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So uh..Austin Subway*, Light Rail Expansions and $3.2 - $10.2 Billion

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9 hours ago, Texas Jeff said:
On 1/28/2020 at 9:14 PM, TexasEd said:

Washington DC Metro Area.  Don't laugh.  They have some of the worst traffic in the nation but...

They have significant commuter traffic on metro rail (subway) and buses.  In addition the HOV strategy that in some areas consists of dedicated direction changing lanes that are not tolled also created an informal ride sharing program at certain parking lots to fill cars to the 3 person requirement to use HOV.  People or SLUGs (Self Loading Uninvited Guests) line up at parking lot and get into the next car that lines up only asking which dropoff they are going to (Pentagon, Crystal City, etc.) and in the evening they pick people up from bus lines going the other way.

This is a great idea.  Think about our current single car commuter situation like this -- we are probably using 25% of the available seats to move people up and down Mopac.  The other 75% of the seats are mostly empty.

If there was an economic incentive to fill those seats, we could dramatically reduce traffic tomorrow without spending a dime.  

 

Economic incentive is the key here.

You can tell a lot about the motives of a project by what they are incentivizing.

In the HOV model you give special treatment to cars that have multiple passengers.  The incentive is to carpool to get special treatment this shows a commitment to reducing traffic and emissions.

The current projects and plans do nothing to create incentive for ride share (maybe a little if tolls are very high) but a car with 3 passengers has no advantage over a car with 1.  They all crawl at the same pace in the toll lanes. The trade is $ for a faster lane/route and if the toll is not high enough it may be the same pace as regular traffic.  The incentive is revenue not reducing traffic.

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22 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

Economic incentive is the key here.

You can tell a lot about the motives of a project by what they are incentivizing.

In the HOV model you give special treatment to cars that have multiple passengers.  The incentive is to carpool to get special treatment this shows a commitment to reducing traffic and emissions.

The current projects and plans do nothing to create incentive for ride share (maybe a little if tolls are very high) but a car with 3 passengers has no advantage over a car with 1.  They all crawl at the same pace in the toll lanes. The trade is $ for a faster lane/route and if the toll is not high enough it may be the same pace as regular traffic.  The incentive is revenue not reducing traffic.

Uh, yeah, I'm gonna have to go ahead and sorta disagree with you there Bob (or Ed) about tolls.  

High tolls/taxes are the best way to encourage ride sharing and buses.  Congestion arises because demand for roadway exceeds supply at peak times and there is no price mechanism to discourage single passenger trips.  We can't pay a higher price, so we are forced to pay with our time, by waiting, like soviets in line for bread.  

If the government placed a high tax/toll on all lanes during rush hour (e.g., $100), commuters would start taking buses, trains, private van ride-shares, etc. en masse.  Sure, the uber-wealthly would still commute in their Mercedes, but they would have a negligible impact on congestion.  

Of course, this is a logistical and economic solution to congestion, but not a political one.  Voters/drivers wouldn't stand for it.  We'd rather pay with our time than our wallet.  

Edited by bschoolprof

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48 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

The current projects and plans do nothing to create incentive for ride share (maybe a little if tolls are very high) but a car with 3 passengers has no advantage over a car with 1.  They all crawl at the same pace in the toll lanes. 

It seems like eliminating 75% of the cars on the road, by switching from single occupant to single occupant + 3 passengers, would be an incentive.

I do see what you are saying, though.

CTRMA is not going to offer HOV discounts, because it cuts into their profits. If everyone in the toll lane decided to start ride sharing, the demand on the toll lane would decrease, and those tolls/profits are set by demand. So it is counter intuitive to their corporate goal to actually reduce demand.

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CTRMA CEO, Mike H. just resigned yesterday.  He's saying he's moving on to explore other opportunities.  

Stay tuned for why he's full of shit.  

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15 minutes ago, Lobo said:

CTRMA CEO, Mike H. just resigned yesterday.  He's saying he's moving on to explore other opportunities.  

Stay tuned for why he's full of shit.  

That's a bummer. Their last 2 projects, 45 SW and 183 South have gone really well. 

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Btw, what’s the timeline for 183 South? Am getting tired of using 130 to get down to the airport from Brushy Creek. I don’t mind paying the tolls for the convenience either.

