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Author Topic: District of Columbia  (Read 218672 times)

froggie

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #500 on: December 18, 2015, 10:33:59 AM »

Quote from: cpzilliacus
Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

I actually doubt this now.  DC has enough density to where we'd still have the problem on neighborhood streets and local arterials.  Nevermind that those highways would've exasperated the parking situation downtown.  That land is far more valuable to all with development than with parking lots.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #501 on: December 18, 2015, 10:41:36 AM »

Quote from: cpzilliacus
Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

I actually doubt this now.  DC has enough density to where we'd still have the problem on neighborhood streets and local arterials.  Nevermind that those highways would've exasperated the parking situation downtown.  That land is far more valuable to all with development than with parking lots.

Do not knock parking in the District of Columbia (except on Capitol Hill, where most employees have "free" (taxpayer-subsidized) parking).  Without the revenue that D.C. collects from private parking and from on-street meters and parking fines generally, there would be a lot less transit service in D.C.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #502 on: December 18, 2015, 05:41:05 PM »

unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.

Better way to flight back is with GPS programs that allow the pinpointing the location of D.C. commuter tax collection stations speed cameras, which is an effective method of reducing the revenue that they collect - ideally to less than the cost of installing and servicing the cameras.

What's funny is that every time I, as a commuter, have driven by a speed camera, I haven't paid a commuter tax fee. How does that jive with your characterization of speed cameras as a commuter tax collection station?
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #503 on: December 18, 2015, 05:57:32 PM »

Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

So you think people are justified to speed through school zones simply because you believe a highway should have been built there several decades ago...  :rolleyes:
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #504 on: December 18, 2015, 06:17:09 PM »

"How does that jive?"

You talkin' jive, bro?
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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #505 on: December 18, 2015, 07:02:40 PM »

Stewardess, I speak jive.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #506 on: December 18, 2015, 07:25:11 PM »

unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.

Better way to flight back is with GPS programs that allow the pinpointing the location of D.C. commuter tax collection stations speed cameras, which is an effective method of reducing the revenue that they collect - ideally to less than the cost of installing and servicing the cameras.

What's funny is that every time I, as a commuter, have driven by a speed camera, I haven't paid a commuter tax fee. How does that jive with your characterization of speed cameras as a commuter tax collection station?

My TomTom GPS unit (which I always run when driving in D.C.) knows where most of them are. 

Besides that, I do not generally speed when driving (in D.C. or elsewhere), and besides, speeding in the District of Columbia is generally a waste of fuel and brakes.
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froggie

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #507 on: December 18, 2015, 08:53:08 PM »

Quote
Do not knock parking in the District of Columbia (except on Capitol Hill, where most employees have "free" (taxpayer-subsidized) parking).  Without the revenue that D.C. collects from private parking and from on-street meters and parking fines generally, there would be a lot less transit service in D.C.

I will knock parking in this case, because full development would do far more to provide funding for transit than the parking fees/revenue you're referring to.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #508 on: December 18, 2015, 08:53:23 PM »

"How does that jive?"

You talkin' jive, bro?

I ain't no jive turkey.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #509 on: December 27, 2015, 03:42:23 PM »

Washington Post: Top 10 traffic, transit stories of 2015

Quote
The state of the Washington region’s transit system was the dominant transportation story of 2015, and rarely in a good way. Metro held center stage, but it wasn’t the only attention-getting performance of 2015, and many of the other efforts were positive.

Quote
Here’s a look back at the year’s most significant developments in local travel.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #510 on: December 27, 2015, 03:44:58 PM »

I will knock parking in this case, because full development would do far more to provide funding for transit than the parking fees/revenue you're referring to.

I am not at all convinced.  As long as D.C. has been providing subsidies for Metrorail and its predecessor in the city, the private D.C. Transit System, Inc., those subsidy dollars have come from motor fuel taxes and other transportation-related fees paid to the city government.

