Eleven Points To Nowhere, part 3

 John's third point is...

 Stop expanding freeways. No more bridges to nowhere. Develop self-funding toll lanes for people who want to stay in their cars but get out of the traffic.

Result: driving becomes less appealing and more expensive.

 The three links are to articles about the wasteful spending included with the latest highway bill from congress, and an article about the rise of toll lanes. The pork-barrel spending by congress doesn't seem to be either for or against the elimination of the private automobile, perhaps John will expand on this more, so I'm going to assume he's for decreasing highway funding overall. This would require the states to shoulder a larger burden of highway construction and upkeep, something that would logically be funded with higher taxes levied against drivers.

 What form thoe higher taxes would take is anybodies guess. More tax on fuel, higher registration costs, upping the sales tax or income tax, the list is endless. Whatever the form, the result is as John predicts, driving a car becomes more expensive. Unfortunately, it would also effect the economy, making it more expensive to transport the goods that we need and want. Taxes would have to be raised rather high to make a significant impact on car ownership, with a resulting bigger hit to the economy, and very few politicians suceed by making higher taxes one of their agendas.

 The third article about toll lanes is an example of how to increase the cost of car ownership, especialy if you make entire freeways toll roads, which is not likely. We went through three years of road construction on I65 here in Nashville so an HOV lane could be added that no one uses. Three years of conjested traffic wasting fuel to add a lane that could save fuel, but doesn't, because no one car pools. Brilliant. It would make more sense as a toll lane and have a bigger impact on fuel useage, but driving people away from their cars? Not unless they turn the entire interstate into a toll road, and I don't see that happening.


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