Austin’s New Toll Lanes

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 16, 2012 8:02 PM GMT
    Pretty cool if it works...

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/10/16/austins-new-toll-lanes/

    Traffic in Austin is a mess, mainly because the city is long and linear (east-west travel is made difficult by the topography). In increasingly long rush hours, traffic barely moves on either north-south freeway. To solve the problem, the city is adding one lane in each direction to one freeway, but there will be tolls on that lane. Moreover, the tolls will be variable — but not by time of day or day of week. They will vary with traffic speed, rising when the average speed in the lane drops below 50 mph. Pretty neat — peak-load pricing taken to its logical extreme. The technology that makes this possible is fairly recent. And it’s a good example of how technical improvements raise well-being — in this case, allowing those whose value of time is high to substitute money for their time and reducing congestion on the “free” lanes for the rest of us.
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:43 PM GMT
    Hmmm, I see a problem with the variable-rate speed calculator. Imagine trying to encourage that little old lady to go faster to avoid paying a higher toll...not exactly the best idea.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Oct 16, 2012 9:45 PM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidHmmm, I see a problem with the variable-rate speed calculator. Imagine trying to encourage that little old lady to go faster to avoid paying a higher toll...not exactly the best idea.


    That was my first thought too. Impeding traffic tickets would have to be heavily enforced in that lane.
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:50 PM GMT
    Speed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:53 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich.


    Just like the new Beltway express lanes here. Which are crazy. It takes a user guide to figure them out. Toll that is completely unclear. EZPass required, or EZPass flex if you want to do HOV3 for free, but only VA issues those and they're new and require you to flip a special switch. And the list of which exits at which you can get on or off, and those where you can only go one direction, is ungodly.

    What a mess.

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    Oct 16, 2012 9:55 PM GMT
    showme said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich.


    Just like the new Beltway express lanes here. Which are crazy. It takes a user guide to figure them out. Toll that is completely unclear. EZPass required, or EZPass flex if you want to do HOV3 for free, but only VA issues those and they're new and require you to flip a special switch. And the list of which exits at which you can get on or off, and those where you can only go one direction, is ungodly.

    What a mess.


    Only the poor drive on highways in DC area. icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:56 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 said
    showme said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich.


    Just like the new Beltway express lanes here. Which are crazy. It takes a user guide to figure them out. Toll that is completely unclear. EZPass required, or EZPass flex if you want to do HOV3 for free, but only VA issues those and they're new and require you to flip a special switch. And the list of which exits at which you can get on or off, and those where you can only go one direction, is ungodly.

    What a mess.


    Only the poor drive on highways in DC area. icon_wink.gif


    Cuz the rich folks take the bus? icon_confused.gif
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:58 PM GMT
    showme said
    Caslon21000 said
    showme said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich.


    Just like the new Beltway express lanes here. Which are crazy. It takes a user guide to figure them out. Toll that is completely unclear. EZPass required, or EZPass flex if you want to do HOV3 for free, but only VA issues those and they're new and require you to flip a special switch. And the list of which exits at which you can get on or off, and those where you can only go one direction, is ungodly.

    What a mess.


    Only the poor drive on highways in DC area. icon_wink.gif


    Cuz the rich folks take the bus? icon_confused.gif

    Cuz we live close to where we work and don't do highways.
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:58 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 said
    showme said
    Caslon21000 said
    showme said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich.


    Just like the new Beltway express lanes here. Which are crazy. It takes a user guide to figure them out. Toll that is completely unclear. EZPass required, or EZPass flex if you want to do HOV3 for free, but only VA issues those and they're new and require you to flip a special switch. And the list of which exits at which you can get on or off, and those where you can only go one direction, is ungodly.

    What a mess.


    Only the poor drive on highways in DC area. icon_wink.gif


    Cuz the rich folks take the bus? icon_confused.gif

    Cuz we live close to where we work and don't do highways.


    Lol. Fer some of us, I guess.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:03 PM GMT
    showme said
    Caslon21000 said
    showme said
    Caslon21000 said
    showme said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich.


    Just like the new Beltway express lanes here. Which are crazy. It takes a user guide to figure them out. Toll that is completely unclear. EZPass required, or EZPass flex if you want to do HOV3 for free, but only VA issues those and they're new and require you to flip a special switch. And the list of which exits at which you can get on or off, and those where you can only go one direction, is ungodly.

    What a mess.


    Only the poor drive on highways in DC area. icon_wink.gif


    Cuz the rich folks take the bus? icon_confused.gif

    Cuz we live close to where we work and don't do highways.


    Lol. Fer some of us, I guess.

    The highways are insane in the DC AREA!!! Traffic rules your life if you go out on them. I've never heard of the new system you are taking about. For me, a red light is a bad traffic day!
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:06 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 said

    The highways are insane in the DC AREA!!! Traffic rules your life if you go out on them. I've never heard of the new system you are taking about. For me, a red light is a bad traffic day!


    They've been building them for a couple of years in Virginia. That, plus the Silver Line construction, have made an ongoing mess at I-66 and the Beltway.

    https://www.495expresslanes.com/
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:09 PM GMT
    Well out here in Houston we have a pretty fast toll road system. It works great I think! Specially the HOV lane that moves from down town to The Woodlands. It sucks when an idiot is in front of you going 40mph
    When they can easily drive 70 mph at least. But ATX does need some fixing. Specially on I-35!
  • jock_1

    Posts: 1491

    Oct 16, 2012 10:12 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?


