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Forum posts for Other drivers in Toronto suck

Hell yes!
Posted by mike on Mar 12, 2004
I CANNOT PUT UP WITH THE STRESS OF DRIVING IN TORONTO SINCE i QUIT SMOKING. I just can't do it, I want to just ram the stupid bastards with my car, but I won't do that, even though I want to do it soooo bad.

Also it is not possible to pay close enough attention to the road while getting head at low speed. I must therefore conclude that it is definitely not possilbe to pay enough attention at high speed.

After years of deliberations I have decided that I will never be able to figure out what the hell people are thinking when they do shit that makes no sense, driving or otherwise.

Toronto's new roads
Posted by kris on Mar 13, 2004
So I was reading the paper the other day and I noticed that McGuinty has proposed that Ontario gets a new highway. This one will be just like the 407 except, get this, we will only have to pay tolls on it until the cost of production is paid. YEAH RIGHT!!! Who does he think he's kidding. That's exactly what the honest people at the 407 said. Didn't they just jack up the prices again last month? Capitalist Bastards!

As for bad drivers, you're preaching to the preacher! I live in Asian suburbia.....KILL ME NOW! ..... or they just might!

407
Posted by phduffy on Mar 13, 2004
The problem with the 407 is that the past government sold it . So now it's owned by a private corporation that's free to do whatever it wants.

Plus, they used the proceeds of the sale to balance the budjet, and there are shortfalls in the current budjet, because there's no longer any revenue coming in from the 407.

hmmm...
Posted by kris on Mar 13, 2004
phduffy, do you think the same thing will happen with this new proposed toll highway that McGuinty wants to make?
how will we benefit? where do you think it will be built? how long will this new venture take? so many questions, not enough answers....

WH-Wh-What??!!
Posted by mike on Mar 15, 2004
NO! They can't build ANY new roads. If ANY new roads are built I would like to call for a public lynching of McGuinty or whoever decides to do it.

The FACT of the matter is that Ontario (only Ontario) is approximately $100 Billion (yes Billion) behind on the maintenance of its current roads and infrastructure. How can you possible justify building new roads when your old roads are getting far beyond the point of dangerous? It doesn't make sense. Oh wait, it's the government, everyhting is OK then, business as usual.

Other roads
Posted by Nerhael on Mar 15, 2004
Wouldn't other major routes running parellel to the overly congested ones help put those roads in a better position to be repaired though? Without basically fucking traffic completely?

Ie, closing one lane of the 401 now is a bad thing, if we had another highway running with it, it's maybe not so bad. Might be able to stagger it more. I'm not really in favour of this, just suggesting a logic to it. I'd prefer everyone take public transit, or walk/bike.

Staging
Posted by mike on Mar 15, 2004
The key to road construction/reconstruction is construction staging. Without contruction staging entire raodways would need to be shutdown to perform repairs.

Eg.
To re-pave the entire 401 it would go something like this:
Night #1: Close 50% of roadway, set-up T-54's & crash trucks. Mill as much ashphalt as possible within time contrictions on the hammer and other lanes. Remove t-54's & crash truck to open all lanes for rush hour and day traffic. Driving on the milled pavement will suck and motorcycles are pretty much fucked.
Night #2: sut-up again. Pave what you milled the night before - Base course. Come behind with second binder or top course once required temperature range has been met. Pray to god you finish before time runs out. Open lanes for rush hour and day traffic.
Repeat as necesary to pave entire roadway.

If you need to replace a bridge it becomes much trickier (next to impossible and prohibitively expensive). Essentially you need to build a second bridge or HORRIBLY inconvenience traffic during construction. Construction staging is still the key.

I forget where I was going with this. It is tricky to perform maintenance, but you don't have to build new roads to do it other wise it will likely cost 300 billion dollars. Just do it using night work.

The main problem is that there would be public outrage if steps were taken to actually fix the roads, dut to the inconvenience of motorists. To avoid this inconvenience would cost WAY WAY WAY more money and the public would be outraged at the cost. As you can see the solution lies somewhere in the middle, but noone to date has had the balls to do anything about it. Basically every government has put off the maintenance of highways and infrastructure becasue it is SOOO expensinve and will most likely hurt them politically because the public is not ready to perservere through the inconvenience of what is required to be done.