Not general fund dollars, which is where property tax revenues go.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #511 on: December 27, 2015, 04:57:13 PM »

This all goes to show why reserved funds and dedicated funding is a pointless and ultimately self-defeating endeavor. DC should be able to get the money from wherever the want.

To push the analogy to the federal level, the nature of the Highway Trust Fund funding mechanisms hasn't stopped Congress from subsidizing the "self-sustaining Highway Trust Fund" (this illusion needs to be banished from our lexicon, BTW) to the tune of billions each year from the general fund. Congress does it because it sees the highway subsidies as an important national interest. DC should be able to subsidize its transportation priorities accordingly.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 05:03:28 PM by AlexandriaVA »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #512 on: December 27, 2015, 09:12:23 PM »

This all goes to show why reserved funds and dedicated funding is a pointless and ultimately self-defeating endeavor. DC should be able to get the money from wherever the want.

I disagree, though I do believe that D.C. should be able to fund its municipal government in the best way as determined by its elected mayor and council.

To push the analogy to the federal level, the nature of the Highway Trust Fund funding mechanisms hasn't stopped Congress from subsidizing the "self-sustaining Highway Trust Fund" (this illusion needs to be banished from our lexicon, BTW) to the tune of billions each year from the general fund. Congress does it because it sees the highway subsidies as an important national interest. DC should be able to subsidize its transportation priorities accordingly.

That's cowardice on the part of the congressional "leadership" and others. 
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #513 on: December 27, 2015, 10:15:49 PM »

What you call cowardice, politicians might call survival instincts, but that's another issue for another forum. The fact is that our Highway Trust Fund now requires billion-dollar subsidies on an annual basis.

And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
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mariethefoxy

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #514 on: December 28, 2015, 03:25:45 AM »

I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?
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1995hoo

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #515 on: December 28, 2015, 08:12:24 AM »


I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #516 on: December 28, 2015, 08:29:54 AM »


I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.

Left unsaid, of course, is volume as well.
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Alps

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #517 on: December 28, 2015, 11:46:57 AM »


I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.

Left unsaid, of course, is volume as well.
That's because speed limit is independent of volume. Set properly, the speed limit is the 85th percentile of free-flow speed - i.e. when traffic is light enough to go the speed that the roadway design warrants.

AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #518 on: December 28, 2015, 12:14:49 PM »

I can't imagine max free-flow conditions being any safer than 55 MPH, based on the reasons 95hoo provided. 85% of that is 45 so I guess the speed limit is justified on that factor as well. Free-flow in that area, however, is more of a concept than anything else. Not sure I've ever seen it un-congested.
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oscar

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #519 on: December 28, 2015, 12:30:02 PM »

I can't imagine max free-flow conditions being any safer than 55 MPH, based on the reasons 95hoo provided. 85% of that is 45 so I guess the speed limit is justified on that factor as well. Free-flow in that area, however, is more of a concept than anything else. Not sure I've ever seen it un-congested.

3am traffic is usually free-flowing -- and the threat of speed cameras or other enforcement is about the only thing slowing traffic to within 20 mph over the posted limit.

As noted above, I-395 NB has some sub-optimal (or worse) left-side merges. But no such problem SB, so I'd think that direction of traffic could get a higher posted speed limit, even with its closely-spaced on- and off-ramps.
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vdeane

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #520 on: December 28, 2015, 01:12:14 PM »

And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
It matters if states and municipalities can't do any transportation planning because nobody knows if there will be any federal highway money in a couple years.  Projects take years to develop, and nobody wants to spend money on a project just to have it all go up in smoke should Congress fail to agree on a bill.  The current system of highway funding is very short term and involves squeezing money from other programs in an attempt to get money to plug the holes in the highway trust fund.  And some of that money comes from measures that the Congressional budget wizards ASSUME will create savings but which past data suggests will actually COST money (basically, Congress was busy pushing an agenda).  It's very much like robbing Peter to pay Paul.  And all this when infrastructure is crumbing into sand.  Like it or not, we very much need solid transportation funding, one that can't be raided for other purposes (the latter of which is EXTREMELY important at the state and local level).
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #521 on: December 28, 2015, 01:43:10 PM »

