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2020, 04:15:11 PM »

Keep the turnpikes. ... and build more of them. If these turnpikes were converted into freeways, would they get more funding? Would The Chickasaw Turnpike finally be upgraded? I really doubt that, or they would not have been built as turnpikes. If there are not enough turnpikes that  provides road funds, then perhaps a much needed corridor can be built as a turnpike. Parallel to S.H. 3 for example.

I'm not sure doubling down on a money losing idea is going to do anything but double down on the bleeding.  I mean, the OTA already tried that, it's how we got the Cherokee Turnpike and others built around the same time.

For those who would like to read the introduced version:
http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2019-20%20INT/SB/SB1775%20INT.PDF

The title is off which means it will end up in a conference committee near the end of the session. That is where the final version will be hammered out.
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Baloo Uriza

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #68 on: February 20, 2020, 12:28:07 AM »

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
While I think we're in agreement with the assessment on Stitt, the lack of intercity rail service is a missing piece of basic infrastructure.  Rural turnpikes?  There's the gravy.

So your solution is to get rid of the rural turnpikes? If so, what exactly would that entail? Closing them or shifting them onto the fuel tax rolls with all the rest of the state's crumbling roads?

No.  A moratorium on building more roads or additional lanes for the forseeable future (like, at least a decade) to catch up on more immediate needs like maintenance and improve parts of our transportation system that isn't exclusively motorist oriented that have been neglected for decades.

Regarding inter-city rail, neither OKC or Tulsa are big enough cities to support their own light rail networks.

Please.  You can book an airline ticket from OKC to Tulsa or vice versa.  Tulsa's about the same area as Portland and Gresham together and has a larger population than Portland did in 1978 when Portland started work on its first light rail line.  Oklahoma City is the population of Portland *now*, and they have four light rail lines and at least two streetcar lines.  There's a lot of displaced demand.
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In_Correct

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #69 on: February 20, 2020, 01:25:34 AM »

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
While I think we're in agreement with the assessment on Stitt, the lack of intercity rail service is a missing piece of basic infrastructure.  Rural turnpikes?  There's the gravy.

So your solution is to get rid of the rural turnpikes? If so, what exactly would that entail? Closing them or shifting them onto the fuel tax rolls with all the rest of the state's crumbling roads?

No.  A moratorium on building more roads or additional lanes for the foreseeable future (like, at least a decade) to catch up on more immediate needs like maintenance and improve parts of our transportation system that isn't exclusively motorist oriented that have been neglected for decades.

Regarding inter-city rail, neither OKC or Tulsa are big enough cities to support their own light rail networks.

Please.  You can book an airline ticket from OKC to Tulsa or vice versa.  Tulsa's about the same area as Portland and Gresham together and has a larger population than Portland did in 1978 when Portland started work on its first light rail line.  Oklahoma City is the population of Portland *now*, and they have four light rail lines and at least two streetcar lines.  There's a lot of displaced demand.

Like At Least A Decade?! There has basically been a moratorium on building new roads and new passing lanes for the past 12 years. U.S. 377 from S.H. 59 West to S.H. 59 East is not going to be twinned until 8 years from now. Perhaps longer be cause it has been at the end of the 8 year plan for several years. That is the only new road that I know about.

The rest of the projects generally consist of adding passing lanes to bridges, and adding shoulders to many roads ... both should have had them by now.

Adding shoulders to roads seems much more important than adding passenger rail. At the rate that they finally build and upgrade roads, it will take much longer for them to install passenger rail!!
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Bobby5280

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2020, 04:51:46 PM »

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
Please. You can book an airline ticket from OKC to Tulsa or vice versa.

Absolutely ridiculous analogy. Planes don't need billions of dollars worth of railroad built between the two destinations. Planes flying out of OKC and Tulsa go to many other destinations.

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
Oklahoma City is the population of Portland *now*, and they have four light rail lines and at least two streetcar lines. There's a lot of displaced demand.

Oklahoma City is far more spread out than Portland. It would require a lot more money to build an acceptable rail network that didn't require people driving their own vehicles 10 miles to some halfway point to sit there and wait however long it takes for a train to arrive. It's not difficult to find a place to park in OKC's downtown districts, much less anywhere else in the OKC metro (and often park for free). That's all the more reason for individuals to just leave their house driving their vehicles all the way to their destination.

Oklahoma City is also culturally very different than Portland in multiple ways, including its population's greater love for personal vehicles. There is a very strong possibility if OKC did build a rail network it wouldn't gain the ridership needed to just break even.

Not everyone loves mass transit either. There's plenty of drawbacks, none of which are mentioned in the New Urbanist sales pitches. Some of the downsides of the mass transit experience are a source for comedy, like this hilarious video from Ozzy Man Reviews, posted earlier this week:

Then there's other drawbacks that just aren't funny, like being out in the cold, wind, rain or heat while standing at a bus stop or on a train platform. Or you get to smell it when a fellow passenger hasn't bothered to bathe or maybe pushed a fresh pile of poo into his shorts. Panhandlers can certainly stand by the road hoping you'll roll down your car window. There's no barrier between you and them when you're both on a train or just waiting at a bus stop.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2020, 05:51:22 PM »

^^^ Bobby we usually agree on a lot but you compare billion dollar costs of rail have you not seen the cost for airports? Many expansions alone exceed a billion dollars and new builds around the world are heading north of 10 billion.
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Baloo Uriza

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2020, 09:45:09 PM »

Absolutely ridiculous analogy. Planes don't need billions of dollars worth of railroad built between the two destinations. Planes flying out of OKC and Tulsa go to many other destinations.

Just at least two billion dollar airports.

