Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

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Cugel
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Cugel » 13 Nov 2019, 4:46pm

amaferanga wrote:
pwa wrote:
amaferanga wrote:
The cheap/expensive parking issue is easily resolved - abolish free parking.

I can see why you say that, but it was considered at a town close to where i live and it had to be abandoned due to the uproar. One problem was that in small towns there is lots of potential street parking a short walk from the shops, so charging in the centre could put the town centre parking on nearby residential streets making life a misery for people who live there. My Mum lives on a street like that.


I should have been clearer. All car parking in towns and cities should either be resident only (with a modest annual fee) or pay and display (with exemptions or reduced rates for folk with reduced mobility).

Out of town shopping centres should also be required to charge for car parking.


Residents don't own the road outside their house. Why should they not pay for parking on it? Better still, why not forbid parking of private vehicles altogether on public roads?

If I buy or rent a house with it's own parking space off-road then that's a cost. It's also a cost when I pay my (considerable) taxes, rates et al, a portion of which is for public roads. I don't - particularly as a cyclist - want the public roads littered with cars that reduce the road width and make it more dangerous for cycling, especially when a parked numpty decides to fling his door open into my bike. When in most towns, one has the choice of riding in the door zone or riding at a car coming the other way!

Someone will now tell us that the poor folk in terraced house and such, with no garden to ruin by turning it into a parking space, will be forced into "transport poverty" by a no-parking-on-public-roads policy. Cuh!

Cugel

PS No, I've never personally lived anywhere where I "had to" park a car on the road outside. No private car-space? No car.

irc
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby irc » 13 Nov 2019, 4:53pm

Cugel wrote:Residents don't own the road outside their house. Why should they not pay for parking on it? Better still, why not forbid parking of private vehicles altogether on public roads?


Try getting elected to your local council or as an MP with that policy and let us know how you get on. Car owners vote and like parking on roads. Special cases like main roads, obstruction etc can be dealt with using existing law.

pwa
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby pwa » 13 Nov 2019, 5:00pm

irc wrote:
Cugel wrote:Residents don't own the road outside their house. Why should they not pay for parking on it? Better still, why not forbid parking of private vehicles altogether on public roads?


Try getting elected to your local council or as an MP with that policy and let us know how you get on. Car owners vote and like parking on roads. Special cases like main roads, obstruction etc can be dealt with using existing law.

Exactly. Even if you never park on the road outside your own home I bet you do when you visit other people. You have no chance of getting the public to vote for a ban on parking on roads.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Ron » 13 Nov 2019, 8:34pm

pwa wrote:Exactly. Even if you never park on the road outside your own home I bet you do when you visit other people. You have no chance of getting the public to vote for a ban on parking on roads.

Car owners have become so used to freeloading over many years that changes can only take place gradually, charging for overnight parking on public roads would be a good start towards achieving a fairer system for all.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby pwa » 13 Nov 2019, 8:42pm

Ron wrote:
pwa wrote:Exactly. Even if you never park on the road outside your own home I bet you do when you visit other people. You have no chance of getting the public to vote for a ban on parking on roads.

Car owners have become so used to freeloading over many years that changes can only take place gradually, charging for overnight parking on public roads would be a good start towards achieving a fairer system for all.

That would be highly unpopular and therefore it will not happen.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Cugel » 13 Nov 2019, 10:21pm

pwa wrote:
Ron wrote:
pwa wrote:Exactly. Even if you never park on the road outside your own home I bet you do when you visit other people. You have no chance of getting the public to vote for a ban on parking on roads.

Car owners have become so used to freeloading over many years that changes can only take place gradually, charging for overnight parking on public roads would be a good start towards achieving a fairer system for all.

That would be highly unpopular and therefore it will not happen.


The question or policy of private car parking on public roads is a micro-example of the general problem we all currently face across the planet: how do we instigate or implement rapid major changes that seem absolutely necessary if we're not all to go to hell in the proverbial handcart.(The hell will be quite like the mythical one - lots of heat; biblical deluges; widespread death & destruction).