And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
It matters if states and municipalities can't do any transportation planning because nobody knows if there will be any federal highway money in a couple years.  Projects take years to develop, and nobody wants to spend money on a project just to have it all go up in smoke should Congress fail to agree on a bill.  The current system of highway funding is very short term and involves squeezing money from other programs in an attempt to get money to plug the holes in the highway trust fund.  And some of that money comes from measures that the Congressional budget wizards ASSUME will create savings but which past data suggests will actually COST money (basically, Congress was busy pushing an agenda).  It's very much like robbing Peter to pay Paul.  And all this when infrastructure is crumbing into sand.  Like it or not, we very much need solid transportation funding, one that can't be raided for other purposes (the latter of which is EXTREMELY important at the state and local level).

Hate to break it to you, but every interest group  (education, housing, parks & rec, etc) believes that its pet cause is extremely important and the money can't go anywhere else. Highways/roads/transportation are just one of many going for the same scarce dollars.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #522 on: December 28, 2015, 01:44:02 PM »

And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
It matters if states and municipalities can't do any transportation planning because nobody knows if there will be any federal highway money in a couple years.  Projects take years to develop, and nobody wants to spend money on a project just to have it all go up in smoke should Congress fail to agree on a bill.  The current system of highway funding is very short term and involves squeezing money from other programs in an attempt to get money to plug the holes in the highway trust fund.  And some of that money comes from measures that the Congressional budget wizards ASSUME will create savings but which past data suggests will actually COST money (basically, Congress was busy pushing an agenda).  It's very much like robbing Peter to pay Paul.  And all this when infrastructure is crumbing into sand.  Like it or not, we very much need solid transportation funding, one that can't be raided for other purposes (the latter of which is EXTREMELY important at the state and local level).

The same could be said of any other major government capital expenditure. See my preceding post (directly above this one).
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vdeane

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #523 on: December 28, 2015, 06:08:03 PM »

Highways, however, RELY on federal funding.  Without federal funding, the projects don't move forward.  At all.  Without federal funding, states can't maintain their roads.  At all.  Many states are already declaring that certain roads and bridges will not be maintained and will just be closed when they are no longer safe.  Homes and businesses accessed through those roads will no longer be accessible.  This is happening NOW, with current funding levels.  And yet you're proposing to let funds dwindle even more and inflation and political whims eat them away.  Advocate for this dystopian future all you want, but don't complain when you can't get to work any more when the few roads still open are incredibly congested.

We've already seen this on a state level.  Many states have high gas taxes but below average transportation funding because the funds are raided.  Pennsylvania, for example, uses transportation dollars for city beautification and then decided to use the PTC to bail out PennDOT and the transit authorities.  Massachusetts is well known for diverting funds and letting things deteriorate to manufacture a crisis to justify keeping tolls on the MassPike.  New York spends the majority of its "transportation" dollars paying off the debt from past governors pet projects.

As of right now, even if a huge windfall happened, nothing could be done with it because there are no projects ready for it.  So what would you do about it, AlexandriaVA (btw, I find it interesting how you chose to name yourself after a municipality some on this forum despise because of its NIMBYISM)?  How would you keep the infrastructure maintained and accessible to all?
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Alps

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Re: District of Columbia
« Reply #524 on: December 28, 2015, 06:33:21 PM »

I can't imagine max free-flow conditions being any safer than 55 MPH, based on the reasons 95hoo provided. 85% of that is 45 so I guess the speed limit is justified on that factor as well. Free-flow in that area, however, is more of a concept than anything else. Not sure I've ever seen it un-congested.
85th percentile means the speed that 85% of traffic is going equal to or slower. So if 85% of traffic is going no more than 53 mph, your speed limit should be 50 mph or 55 mph.

 


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