Oklahoma City is far more spread out than Portland. It would require a lot more money to build an acceptable rail network that didn't require people driving their own vehicles 10 miles to some halfway point to sit there and wait however long it takes for a train to arrive.

Portland doesn't have that, either.  But, getting the train under 5 miles away from most of the population does put it within easy biking distance, and Portland's system commonly has park and ride facilities at the stations (win for the multimodal commuters, kinda weaksauce for walkability).  Start with the densest route, watch what happens.  That's how Portland ended up with downtown Portland to downtown Gresham as its first line.

It's not difficult to find a place to park in OKC's downtown districts, much less anywhere else in the OKC metro (and often park for free). That's all the more reason for individuals to just leave their house driving their vehicles all the way to their destination.

Then people wonder why the whole thing's a spread out heat-soaking mess every summer.

Oklahoma City is also culturally very different than Portland in multiple ways, including its population's greater love for personal vehicles.

That wrongly assumes most people in Portland don't also own a car.  Portlanders do.  Folks in the northwest love to drive.  Just not in the city, because city driving sucks ass anywhere in the world.

There is a very strong possibility if OKC did build a rail network it wouldn't gain the ridership needed to just break even.

Good thing it's infrastructure and not a business.

Then there's other drawbacks that just aren't funny, like being out in the cold, wind, rain or heat while standing at a bus stop or on a train platform. Or you get to smell it when a fellow passenger hasn't bothered to bathe or maybe pushed a fresh pile of poo into his shorts. Panhandlers can certainly stand by the road hoping you'll roll down your car window. There's no barrier between you and them when you're both on a train or just waiting at a bus stop.

Almost as if the first is evidence that weather is a part of reality, and the latter is evidence that we need a safety net in this country, and both are entirely unrelated to transportation.
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Baloo Uriza

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #73 on: February 20, 2020, 09:51:41 PM »

Like At Least A Decade?! There has basically been a moratorium on building new roads and new passing lanes for the past 12 years. U.S. 377 from S.H. 59 West to S.H. 59 East is not going to be twinned until 8 years from now. Perhaps longer be cause it has been at the end of the 8 year plan for several years. That is the only new road that I know about.

Adding capacity where it's not likely to ever saturate in the first place is just flushing money down the toilet.  And lest you forget, the East Oklahoma City Turnpike and the Gilcrease Turnpike are unnecessary and being built right now.

The rest of the projects generally consist of adding passing lanes to bridges, and adding shoulders to many roads ... both should have had them by now.

That is something you and I agree on.  We need hard shoulders more than we need more lanes on the state highways.  Leaving them without shoulders is leaving them incomplete.  Finish the highways we already have first.

Adding shoulders to roads seems much more important than adding passenger rail. At the rate that they finally build and upgrade roads, it will take much longer for them to install passenger rail!!

That doesn't mean nothing can be done to work towards it.  I'm not expecting it to happen tomorrow.  I'm expecting it to happen.  Affordable, timely transportation that doesn't require a car is something that this state needs to remain economically viable or people are going to leave for someplace where they don't have to just light $5000-8000/year on fire.  Cost of living keeps going up, but wages sure aren't.
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Bobby5280

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Re: OKDOT Agency News
« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2020, 12:19:55 PM »

Quote from: Plutonic Panda
^^^ Bobby we usually agree on a lot but you compare billion dollar costs of rail have you not seen the cost for airports? Many expansions alone exceed a billion dollars and new builds around the world are heading north of 10 billion.

Do you think major train stations in downtown areas of major cities are cheap to build? Those cost a hell of a lot of money just to build on their own. That's in addition to the extreme prices of the railroads.

Let's not forget about the laughably profane costs of that high speed rail project out in California. Around $79 BILLION for a rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Some estimates are pushing the cost to $98 billion. That's a hell of a lot more than any grandiose airport. And all it does is link two cities. In the end the two cities linked may merely be Bakersfield and Merced!

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
Just not in the city, because city driving sucks ass anywhere in the world.

No one would buy automobiles if that was the case.

I don't have any problems driving around in Oklahoma City. It's rare I get in any traffic jams there. Here in Lawton I get annoyed by the old obstructionist drivers who roll at speeds 20mph under the posted limit and annoyed by idiots who can't put down their mobile phones. Nevertheless it takes me less than 10 minutes to drive anywhere in town. It takes way more time trying to take the bus.

You know what sucks ass? Having to smell someone else's farts on a crowded bus or subway train.

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
Almost as if the first is evidence that weather is a part of reality, and the latter is evidence that we need a safety net in this country, and both are entirely unrelated to transportation.

What the hell are you even talking about? Weather is a non issue when you're standing at a bus stop or on a subway platform? I know it is a factor from years of experience. It sure makes me appreciate the heat and AC in my big pickup truck. You sound like one of these limousine liberals who extol the virtues of mass transit without actually using it. There's plenty of types just like that in New York City. The out of touch jerks have their own high dollar standards for themselves but then act like they're experts on what middle and lower class people have to put up with.

Quote from: Baloo Uriza
Adding capacity where it's not likely to ever saturate in the first place is just flushing money down the toilet.  And lest you forget, the East Oklahoma City Turnpike and the Gilcrease Turnpike are unnecessary and being built right now.

The Kickapoo Turnpike miles East of OKC only seems unnecessary because the route should have extended farther South down and over to the Norman area so it could function as a regional bypass for OKC. It would be even better if the H.E. Bailey Spur had been built all the way to I-35. Then the entire thing could have function as an I-44 bypass of OKC.

I also believe there are merits to building the extension of the Gilcrease Expressway in Tulsa.
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