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Old 07-05-2009, 04:49 PM   #15
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This is going to be an unpopular statement, but the interstate highway system as it exists today just isn't a sustainable network. It's too expensive to maintain. We need it, but not as large as it currently exists. If we took some of those routes and made mass-transit (light and heavy rail) systems out of it, we could move a lot more people and goods a lot more economically.

After the $4 gas period, we're already seeing road-use fuel taxes slashed by the scale-back of gas purchases by the public. It'll be some time before we see that trend change.

It's an interesting problem.

Roger
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:37 PM   #16
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We take breaks at them often as they are easier to negotiate with the Airstream than exits are.
Spot on! We use rest areas/truck havens heavily, and it's certainly much safer than 6 or 8 lane road crossings you have to adventure through in some places. Most rest areas have designated pet walks, which you don't always find welcomed at gas stations or restaraunts. We actually plan our trips around stopping at rest areas, sometimes even filling fuel cans so we can top off at a rest area rather than a station.

I frequently drive from Atlanta to Augusta. This trip east of Atlanta is 140 miles with 1 open rest area (at ~40th mile) and exits at least every 10 miles. I have not yet made a trip either way where someone wasn't stopped on the shoulder, relieving themselves at the treeline around the 90th mile. It would be a great place for a new rest area.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
This is going to be an unpopular statement, but the interstate highway system as it exists today just isn't a sustainable network. It's too expensive to maintain. We need it, but not as large as it currently exists. If we took some of those routes and made mass-transit (light and heavy rail) systems out of it, we could move a lot more people and goods a lot more economically.

After the $4 gas period, we're already seeing road-use fuel taxes slashed by the scale-back of gas purchases by the public. It'll be some time before we see that trend change.

It's an interesting problem.

Roger

Hear Hear! I have always thought it would be interesting to convert half of the interstate to a rail right of way IIRC a standard double line rail right of way is usually around 90' plus or minus 10'. Interstates are close to that if not more in some areas.

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Old 07-05-2009, 06:09 PM   #18
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This is what NYS decided to do for it's campers. Would they have paid a few bucks more to keep all the facilities open....we would.

They even used a photo of our favorite site at Poplar Point.

DEC Revises Campground Closure Plan - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Our legislature at work....


N.Y. Senate Deadlock in 21st Day as Clock Ticks on Legislation - Bloomberg.com
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:32 PM   #19
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After the $4 gas period, we're already seeing road-use fuel taxes slashed by the scale-back of gas purchases by the public. It'll be some time before we see that trend change.
Roger
speaking of taxes..... since they're not maintaining roads like before and now they want folks to "go" in the bushes, rest on the shoulder and use their cell phones to try to locate a patrol officer, just where are our 'road' taxes going and can i get a refund?
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:34 PM   #20
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speaking of taxes..... since they're not maintaining roads like before and now they want folks to "go" in the bushes, rest on the shoulder and use their cell phones to try to locate a patrol officer, just where are our 'road' taxes going and can i get a refund?
The road system has been over extended and the amount coming from taxes has decreased. Kind of like buying a huge house when you are in your prime earning years and then trying to maintain it on a social security income. Also people forget that asphalt is a petroleum product and when crude goes up the cost of materials to build and repair roads goes up to, so the tax dollar doesn't go as far.

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Old 07-05-2009, 07:58 PM   #21
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Not only are rest stops disappearing, but so are public campgrounds. In western Colorado the Forest Service started closing campgrounds a year or two ago, or in few places turning them over to private contractors. Whenever public land is turned over to private contractors, fees go up. Maybe they'll start charging for rest stops too. As state parks are closed, they will probably turn some over to private contractors too. By having Resort America do the reservations, they are partly there. $8 to make a reservation does not go down well. Some states have tried to charge tolls on interstates. Fees for national parks have increased considerably in recent years and visits to them have dropped ever since. The destination parks, like Yellowstone, still get plenty of visitors, but the smaller ones get less.

As it gets more and more expensive to travel, fewer will. This means that small businesses along the highways and at destinations will have a smaller and smaller share of travel money and they will close too. Small towns will feel an effect of this also.

Countries that have an efficient and low cost transportation system thrive. Letting the US passenger railroad system and the intercity trolley lines disappear was a serious policy (or lack of policy) mistake. The interstate system was necessary to replace it. Do you remember what it was like to travel cross country on two lane highways?—stuck behind 18 wheelers (and now RV's) for miles and miles, trying to pass on occasion. If it gets difficult to travel on interstates, all sorts of costs increase along with that. If you let the interstate system further decline with nothing to replace it, what then? Do you think this country is going to spend hundreds of billions on a good rail network? Do you think the fares would be low enough for everyone to use it?

