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  #2261  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 3:27 PM
BrownTown BrownTown is offline
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How is the issue excessive density? Beijing’s issue probably is the relatively low population density of 1300 people per square km versus New York City’s 7000 people per square mile. Even Los Angeles city is more dense. Increased density is in Beijing’s future. I don’t see where you would build these hypothetical highways, and why you would build them if congestion pricing made the roads uncongested and fast. When do planners decide to build new highways when the existing roads will be consistently free flowing?
1. I don't know what metric you're using, but Beijing is very dense. You're probably looking at some metric that includes high swaths of farmland and forests as opposed to just the central city. You cant just compare density that way since it's all based on how you draw the areas.

2. Putting tolls on roads doesn't just make the demand disappear. If people cant get to their jobs then those jobs will just move out away from the city center.
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  #2262  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 3:30 PM
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If we're talking NYC specifically though there are some obvious improvements like a bridge from Long Island to Connecticut to divert cars away from the city and a train tunnel from NJ to Long Island to get trucks off the road.
If you want to make arguments based on market efficiencies and rational actors, there is not much reason why a rational entity that collects tolls for vehicles coming into Manhattan would turn around and fund projects to send vehicles on routing away from Manhattan to avoid the tolls. And taking the same argument by its own logic, there should be no reason why the majority of drivers that will not use such routes should subsidize those routes. If there is a market for such a bridge or tunnel, a rational entity could build it and charge the necessary tolls to recoup the cost it would take to build it.
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  #2263  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 3:39 PM
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1. I don't know what metric you're using, but Beijing is very dense. You're probably looking at some metric that includes high swaths of farmland and forests as opposed to just the central city. You cant just compare density that way since it's all based on how you draw the areas.

2. Putting tolls on roads doesn't just make the demand disappear. If people cant get to their jobs then those jobs will just move out away from the city center.
I’ll concede the the point on the density. I don’t see which undesirable districts you would demolish as even the low density hutongs have some of the highest real estate cost in the world.

They already ban your car for 1 out of 5 work days, sometimes due to pollution they will ban your car every other day, and they restrict your ability to buy a car by requiring you to wait several years. People can still get to their jobs because of heavily subsidized transit.
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  #2264  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 3:56 PM
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If you want to make arguments based on market efficiencies and rational actors, there is not much reason why a rational entity that collects tolls for vehicles coming into Manhattan would turn around and fund projects to send vehicles on routing away from Manhattan to avoid the tolls.
Sure there is. The lack of access to Long Island means people have to drive through NYC just to get there. This is horribly inefficient as you're sending traffic through incredibly dense areas when it would save loads of time if they could simply avoid the city. Step 1 is to triple the federal gas tax though. Its almost pointless to discuss this issue until that is done.
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  #2265  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 4:15 PM
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  #2266  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 4:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BrownTown View Post
Sure there is. The lack of access to Long Island means people have to drive through NYC just to get there. This is horribly inefficient as you're sending traffic through incredibly dense areas when it would save loads of time if they could simply avoid the city. Step 1 is to triple the federal gas tax though. Its almost pointless to discuss this issue until that is done.
Long Island is separated from the mainland by NYC. It isn't "horribly inefficient", it's literally geography.

And LI has nothing to do with what we're talking about. LI residents driving personal vehicles aren't clogging up Manhattan during M-F business hours. It's overwhelmingly delivery trucks and for-hire vehicles, and if private cars, those driven by city residents.