It MUST be done. But I doubt it will be done until there is a major incident like a bridge collapsing in Toronto, which to be honest I can't believe hasn't happened yet. At least the public is blissfully ignorant of the problem. The average person likely thinks that all that brown shit leaking out of the concrete in bridges, abutments, tall walls, etc. just means that it is time for someone to wash them. So sorry to tell you that that is the re-bar being corroded away and the brown shit is a whole shit load of rust. What does re-bar do? It make sure that bridges and other structures don't fall down. What's worse is driving around and seeing the re-bar itself exposed! There must be at least 50mm of concrete covering the re-bar at all times!!! When the concrete spalls off that means there is a problem!!

Kris
Posted by phduffy on Mar 18, 2004
I have no idea what will happen with the new highway. McGuinty is less likely to privatize things then Harris/Eves in general, but when there's a money crunch you never know what will happen. I also have no idea where this road would go.

Mike, I think the difference is that this is a toll road, so the theory is that it will pay for itself. How likely is that? I don't know. But I think that's the theory.

Personally, if they're going to make a toll road, I don't have a problem with them just letting a private company do it, and then charging whatever they think is appropriate.

Guh?
Posted by mike on Mar 19, 2004
Why should a toll pay for roads? That doesn't make any sense.

That is the point of the gasoline tax. Unfortunately that money was used for everything but it's intended purpose. Outrageous!!

What??
Posted by phduffy on Mar 19, 2004
What part of it doesn't make sense?

They build a road. They use tolls to pay for the road. That way, it doesn't cost the Taxpayer any money. (Again, I'm not saying it will work that way, but that's the theory).

How much of the gasoline tax goes to the province, and how much goes to the feds? I know a decent amount goes to the feds, because they're thinking about transferring that money to the municipalities to pay for stuff like local transit upgrades. aka TTC stuff.

Gas Tax
Posted by mike on Mar 19, 2004
The purpose of the gas tax is to buiild and maintain roads. End of story. It has not been used for its intended and stated purpose. Tolls should be a moot point, gas tax should pay for that. The fact that the government isn't doing what it should, and said it would, is beside the point.

If the gas tax money were implemented the way it is supposed to be the roads would be in at least reasonable shape and we could build a reasonable number of new roads and other alternative transportation.

If you ask me a study should be done on where the gas tax money is going. After which every cent of it should be taken out of wherever it was put and redirected to public works for road maintenance, reconstruction, and new construction. If this does not happen then things will continue to get worse.

I also don't get the whole idea of giving gas tax money to the cities. The cities will then have the ability to spend the money on whatever short term things they want, thereby shooting themselves in the foot and send them crying back to the province and the feds for more money to fix their roads.

I am so tired of all the talking, it is all so obvious. They need to do more and talk less. Its all the fucking talking that makes things cost so much more.

We may as well get into it.
Posted by phduffy on Mar 19, 2004
The idea of giving money to cities is that cities have fewer forms of revenue than other government. They can tax your property and charge user fees. That's about it. Plus, they're not allowed to run deficits.

But over the past number of years we've seen alot of downloading to cities. (And i actually know what I'm talking about here, as I spent 4 months working on reports on nothing but downloading to municipalities).

So now the cities have to pay for more stuff themselves, but they can't just raise taxes all the time. So, the proposed solution is to give them more money from the gas tax. That way they'll be able to spend it however they like. Some will use it to upgrade public transit. (Toronto) Others will use it to upgrade their parks and stuff, some will use it for reduced user fees, or for infrastructure improvements, etc.

If you take away the gas tax and only use it on roads, then you're going to have to make up that shortfall somewhere else. Whether it be Health Care, education, or whatever, the money will need to be made up. Although, from the sounds of it, the money's going to need to be made up to fix the roads somehow.

Personally, I don't think that gas is taxed anywhere nearly enough. If you drive a car you're really screwing people that don't drive.

my two cents
Posted by Katie on Mar 19, 2004
I think that the idea of the gas tax is a good one. Only people who drive pay it, and it (supposedly) goes to fix the roads that only the people who drive are going to care about.

