Monday, April 09, 2007

Funding Transportation: Solving Transportation Woes

The Utah Taxpayer is talking about the problems with funding transportation by increasing sales tax. Enjoy!

I have to say, having just returned from Hawaii, which has transportation problems of its own, I have a fresh perspective on the issues that we face here.

First, on Oahu, the highest posted speed limit is 55 miles an hour and the average is 35. Most people obey those limits. It takes a little work to get out of the 'rush' mentality that is in our blood here, but it is liberating to drive slowly. Not once did I fear for my life, which in Utah is an almost daily experience.

Second, on the North Shore, there's only one road to anywhere. They had a mudslide, while we were there, blocking off one direction travel. The solution? Just go the other way and loop around the other side of the island.

Hawaii is considering mass transit options, one form would be a high speed train moving from island to island, but the overall lesson should be that no matter how much money they throw at the problem, they won't 'solve' their transportation issues.

What ought we to do about congestion here? First, it might be wise to not fear, or loath, congestion as we do. Congestion is one sign of a healthy economy, and should give us a sense of the vitality of the people who live here. Second, we could drive responsibly. By all means, use the bus if you can, and obey the speed limit.

Chill out!

No matter how much money we throw at our transportation problems, we won't solve them here so its a good idea just to enjoy the ride.


WP said...

Tyler, the last meeting I went to with UDOT, a regional meeting held in Bountiful, one of the UDOT people told me our "freeways were fine, twenty hours out of 24 they are just fine."

Remember that the next time you are stuck on your commute home.

Tyler Farrer said...

The truth is that we can never have enough roads as long as the economy is screaming along, and people work outside the home. In Davis County we simply don't have enough space to give us what we need for our vehicles.

The UDOT person was right, though. You're of course most concerned about the 4 hours, rush hours, that it is not "just fine".

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