Re: How to end traffic congestion

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From: Carey Lening (
Date: Mon Mar 06 2000 - 13:55:41 PST

I quoteth Dan:

>P.S. Also, the problem with Xander's mention of public transportation, is
>that subsidizing public transport is an absurdly inefficient and
>way of dealing with the core problem. It would be like to trying to deal
>with the public health problems of smoking by subsidizing the price of
>chewing gum, and hoping that that would get people to switch. If you don't
>want people to smoke (or to drive at certain times), then raise the price.

    I'm sure raising the price would deal with the situation, but to go back
to your toilet analogy, put it to the public sphere. Heres your toilet
example added to: Imagine the stall closed and had you, not just in your
home, but in a public place, such as a restauraunt or movie theatre. You
could pay the 5-10 bucks to get out or you could be confined, etc., as was
apparent in your hypothetical. Lets say there are three stalls (and sure
enough it'd be in a ladies room, where everyone is antsy and there is never
enough :) ) and there is a rule: If you can't pay the $10, you can't use the
stall. Then we're stuck with three potential problems 1) No one goes to the
bathroom for an hour or two. 2) those wanting to use the bathroom who can't
pay, dont' get to use it. 3) if one of those crafty poor people do meander
into the bathroom (or three in this case) everyone else who wants to use the
stall can't.

As lovely as the raise-the-price idea is, you have to come to terms with the
fact that there is a given population (probably those that need it most)
who -won't- be able to pay for the toll. While you don't see that as a
problem (you can probably afford it) others might -- and their employers
might not hanker with the idea of them coming in late because they can't use
the roads, or because they aren't going at the non-toll times. And I fail
to see how subsidizing public transportation is like subsidizing chewing gum
for smokers. IT seems to work quite efficently in other states -- Esp. Back
east where the reliance of independent car driving isn't so damn ingraned in
the system. Attitudes have to change, but its not like it can't function.

-Carey... a poor starving college student who couldnt' pay the toll.

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