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Highway Demand Assessment

Automated query of the citizenry
 
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

They say "money talks". Well, I think taxes could be utilized for a highly effective form of communication.

On tax forms, each person is queried on any two zip codes they would like to see improved traffic flow between. The responses are tabulated year after year, entered into a computer, and the information is used to decided where to put in new roads or expand existing ones.

The software would crunch the numbers and display a map, with the roads desires weighted. A road connection from LA to New York would have less weight than a road between New York and Boston, because the dollars would be spread over a smaller distance.

It would remember year-over-year data, recommend the most prioritized new roads to build, and see if the new roads, once open, alter the demand.

With any luck, straighter, thicker roads can be built connecting the cities previous connected by twistier, less efficient roads. Don't get me wrong, scenic routes are great, but when you're zoomin along a highway at 70, you're not doing it for the scenery. And less stop&start/turns people need to make as they are getting where they are going means less pollution.

Finally, on a year like this, people would be inspired to select routes that improve evacuation from hurricane-afflicted areas.

I might choose to select a route from Galveston to Killeen for expansion this year, despite never having to drive there, myself. Why? Because there's lotsa military stuff at Killeen, and it's plenty inland to be safe. It'd speed evac and relief.

Alternatively, I'd pick a route suggesting by some pundit or politician that accomplishes the same task. At any rate, people's priorities would be able to be acertained and answered.

Madai, Sep 26 2005

[link]






       And the winning zip codes would get a new mass transit system...?   

       Otherwise, fishbone for building more roads.
DrCurry, Sep 26 2005
  

       When I see "mass transit" I think stuff other than cars. This will mostly be highways. Because, like it or not, people have cars.   

       //Otherwise, fishbone for building more roads.//   

       More roads will be built whether this idea is implemented or not. And some of those roads will be useless and silly. But, I'm amazed you can say "fishbone for building more roads" after the 100-mile-long traffic jams caused by Houston's evacuation.   

       I don't understand your angle. Environmentalism doesn't cut it, cars idling in traffic does mother nature no favors whatsoever.
Madai, Sep 27 2005
  

       [DrC], everything you buy, except your utilities, comes by road.
My local authority has just completed its own unique take on this notion. They used local taxpayers' money to conduct a survey which showed that around 0.5% of people use motorcycles, 1% use cycles, 12% use buses, 25% walk and 62% use cars. They then took the transport budget and allocated it so that around 0.5% went for secure motorcycle parking, 1% for cycle lanes, 12% for bus stops, 25% for pedestrian crossings and suchlike, and 62% on speed limits, traffic calming and car-free zones.
angel, Sep 27 2005
  

       Heh. 92101 to 96830
Zimmy, Sep 27 2005
  

       //92101 to 96830//   

       you'd probably need over 50% of the population to agree to get THAT road built, Zimmy.
Madai, Sep 28 2005
  

       Hey, *I'd* pay to see that one!
angel, Sep 28 2005
  

       You'd pay to *see* it, but would you ever drive on it? It'd probably take you over 40 hours, and over $100 in gas even with a hybrid. I'd rather fly it, too much road time.
Madai, Sep 29 2005
  

       I voted for this idea before I wrote against it! LOL Anyway great idea except for having to do the income tax form. I'd rather have a flat rate tax and eliminate those assessors and accountants needlessly sucking us all drier. You could tie the "survey" to property tax bills. Unfortunately my rural road would stand a far lesser chance of improvement unless we had a hurricane type catastrophy wipe us out. As long as we can eliminate the possiblity of pork spending on billion dollar bridges to 50 people on an island in Alaska!
Willie333, Sep 29 2005
  
      
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