And no one travels from LI through Manhattan to get to the mainland (you take the Verrazano, the Throggs Neck or the Whitestone).
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  #2267  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 10:01 PM
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  #2268  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 10:12 PM
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Cool, but exactly which 3 Republican senators does he expect to approve such an amendment?
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  #2269  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 10:22 PM
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And no one travels from LI through Manhattan to get to the mainland (you take the Verrazano, the Throggs Neck or the Whitestone).
Passing through Manhattan notwithstanding, any route that funnels auto traffic from the mainland to LI and vice-versa through the city limits is a distinction in search of a difference in my opinion. It's still in many cases a sandwich being shoved through a straw. Depending on where it's placed, a cross-Sound tunnel could pull hundreds of thousands of vehicles headed to Conn and northward off of highways within the city.
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  #2270  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2019, 11:12 PM
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Passing through Manhattan notwithstanding, any route that funnels auto traffic from the mainland to LI and vice-versa through the city limits is a distinction in search of a difference in my opinion. It's still in many cases a sandwich being shoved through a straw. Depending on where it's placed, a cross-Sound tunnel could pull hundreds of thousands of vehicles headed to Conn and northward off of highways within the city.
Just to be clear it is literally impossible to drive a car to/from Long Island without passing through at least 2 NYC boroughs. Yes, that rarely includes lower Manhattan, but it does sometimes (I've personally done it before). Also, if we're going to get technical about it the GWB goes through Manhattan and a LOT of people end up going over that bridge.
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  #2271  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Passing through Manhattan notwithstanding, any route that funnels auto traffic from the mainland to LI and vice-versa through the city limits is a distinction in search of a difference in my opinion. It's still in many cases a sandwich being shoved through a straw. Depending on where it's placed, a cross-Sound tunnel could pull hundreds of thousands of vehicles headed to Conn and northward off of highways within the city.

It would just induce demand. As soon as, say, 10% of New England-bound traffic is pulled off the Throgs Neck Bridge, people who currently hesitate to use that route for non-critical local travel will start using it. It'll go right back to how it was.
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  #2272  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 1:49 AM
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It would just induce demand. As soon as, say, 10% of New England-bound traffic is pulled off the Throgs Neck Bridge, people who currently hesitate to use that route for non-critical local travel will start using it. It'll go right back to how it was.
The term, "induced demand" is such a misnomer. Demand is a good thing, not a bad thing. And more roads/trains don't "induce" demand, they simply restore it. The real issue is when jammed roads DESTROY demand, not when free flowing roads "induce" it.
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  #2273  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 6:07 AM
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Cars need somewhere to park. Buses and trains don't. The cost of building a car-only crossing across a major body of water only tells part of the story. Old buildings must be torn down if cars are to park in large numbers in cities.

The Golden Gate and Bay Bridges induced tons of automobile commuting into San Francisco. If each had instead been built as transit-only crossings, there would be far fewer parking garages and lots in San Francisco.

Building a vehicular crossing between Long Island and Connecticut would free some capacity between Queen and The Bronx and thus make it easier for people to drive into Manhattan.

Where are those people going to park?
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  #2274  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 6:16 AM
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Originally Posted by numble View Post
What improvements would you make in the example I gave? Add more lights? Take Beijing for instance. With a population of nearly 20 million. The gas tax is extremely high and the roads are very well-maintained. You are only allowed to drive your car 4/5 days per workweek, non-Beijing cars are banned or have to pay a high toll, and you need to enter a lottery just to get the right to buy a car, requiring a waiting period of around 5 years. They have already double-decked the major expressways. The roads are still extremely congested. Congestion pricing probably can solve the congestion problem, getting rid of traffic and increasing the average speeds on the road. How would you spend the congestion pricing revenue, and why? What improvements would you make to the roads if congestion pricing has solved the congestion and average speed problem, and the gas tax and other revenue has already kept the roads well-maintained?
Beijing has no double deck expressways. You may be thinking of Shanghai, which has many elevated highways in the central city with major surface arterial roads running underneath them.

The lottery you mention is not for the right to buy a car, but rather to buy a license plate. The number of Beijing license plates available per month is heavily restricted, and there is a lottery for the right to bid on available plates. Since the number of plates is so restricted, the price of a plate is extremely high, exceeding the price of a small car.