At one time it was considered good for society to have parks that were taxpayer supported, not fee supported. Providing recreational opportunities for everyone was a benefit to all. Parks have not kept up with population growth and are more crowded as opportunity for recreation decreases.

During the last generation, policy has changed. Fees are charged for all sorts of things that never were before. Roads are deteriorating. Parks and rest stops are closing. Funds are grudgingly provided for rail service, but never enough, a recipe for failure. The population of the US has more than doubled in my lifetime, but in the meantime infrastructure has not kept pace. We are falling further and further behind. We may have alfready fallen far enough behind, we cannot recover. We may in future years look back at the mid 20th Century as the Golden Age of America, and then long decline began—or has begun.

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Old 07-05-2009, 08:09 PM   #22
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What About The Big Rigs

Every rest stop that I have stopped at has had truckers who were taking their required rest, what will the truckers do now? Will they now be on the road, tired and pissed off because they can't find a rest stop that is open. There are enough trucks on the road now as it is, now they will be tired and pulling over where ever they can find space, making an overall dangerous situation for everyone.

We all use the rest stops for the same reasons that the truckers do. It is a shame that the states are in the situation they are in (most of them self imposed situations). Maybe some of that shovel-ready money the government seems to have, could be spent on the american public for a change. If we don't complain, it will get worse. Maybe we as a forum could figure out a way to voice our concern to our respective states.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:33 PM   #23
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We may in future years look back at the mid 20th Century as the Golden Age of America, and then long decline began—or has begun.

This is true on every subject of politics and the economy. And obvious for over twenty years.

Fuel tax revenue has been flat since 1993. Obviously, the need to raise that tax is paramount. Cars, trucks, buses, etc need to pay their own way as it reduces hidden subsidies. (We would, in fact, be best off to have transportation costs be transparent, to see what costs what . . . somewhat different than direct taxation). I'm more than a little tired of anti-tax screeds which are masques for private greed.

A government that cuts services for the majority to benefit a favored few has not long to justify it's legitimacy.

Public rest areas are cheap, dirt cheap as are the entire system of state and national parks and the attendant services to the traveler. The benefit cannot be overstated for a population that must constantly move (by generation) to ensure opportunity for their families.

What elected representative stands for Americans?
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:03 PM   #24
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Ironic because many rest stops were built by government programs during the Great Depression.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:08 AM   #25
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On the bright side . . .

Overseas caravans will soon become unnecessary as the U.S.A. continues to devolve into a genuine third-world country; we are well on our way today. In 20 years, it may be more challenging to caravan across the U.S.A. than from Capetown to Cairo in the good old days. On the positive side, think of the Adventure!
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:56 AM   #26
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Isn't this always the way for our Fed, State and Local govt's to get the public's 'attention' as tax revenues decline, and they can't fund all their pet 'goodies' and demonstrate their need to spend more of OUR money!

They almost always cut back on these kinds of 'services' that they know will arouse public outrage; closing parks, campgrounds, boat ramps, road maintenance and improvements, rest stops, etc....which for the most part almost always pay their own way (and then some) through their 'use' fees!

And then we hear the same old cries form the politicians..."If you'll just vote for more increases in taxes, and fees, we could restore these services..."

BULL Bleep! No matter how much money we send our governments, they find a way to spend far more...they vote themselves annual increases in wages, pensions, health plans, etc...and then when the economy has a 'hiccup', and tax revenues are down, they still want to hit us for MORE...enough, I say!
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:27 AM   #27
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It would be nice if some of the big truck stops could put in an area just for RV's. Something nice with grass picnic tabels and tree. Set it to the side away from all the trucks and cars. A place where you could pay a small fee and hook up to electricity for a short period of time. I don't don't know if some do because I always take the same route when I go camping. Free for 2 hours, x amount up to 4 hours and x amount for up to 8 hours max. They could have a equipment at each site where you could slide your card to pay for 8 hours of rest. Just food for thought.

I like to walk my dogs and know I could just gas up and leave. I am terrible driver about staying awake. I always pull over to rest stops and take power naps. Something about the lines in the road put me to sleep.


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Old 07-06-2009, 09:20 AM   #28
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Took the hubby to the airport for an early flight in Asheville NC at 4:00AM and passed both the east/west rest areas on I-26 and there were at least 30 big rigs and a handful of RVs. Also passed other 18-wheelers parked anywhere they could pull off the freeway, because the rest area was full!

Maybe we should start parking in the empty city/county parking lots at night!
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