Personally I'm generally conservative (little "c") and distrust major changes because I like the familiar and am very wary of unintended consequences. But radical conservatism seems appropriate just now - major changes to avoid the most major change of the lot - possible extinction via the mother of all hurricanes that scours whole continents down to the bedrock!

But you're right to point out that such major changes, especially to all the little conveniences and comforts we humans have got used to, will be "highly unpopular". So ... are we just to sit back and assume such changes are impossible and that we had better ready ourselves for a journey to the hot place in that handcart? To be frank, I often think so.

Of course, car parking on public roads is indeed just a micro-micro version of this problem of our society of self-centered little skinbags being reluctant to give up anything at all. Still....

How about you? No change possible because, well, folks jes won' like it....? Yet all sorts of massive changes seem to have happened over the last 70 years of just my lifetime, with all sorts of requirements upon us skinbags to change our ways. Mind, these changes weren't really of our choosing ... were they .....? :-)

Cugel

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby pwa » 14 Nov 2019, 7:33am

Cugel wrote:
pwa wrote:
Ron wrote: Car owners have become so used to freeloading over many years that changes can only take place gradually, charging for overnight parking on public roads would be a good start towards achieving a fairer system for all.

That would be highly unpopular and therefore it will not happen.


The question or policy of private car parking on public roads is a micro-example of the general problem we all currently face across the planet: how do we instigate or implement rapid major changes that seem absolutely necessary if we're not all to go to hell in the proverbial handcart.(The hell will be quite like the mythical one - lots of heat; biblical deluges; widespread death & destruction).

Personally I'm generally conservative (little "c") and distrust major changes because I like the familiar and am very wary of unintended consequences. But radical conservatism seems appropriate just now - major changes to avoid the most major change of the lot - possible extinction via the mother of all hurricanes that scours whole continents down to the bedrock!

But you're right to point out that such major changes, especially to all the little conveniences and comforts we humans have got used to, will be "highly unpopular". So ... are we just to sit back and assume such changes are impossible and that we had better ready ourselves for a journey to the hot place in that handcart? To be frank, I often think so.

Of course, car parking on public roads is indeed just a micro-micro version of this problem of our society of self-centered little skinbags being reluctant to give up anything at all. Still....

How about you? No change possible because, well, folks jes won' like it....? Yet all sorts of massive changes seem to have happened over the last 70 years of just my lifetime, with all sorts of requirements upon us skinbags to change our ways. Mind, these changes weren't really of our choosing ... were they .....? :-)

Cugel

I think you and I both agree, in a general way, that it would be better for all of us if we could leave the car inactive for longer periods. And I do think we can gradually (because of cost) bring in changes that can be successfully "sold" to communities because they will see the benefits that will come from their sacrifices. An example of this is something we were talking about a day or two ago where I suggested that it is conceivable that a new bypass around a small town might be combined with measures within the centre of the community to impede through traffic and deflect traffic movement out onto the bypass. Speed limits could be reduced, traffic calming increased and life within the community generally made less affected by the negative impact of motor traffic. All as a package, the turning of a new leaf. I believe that would be sellable because it would be coherent and combined with a new road. It would have a clear vision that would appeal to people.

But such measures do have to be sold. We do not live in Fascist Italy with Mussolini there to tell us what must happen. If the public don't buy it nothing will happen. That is the price of democracy and we have to work with it. When someone suggests a radical measure, like charging for all on-road parking, I think how it would go down with a few reasonable people I know. Charging for all on-road parking, in my area, would go down like a lead balloon. So it won't happen. It is politically impossible so there is no point in thinking about it.
Last edited by pwa on 14 Nov 2019, 8:35am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Vorpal » 14 Nov 2019, 8:06am

The way to do it is not all at once, but gradually. Change the rules a little, ban parking on one side of the street, etc. Develop an area, then make some changes in surrounding areas to support it. If done right, people will grumble, but not scream about it. And they will find that their streets are more pleasant.