Beijing's problems are due to the fact that the restrictions that you mention came very late. In Shanghai, which has a larger population than Beijing, the lottery system has been in use for much longer, and as a result Shanghai has half the number of registered cars as Beijing. This means that Shanghai has nowhere near as bad traffic as Beijing, even with fewer highways and far fewer restrictions on out of province cars (the only restriction on non Shanghai plated vehicles is that they cannot use the elevated highways within the Outer Ring Road during peak hours).

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Originally Posted by numble View Post
How is the issue excessive density? Beijing’s issue probably is the relatively low population density of 1300 people per square km versus New York City’s 7000 people per square mile. Even Los Angeles city is more dense. Increased density is in Beijing’s future. I don’t see where you would build these hypothetical highways, and why you would build them if congestion pricing made the roads uncongested and fast. When do planners decide to build new highways when the existing roads will be consistently free flowing?
I know you've already conceded on this point, but I should point out that Beijing's density here is based on the area of Beijing Municipality, which is much larger in area than the city of Beijing, and includes a lot of mountainous areas and farmland. The true density of the actual built up areas of Beijing is much, much higher.
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  #2275  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 8:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BrownTown View Post
Sure there is. The lack of access to Long Island means people have to drive through NYC just to get there. This is horribly inefficient as you're sending traffic through incredibly dense areas when it would save loads of time if they could simply avoid the city. Step 1 is to triple the federal gas tax though. Its almost pointless to discuss this issue until that is done.
There are two types of efficiencies. You were talking about market efficiencies and that was what I was addressing. Your point was "it is not efficient to spend money on transit if it can't pay for itself". Taking your same logic, it is not efficient to spend congestion pricing charged to lower Manhattan drivers for a bridge for Connecticut and Long Island drivers.

Of course it is overall efficient to get people from point A to point B without a diversion through point C. The same reason why a transit line can be more efficient than a lane of road. But that is a different type of efficiency.

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I am surprised you think congestion pricing for cars entering lower Manhattan should be spent on a bridge from Connecticut to Long Island.

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Originally Posted by The Chemist View Post
Beijing has no double deck expressways. You may be thinking of Shanghai, which has many elevated highways in the central city with major surface arterial roads running underneath them.

The lottery you mention is not for the right to buy a car, but rather to buy a license plate. The number of Beijing license plates available per month is heavily restricted, and there is a lottery for the right to bid on available plates. Since the number of plates is so restricted, the price of a plate is extremely high, exceeding the price of a small car.

Beijing's problems are due to the fact that the restrictions that you mention came very late. In Shanghai, which has a larger population than Beijing, the lottery system has been in use for much longer, and as a result Shanghai has half the number of registered cars as Beijing. This means that Shanghai has nowhere near as bad traffic as Beijing, even with fewer highways and far fewer restrictions on out of province cars (the only restriction on non Shanghai plated vehicles is that they cannot use the elevated highways within the Outer Ring Road during peak hours).

I know you've already conceded on this point, but I should point out that Beijing's density here is based on the area of Beijing Municipality, which is much larger in area than the city of Beijing, and includes a lot of mountainous areas and farmland. The true density of the actual built up areas of Beijing is much, much higher.
Your pendantry aside (a lottery to buy a license plate is effectively the right to buy a car), all those items reinforce the fact that congestion pricing probably would relieve traffic and at the same time act as a disincentive for further road improvements. You say the reason Beijing, with more highways, has a problem is because it has not banned enough cars early enough.

Congestion pricing, if planned correctly, is to set road pricing at a point such that drivers choose to take themselves off the roads at peak periods, while also raising revenue in the process. The heavy-handed bans may make people more likely to drive (My car's plate is banned from driving tomorrow, so I better drive on the unbanned days; I waited 5 years to be able to get the right to drive, I better take advantage of it).
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  #2276  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 9:20 AM
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Originally Posted by numble View Post
There are two types of efficiencies. You were talking about market efficiencies and that was what I was addressing. Your point was "it is not efficient to spend money on transit if it can't pay for itself". Taking your same logic, it is not efficient to spend congestion pricing charged to lower Manhattan drivers for a bridge for Connecticut and Long Island drivers.

