Re: AltInst: Road tolls would centralize cities

From: <>
Date: Thu Sep 03 1998 - 16:18:17 PDT

In a message dated 9/3/98 6:28:55 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

"There's no reason to create a massive inconvenience by the toll-collection
 system, when there's a perfectly sensible alternative to charging tolls:"
 "Gasoline taxes."
 "If gasoline taxes were increased to account for the *total* cost of
 driving (road maintenence/construction, atmospheric pollution,
 environmental destruction due to "sprawl", etc.), people would, to
 reduce their gasoline expenditures, voluntarily move back into
 the cities."

I spent three weeks in China and Hong Kong this summer experiencing the
shortcomings of the Chinese transportation system. They use tolls on the less
congested highways, or maybe that is why they are less congested. They allow
bicycles to compete freely with cars, and most people use them in the big
cities. In Beijing there is a surplus of Taxis, particularly in the last four
years, so you have taxi and bus traffic jams. Bikes contribute to congestion,
but the real problem is unregulated taxi growth. People on bikes move around
faster than autos during peak hours, but there are traffic jams all day long
in some parts of the city. Shanghai is a lot like Beijing.

The air is bad news, particularly as they are just starting to try to get the
lead out. They are starting to design propane supplements to cars fuel systems
so as to eliminate the need for leaded fuels.

Hong Kong has opted for modern transportation, buses, subways, some taxis, and
elevated people movers (really nice). Nobody needs to ride a bike in Hong
Kong. Hong Kong is the best solution, the cleanest air, and the fastest way to
get around. It is a thoroughly modern city. For developed cities with a high
population density, the best alternative is a variety of mass transit
solutions. There is no freedom like not having to own a car. The buses burn
kerosene so they do not pollute as much as in China.

The Hong Kong solution of connecting remote areas by rail (subway) allows you
live in the territories and go downtown for dinner or to see play, or to
visit anyone you like within about thirty minutes. They use rail to bring
people in and buses and taxis to get around locally. They also do a lot of
walking and stay in shape.

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Received on Thu Sep 3 23:23:44 1998

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