The area where I live in Norway has gradually made it harder and harder to park on the street. First, they banned street parking in areas where children play, including the road I live on. Then, they banned street parking on a number of bus routes, and most streets in the town centre. The streets where parking is still allowed, they extended the paid hours (it use to be free after 18:00, now it's free only after 20:30). Then they changed the parking on some of the streets around several schools, the council swimming & leisure centre, and some of the streets near shopping centres. There are fewer parking spaces, and they are all paid.

The whole area around the train station and bus terminal was pedestrianised 7 years ago. They replaced car parking with taxi stands, new bus stops, and cycle parking. A couple of years later, they closed the bridge closest to the station to private motor vehicles. Only buses, taxis, cyclists, and pedestrians use it, now. They recently took out another of the access roads, and replaced it with a pedestrian/cycle route that connects to a nearby school & the council swimming & leisure centre. The remaining access road had parking until a few weeks ago. They took out the parking and are installing a really nice (and much needed) segregated cycle track that connects to other facilities. There is still surface parking at the station, but it's about half as much as it used to be, and the price has gradually gone up, as well.

All of this results in that it's an expensive and time-consuming hassle to drive & park to catch the train. It's cheaper, and probably quicker to take the bus or cycle.

TBH, if they'd tried to get folks to approve that all in one go, I'm sure they'd have screamed about the parking. Instead, they grumbled and learned to take the bus or cycle to the station. Or have a partner drop them off on the way to work. Not only has it made the streets in the area around the station much more pleasant, but it has noticeably reduced the overall traffic in the city. They have had to add buses on some routes; the needed capacity has almost doubled on a couple of routes at peak times.
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Cugel
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Cugel » 14 Nov 2019, 1:06pm

Vorpal wrote:The way to do it is not all at once, but gradually. Change the rules a little, ban parking on one side of the street, etc. Develop an area, then make some changes in surrounding areas to support it. If done right, people will grumble, but not scream about it. And they will find that their streets are more pleasant.

(snip)


You're right, of course, that gradual changes are almost always more successful that rapid changes, especially if the change is drastic in its (eventual) effects on humans. But slow change is not always going to be successful. In particular, it won't be successful if wider and larger events make any such change moot, as a vast global change overwhelms everything that went before.

History is full of cases where delay and indecision has meant that all the reasonable options disappear, swallowed by a much larger event allowed to occur because of the delay and indecision. At present, we seem in a situation where an extremely large change is imminent (perhaps beyond the point where it can be stopped now). Private vehicle parking on public road space (and a hundred other current imbalances in how we live) may well become an irrelevance as large world events roll over us.

Governments really need to be radically-minded and in a mode that addresses these impending large events rather than in a mode that is revolutionary only in the service of some mad ideology such as the extant neoliberalism or its defunct reflection in the form of some hoary old version of Marxism. The issue is not how to best distribute the fruits of "growth" but how to stop that growth now it's become obvious its a cancer.

One way to practice the necessary radicalism required of governments would be to begin with small matter such as .... private car parking on public road space. That won't solve any of the big impending potentially disastrous changes now clearly on the horizon but it would get both government and citizens into a mindset where they can both accept the need for (and benefits of) rapid change to our self-damaging current habits of self-indulgence in a hundred bad habits.

***
Yes, I know there's no chance.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby mattheus » 14 Nov 2019, 1:28pm

Cugel wrote:***
Yes, I know there's no chance.

Cugel


Well maybe! (and the current lot squabbling like children in Westminster seem to have less balls to do anything risky than almost any generation we've ever had...)

But I still like to be optimistic - sometime modern govts and councils DO show leadership on these things. Look at the London congestion charge.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby horizon » 14 Nov 2019, 2:24pm

Vorpal wrote:The way to do it is not all at once, but gradually.
.