So you drive you pay you get rewards.

But I think that Mike is right, and that the government has essentially lost their focus when it comes to the gas tax. And elsewhere.

I don't think that the proper solution to all the downloading of expenses to cities is to give them more gas taxes. I will agree with phduffy that by not giving the cities a larger chunk of the gas taxes the money will have to be taken out of other areas. But by giving the gas tax money for other areas, they are taking money out of areas (road safety, conditions, expansion, gridlock) that already need it in the first place. So it's all very circular, and nothing is in the least way getting solved. It's just going to continue on a downward spiral until someone has the guts to straighten things out.

And I think that it's impossible to say, these days, that If you drive a car you're really screwing people that don't drive because that's technology dude, and there's not much you can do about it. The majority of people need a car these days, what with the travelling and mobility expectations that we all have. We were brought up that way, as was most of the world, for the past 75 years. Alright, not a good explanation but I'm in a rush. Basically, cars are a technology, and technology is affecting our world in many bad ways. So for instance, instead of trying to fix the problems that coal based energy production creates, we should just say that anyone who uses coal based energy is ruining it for everyone else, and those people should pay higher taxes.

I don't think it works like that. We need to use all the resources, cash based as well as natural, to the best of our, and their, abilities. I think gas taxes aren't being used to the best of theirs, due to mismanagement in other areas.

But I can't say I'll be that pissed if they fix up the ttc a little bit. I just wish it didn't come at the expense of the roads.

I know.
Posted by mike on Mar 19, 2004
I am aware of the excessive downloading with little extra funding. That is a seperate and serious issue. Giving gas tax to cities does not solve the following:

$100 BILLION !!!BILLION READ ME READ ME !!! BILLION is the estimated cost of bringing the roads in ONTARIO!!!!! ONTARIO< NOWHERE ELSE JUST ONTARIO !!! READ ME READ ME!!! back up to an acceptable service level. THIS DOES NOT EVEN FACTOR IN BUILDING NEW ROADS. This is simply the amount of money that the government of Ontario has been stealing (call it borrowing or offsetting or something else, whatever tickles you fancy) from the REQUIRED road maintenance budget.

This is not acceptable. That is what the gas tax was for. That is not what it was used for/is being used for. To say the least, that is sad.

la
Posted by phduffy on Mar 19, 2004
Katie, you're wrong, you absolutely are screwing non drivers if you drive. The amount of money you're paying to drive your car is no where near what you take out as a driver, in terms of effects on the roads, the environment, and health. This isn't even up for dispute, every study that has ever looked into that will give you that conclusion. If you don't want to tax gas more, then we should definetely increase the tax on cars by a huge amount.

Now, this can be offset by tax reductions in other areas, so that the net to you as a driver might not be that much of a difference. However, it will effect people that don't drive, or that drive gas guzzling monsters, or that buy three cars for their family. And it would reward familes that could live with only one car.

I'm also not sure about some of the comments concerning the gas tax. Okay, so we're down from where we should be. Okay... but what if the gas tax isn't enough to cover the costs? Are they supposed to be increasing it every year? Are you sure that they're not spending the gas tax on the roads, and that it just isn't enough? (This is a real question, not a rhetorical).

Also Mike, I'm not sure about your $100 billion figure. I looked it up, and the only thing I can find is a cost of $100 billion to repare all of Ontario's infrastructure. No where does it say that this is only for roads, and in fact other projects are specifically mentioned. What is an acceptable service level? What don't we have now that would make it acceptable?

To say that the Ontario government has been stealing from itself is nonsense. We elect them to decide how to spend the money. They've decided to spend it on other things, which is what they were elected to do.

Ok
Posted by phduffy on Mar 19, 2004
Katie, maybe I was a bit harsh.

Let me say, I think that you're wrong. I see where you're coming from, but there are ways to get around it.

Also, I haven't read every study, so I shouldn't be so conclusive. I gave people a hard time about that yesterday, so I shouldn't do it today. It's possible that there's studies by the auto makers that suggest that you do pay the appropriate price for a car.

yes it was
Posted by mike on Mar 20, 2004
infrastructure. I got carried away.

I don't like that the gas tax was supposed to be for fixing roads and was not used for that.