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2 hours ago, Armybrat said:

Btw, what’s the timeline for 183 South? Am getting tired of using 130 to get down to the airport from Brushy Creek. I don’t mind paying the tolls for the convenience either.

The south section should be open by September. The last major pieces that they are currently all working on are the rebuild of the SB frontage bridge over the Colorado, overpass bridge by the strip club, and new mainlane bridge over Boggy Creek. The boggy creek bridge is what could possibly hold them up since they are still demolishing the old one.  That being said, I don't think the work will be done on the 71 section until the end of the year because they have a lot of bridge work still to do.

 

I know a lot of you guys aren't this Far East but if you do checkout 183 South I hope you realize that CTRMA has learned how to build highways after the mopac mess and Austin is in good hands if they are handling the project.  I forgot to mention that one of the 290/130 ramps opened 6 months ahead of schedule.

Edited by Pasken

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I have read that the contractors on the project have been working like gangbusters over there.

Hope the same goes for the 130 expansion project - which I think is already going to be inadequate. That region will be the next to grow exponentially just because of the cheaper raw land prices.

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12 minutes ago, Armybrat said:

I have read that the contractors on the project have been working like gangbusters over there.

Hope the same goes for the 130 expansion project - which I think is already going to be inadequate. That region will be the next to grow exponentially just because of the cheaper raw land prices.

The 130 widening is overseen by Txdot so I don't know how that is going. CTRMA is just doing to the 3 elevated ramps connecting 290 and 130. CTRMA changed it's philosophy after the Mopac debacle to offer financial incentives for finishing early instead of penalties for being late. They learned that the contractor will just be late and let you sue them. They also changed the requirements for reporting from their contractors to make sure they are staying on schedule which is why 45 SW, 183 South and the 290/130 direct connectors have gone so well.  TxDot is not going to offer the same incentives for finishing early unless it's a high profile project.

Also, they can only widen 130 so much because the median is reserved for future high speed rail connecting Dallas,Ft. Worth, Hillsboro, Waco, Temple, Taylor, Austin, San Antonio with the Valley.   Time from Dallas to San Antonio would be 2 hours. There is no funding for that but the ROW is there. The goal is for the high speed rail line to connect to regular diesel trains running up to Oklahoma City and down to Monterrey Mexico.

Edited by Pasken

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10 hours ago, bschoolprof said:

Uh, yeah, I'm gonna have to go ahead and sorta disagree with you there Bob (or Ed) about tolls.  

High tolls/taxes are the best way to encourage ride sharing and buses.  Congestion arises because demand for roadway exceeds supply at peak times and there is no price mechanism to discourage single passenger trips.  We can't pay a higher price, so we are forced to pay with our time, by waiting, like soviets in line for bread.  

If the government placed a high tax/toll on all lanes during rush hour (e.g., $100), commuters would start taking buses, trains, private van ride-shares, etc. en masse.  Sure, the uber-wealthly would still commute in their Mercedes, but they would have a negligible impact on congestion.  

Of course, this is a logistical and economic solution to congestion, but not a political one.  Voters/drivers wouldn't stand for it.  We'd rather pay with our time than our wallet.  

What this man said. 

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7 hours ago, Pasken said:

Also, they can only widen 130 so much because the median is reserved for future high speed rail connecting Dallas,Ft. Worth, Hillsboro, Waco, Temple, Taylor, Austin, San Antonio with the Valley.   Time from Dallas to San Antonio would be 2 hours. There is no funding for that but the ROW is there. The goal is for the high speed rail line to connect to regular diesel trains running up to Oklahoma City and down to Monterrey Mexico.

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1 hour ago, Biff Tannen said:

Well I’m stuck on 35 north because there is a car on fire and the upper deck is closed. Where’s my damn gondola?

i understand the physics of how a car can catch on fire, but, how the fuck does a car catch on fire?  it's 2020!

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On 2/13/2020 at 7:11 PM, elfenix said:

i understand the physics of how a car can catch on fire, but, how the fuck does a car catch on fire?  it's 2020!

Used refurbished Galaxy Note batteries

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Looking to invest in some Austin area real estate (not involving Nate Paul).
Anyone know where to look to see where the politically connected have recently concentrated property purchases?

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