    Probably, its stimulus just like the free phones for the poor. Nice try on your left minded spin on life
  • mr_bijae

    Posts: 229

    Oct 16, 2012 10:18 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?


    Yes, this would be on a pre-existing TAX FUNDED highway. It's the road called MoPac. The land to build this stretch of road was purchased from the Missouri Pacific Railway to solve the traffic congestions of that period.

    San Diego is the only city I know that built a bridge and charged a toll for crossing it until the bridge was paid for. They tried to keep the toll in place, but kept their original agreement and the toll booths went down when the Coronado bridge was paid off.

    Texas and Taxes are only one typo different from one another ;-)
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
    jock_1 said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?


    Probably, its stimulus just like the free phones for the poor. Nice try on your left minded spin on life

    No, I think this benefits the rich cuz they can afford to pay the toll. The poor have to wait in traffic.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:21 PM GMT
    showme said
    Caslon21000 said

    The highways are insane in the DC AREA!!! Traffic rules your life if you go out on them. I've never heard of the new system you are taking about. For me, a red light is a bad traffic day!


    They've been building them for a couple of years in Virginia. That, plus the Silver Line construction, have made an ongoing mess at I-66 and the Beltway.

    https://www.495expresslanes.com/

    I haven't driven on the highways to commute for years. My first question for a job caller is where is the job located. I only do Alex and Arl. Crystal City is ideal.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:27 PM GMT
    I freaked out when I exited the airport onto I-130. I passed a toll offramp and freaked out. I backed up about 50 feet on the side of the road. Luckily only one truck was behind me and then I paid my toll. Not used to these toll roads since I'm from southern cal. I of course didn't find traffic in Austin to be bad at all comparatively.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:40 PM GMT
    mr_bijae said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?


    Yes, this would be on a pre-existing TAX FUNDED highway. It's the road called MoPac. The land to build this stretch of road was purchased from the Missouri Pacific Railway to solve the traffic congestions of that period.

    San Diego is the only city I know that built a bridge and charged a toll for crossing it until the bridge was paid for. They tried to keep the toll in place, but kept their original agreement and the toll booths went down when the Coronado bridge was paid off.

    Texas and Taxes are only one typo different from one another ;-)


    Here in Houston (Harris county) the beltway. Was at first a tax funded hwy. Until it was paid off by the toll road fees. It was ment to have the toll until the hwy was paid in full and complete. Well it's been 20 years since it started and two months since it was "completed". And the tolls are still there and will be there since they changed their minds!

  • NashRugger

    Posts: 1089

    Oct 16, 2012 10:46 PM GMT
    They already use them on I-95 in Miami-Dade County, with varying rates based on traffic conditions. FDOT calls them HOT lanes and I do know GDOT is going to be iimplementing them in metro Atlanta soon if they already haven't.
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    Oct 16, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?


    Makes me think of the I-95 express vs regular I-95 in Miami-Ft Laud.. The toll signs were electronic with 25 cents as the price but I'm guessing that can change as needed..... not sure.... just went into that area this past week and it was terrible traffic and confusing as hell.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Oct 16, 2012 11:44 PM GMT
    so to fix the lack of major streets that allow people to travel east-west, they're going to charge you to drive north-south because mopac and 35 are crowded?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 17, 2012 12:29 AM GMT
    The HOV lanes around here don't work because they are the center lane. When someone in the HOV lane wants to exit, they have to stop and try to worm their way across the other lanes, which backs everything up even more than it was to begin with.

    One in Seattle works better because it's for through-traffic. No exits, no merging, just move on by.
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    Oct 17, 2012 4:12 AM GMT
    mr_bijae said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?


    Yes, this would be on a pre-existing TAX FUNDED highway. It's the road called MoPac. The land to build this stretch of road was purchased from the Missouri Pacific Railway to solve the traffic congestions of that period.

    San Diego is the only city I know that built a bridge and charged a toll for crossing it until the bridge was paid for. They tried to keep the toll in place, but kept their original agreement and the toll booths went down when the Coronado bridge was paid off.

    Texas and Taxes are only one typo different from one another ;-)


    JACKSONVILLE ALSO. ALL THE TOLL BRIDGES ACROSS THE RIVERS FINALLY WENT FREE.
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    Oct 17, 2012 4:23 AM GMT
    We have so many toll roads in Northern VA/DC and they're really expensive (increasing every year) but we never experience the crazy carmaggedon like in L.A or Austin. We also have fast lanes except I think you need 3 or more passengers in a vehicle or it probably costs more than $5, not sure which option.
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    Oct 17, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    NakedBudd said
    mr_bijae said
    Caslon21000 saidSpeed lane for the rich. Is this lane paid for with everybody's taxes?


    Yes, this would be on a pre-existing TAX FUNDED highway. It's the road called MoPac. The land to build this stretch of road was purchased from the Missouri Pacific Railway to solve the traffic congestions of that period.

    San Diego is the only city I know that built a bridge and charged a toll for crossing it until the bridge was paid for. They tried to keep the toll in place, but kept their original agreement and the toll booths went down when the Coronado bridge was paid off.

    Texas and Taxes are only one typo different from one another ;-)


    JACKSONVILLE ALSO. ALL THE TOLL BRIDGES ACROSS THE RIVERS FINALLY WENT FREE.


    The two bridges across the Columbia upstream from me (20 miles and 35 miles) went free as soon as they were payed off. The two downstream (8 and 30 miles) are the crappiest ones on the river, but they still charge tolls decades after they were payed off, because they can. Whada ya gonna do? Drive an hour out of your way? Ash holes.