Flutterby™! : Transportation costs and externalities

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Transportation costs and externalities

2012-08-10 15:09:51.589941+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

[ related topics: Travel Automobiles Trains Public Transportation ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2012-08-10 16:03:13.099219+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think it's also the macroeconomic factor: the subsidization of roads causes us to build houses in places that we wouldn't if the roads weren't so heavily paid for out of indirect costs. If 101 weren't becoming 6 lanes, people who work in San Francisco wouldn't be commuting from Petaluma, they'd either be looking for housing closer to the city (possibly causing the city to rework its land use to increase density), or they'd be moving jobs to surrounding towns, which would then become urban centers of their own.

So, no, it's not true that we'd have the roads anyway: If we didn't have the roads, we wouldn't have the houses. Or we'd have roads at use densities where we could afford to maintain them (ie: mass transit for commutes, heavier overall lane usage).

#Comment Re: made: 2012-08-10 15:47:56.335832+00 by: petronius

My problem with some of these subsidization comparisons is that they never admit to the fact that we will have roads anyway. Its either that or every town is an island connected only by tracks. But then you'd still be subsidizing streets within town so that fire engines could get to your burning house, or for you to ride your bike upon.