Of course it is overall efficient to get people from point A to point B without a diversion through point C. The same reason why a transit line can be more efficient than a lane of road. But that is a different type of efficiency.


I am surprised you think congestion pricing for cars entering lower Manhattan should be spent on a bridge from Connecticut to Long Island.



Your pendantry aside (a lottery to buy a license plate is effectively the right to buy a car), all those items reinforce the fact that congestion pricing probably would relieve traffic and at the same time act as a disincentive for further road improvements. You say the reason Beijing, with more highways, has a problem is because it has not banned enough cars early enough.

Congestion pricing, if planned correctly, is to set road pricing at a point such that drivers choose to take themselves off the roads at peak periods, while also raising revenue in the process. The heavy-handed bans may make people more likely to drive (My car's plate is banned from driving tomorrow, so I better drive on the unbanned days; I waited 5 years to be able to get the right to drive, I better take advantage of it).
Honestly, I don't think congestion pricing would solve Beijing's problems. I really don't know what would at this point. I'd think just the thought of driving in peak hour traffic in Beijing would be enough to keep people off the roads and on the subway, but obviously not. I'm just glad that Shanghai managed to avoid Beijing's traffic hell, without even the need to resorting to daily driving bans.

A lottery for a plate isn't a lottery to buy a car unless there are restricted areas in Beijing where out of province plates are completely banned (I'm not entirely familiar with Beijing's license plate restrictions, so I don't know if such areas exist or not). You can always get a plate from another province, as I have - my car doesn't have a Shanghai plate but rather an Anhui plate, and out of province plates are very common here in Shanghai. The restrictions from driving on the elevated roads during peaks hours don't bother me at all, considering I'd never want to drive at peak hours anyway - the Metro is far faster and more convenient for peak hour travel.
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  #2277  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 10:25 AM
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Honestly, I don't think congestion pricing would solve Beijing's problems. I really don't know what would at this point. I'd think just the thought of driving in peak hour traffic in Beijing would be enough to keep people off the roads and on the subway, but obviously not. I'm just glad that Shanghai managed to avoid Beijing's traffic hell, without even the need to resorting to daily driving bans.

A lottery for a plate isn't a lottery to buy a car unless there are restricted areas in Beijing where out of province plates are completely banned (I'm not entirely familiar with Beijing's license plate restrictions, so I don't know if such areas exist or not). You can always get a plate from another province, as I have - my car doesn't have a Shanghai plate but rather an Anhui plate, and out of province plates are very common here in Shanghai. The restrictions from driving on the elevated roads during peaks hours don't bother me at all, considering I'd never want to drive at peak hours anyway - the Metro is far faster and more convenient for peak hour travel.
Non-Beijing plates will need to get a permit to drive in Beijing, and the permit is only valid for 7 days. You can only get 12 permits per year. You need a Beijing plate unless you only plan to drive less than 3 months per year.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20180...f8f59d362.html
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  #2278  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 12:10 PM
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I know that nobody is suggesting we follow what China is doing, but clearly people in the US wouldn't support these sort of heavy handed Communist policies whether they work or not.
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  #2279  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 1:26 PM
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Non-Beijing plates will need to get a permit to drive in Beijing, and the permit is only valid for 7 days. You can only get 12 permits per year. You need a Beijing plate unless you only plan to drive less than 3 months per year.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20180...f8f59d362.html
Ugh. Just another reason to be glad I don't live in Beijing.
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  #2280  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2019, 3:04 PM
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I am surprised you think congestion pricing for cars entering lower Manhattan should be spent on a bridge from Connecticut to Long Island.
That's not what I was agreeing with. This was:

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Step 1 is to triple the federal gas tax though. Its almost pointless to discuss this issue until that is done.
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