The fuel duty escalator was just that - a gradual increase so that people could adapt over (a long period of) time. In fact, not only has it not increased (even in line with inflation) but oil prices are now very low and petrol/diesel unbelievably cheap. It would also have meant that had the oil price risen sharply, the tax could have been cut back.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_Price_Escalator

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby horizon » 14 Nov 2019, 2:41pm

Interesting quote from this Wiki page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M11_link_road_protest

By 2014, the road had become the ninth most congested in the entire country


This road (the M11 link in east London) was opened in 1999.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby irc » 14 Nov 2019, 5:59pm

Ron wrote: Car owners have become so used to freeloading over many years.


What exactly is this freeloading you talk about? There isn't a magic money tree car owners are benefitting from. Any expenditure on roads come from taxes and car owners pay more tax than non car owners. The vast majority of households have cars around 80% I think so it is mainly car owners that pay for roads.

In the case of the estate I live in - it was built by a private developer in the 70s and the developer (and subsequent house owners) paid for the roads to be built. The side roads are all cul-de-sacs so carry only light car traffic apart from the odd delivery and the bin lorrys. So 50 years on they have not needed re-surfacing (almost all road damage is caused by HGVs). (They don't get gritted in winter, they don'y get swept. So where is the freeloading. We are using an asset which we built and paid for abeit it is now adopted by the council. Our rates cover the cost of street lighting which is the only road related expenditure by the council.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Mike Sales » 14 Nov 2019, 6:09pm

irc wrote:
Ron wrote: Car owners have become so used to freeloading over many years.


What exactly is this freeloading you talk about? There isn't a magic money tree car owners are benefitting from. Any expenditure on roads come from taxes and car owners pay more tax than non car owners. The vast majority of households have cars around 80% I think so it is mainly car owners that pay for roads.

In the case of the estate I live in - it was built by a private developer in the 70s and the developer (and subsequent house owners) paid for the roads to be built. The side roads are all cul-de-sacs so carry only light car traffic apart from the odd delivery and the bin lorrys. So 50 years on they have not needed re-surfacing (almost all road damage is caused by HGVs). (They don't get gritted in winter, they don'y get swept. So where is the freeloading. We are using an asset which we built and paid for abeit it is now adopted by the council. Our rates cover the cost of street lighting which is the only road related expenditure by the council.



The perennial complaint from drivers that they are excessively taxed has been challenged by a study which concludes that road accidents, pollution and noise connected to cars costs every EU citizen more than £600 a year.
The report by transport academics at the Dresden Technical University in Germany calculated that even with drivers' insurance contributions discounted these factors amounted to an annual total of €373bn (£303bn) across the 27 EU member states, or around 3% of the bloc's entire yearly GDP. This breaks down as €750 per man, woman and child.
The report recommends that such so-called externalities be factored into the cost of driving, noting that even the €373bn tally does not include costs from congestion or ill health caused by lack of exercise.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/25/car-pollution-noise-accidents-eu

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby irc » 14 Nov 2019, 7:00pm



That nonsense again. Firstly, it counts noise as a cost. Nobody pays for noise.
Secondly, as I said above most taxpayers are drivers who pay the cost of accidents through income tax etc.
Thirdly in my case I pay more than the quoted £600 a year in motoring taxes anyway. Fuel duty and VAT are about 70% of the pump price. Call it £5 a gallon. So £3.50 per gallon tax. 16k miles driving a year at 40mpg - £1400 tax, plus £280 excise duty = £1680 not counting insurance tax and VAT on servicing.

The article also mentions the cost of lack of exercise though strangely this along with noise is never counted as a cost for buses and trains. As Edmund King said
studies such as Becker's tended to be "based on the prejudices of those advocating the research


It only manages to claim drivers are subsidised by claiming motoring taxes don't count. Which is nonsense as the taxes are only paid because people choose to drive.

The authors argue that other motoring levies form part of the general tax pot and are no more reserved for the impact of cars than alcohol duties are reserved for healthcare or policing drink-fuelled disorder.