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Thread: QE2 highway badly needs an upgrade

  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    The amount of traffic is diminished at the Quebec border but if you go to Brockville or Kingston or even Napenee where the highway are still 2 lanes in each direction with traffic counts of 35,000-40,000 vehicles per day.


    I drove the 401 highway on Tuesday between Montreal and Toronto. Long sections in between the cities are still 2 lanes in each direction with 35,000-40,000 vehicles per day. At 9pm Tuesday, I counted semi trucks going the opposite direction and counted 116 in 10km which equates to 1,160 TRUCKS PER HOUR! (total traffic in both directions.) Many times there were more trucks than cars on the road.
    Sorry, anecdotal evidence is meaningless... and Montreal is just on the other side of the border, so traffic should be picking up, if that corridor is a valid comparison to the QE2... or maybe we are comparing apples to oranges...
    Check the tables from the Ontario government you supplied.

    Here is the 160km stretch between Brockville and Belleville Most of it is two lanes in either direction. Here are the facts from your own source.

    401 SIR JOHN A MACDONALD BV -IC SYDENHAM RD IC 2.2 44,300
    401 SYDENHAM RD IC GARDINERS RD IC 2.3 47,800
    401 GARDINERS RD IC FRONTENAC/LENNOX &ADDINGTON BDRY 8.0 35,500
    401 FRONTENAC/LENNOX &ADDINGTON BDRY WILTON RD IC -ODESSA 3.9 35,500
    401 WILTON RD IC -ODESSA HWY 133 IC -CAMDEN E RD 5.6 35,300
    401 HWY 133 IC -CAMDEN E RD PALACE RD IC 11.2 35,100
    401 PALACE RD IC HWY 41 IC-NAPANEE 3.4 34,600
    401 HWY 41 IC-NAPANEE DESERONTO RD IC-HAST/L&A BDY 8.3 34,800
    401 DESERONTO RD IC-HAST/L&A BDY HASTINGS ROAD 15 4.1 34,500
    401 HASTINGS ROAD 15 SHANNONVILLE RD IC-HAST RD 7 10.5 35,000
    401 SHANNONVILLE RD IC-HAST RD 7 HWY 37 IC -BELLEVILLE 12.5 33,400


    Have you ever driven the 401 between Montreal and Toronto? I do it regularly. In fact I am in Montreal today and will be driving to Toronto tonight.
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  2. #102

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    There you go... now you're getting it!

  3. #103

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    I knew the traffic counts for a long time before I posted the 35K-40K figures on October 1st.
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  4. #104
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    Use the expand the highway money to build high speed passenger rail instead.

  5. #105

  6. #106
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    of course... it will always be "too expensive" for the need if the road gets all the love.

    AT the very least study both at the same time with reasonable parameters that affect both projects. Pose a broad question: What will improve transportation the most for least amount and with a long-term vision? Then answer it with costed options.

  7. #107

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    Definitely not high speed rail. Very high upfront costs, high maintenance costs, limited usefulness and no proven demand.

    The last government that floated the idea lost the election.
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  8. #108
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    ^ they did lose, but don't even begin to pretend that HSR was the reason. It wasn't even in the top 100...
    Last edited by grish; 06-10-2015 at 09:21 AM.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Definitely not high speed rail. Very high upfront costs, high maintenance costs, limited usefulness and no proven demand.

    The last government that floated the idea lost the election.
    I guess we don't need to ask for proper comparisons because your opinion says so

    Upfront costs? As you can see, the upfront costs of a highway continues to grow and will continue as long as we add lanes. Please don't pretend this is maintenance. We are still building the thing.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    ^ they did lose, but don't even begin to pretend that HSR was the reason. It wasn't even in the top 100...
    Not in the top 50 I grant you... just blowing smoke.
    But if they won, they would have been the ones to say that the voters gave them a mandate.
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  11. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Definitely not high speed rail. Very high upfront costs, high maintenance costs, limited usefulness and no proven demand.

    The last government that floated the idea lost the election.
    I guess we don't need to ask for proper comparisons because your opinion says so

    Upfront costs? As you can see, the upfront costs of a highway continues to grow and will continue as long as we add lanes. Please don't pretend this is maintenance. We are still building the thing.

    We went all through this before on the proper thread. The QEII started out as a wagon track, then a dirt road, then a gravel road, then what became Hwy 2A and then the QEII. As demand grew, so did the investment. Adding another lane IF necessary is an incremental cost based upon proven demand.

    With high speed rail it is all reversed. First you have to build the entire line for billions of dollars before you have one paying customer. After it is built and the novelty wears off and people find it more expensive than using their car or taking a bus and the schedules do not match their needs what do you do if all the projections are wrong and ridership is only 25% of the estimates? Do you keep the White Elephant fed forever? Want a list of all the bankrupt passenger train services and abandoned rail lines in North America?

    I traveled between Toronto and Montreal frequently recently. It is a 5 to 6 hour drive and I would rather take the train. The problem is that the train schedule does not meet my needs as it gets to either city too late in the morning or the last train leaves too early so I would have to leave the industrial park too early in the afternoon to get to the downtown station. I also still have to rent a car at the destination and if I have to do that,I might as well rent and drive the whole way. Also,VIA Rail has gotten very expensive, $325 for a round trip and certain times are not available such as on holidays. These issues as a business user makes trains impractical unless I only had business in downtown with a narrow window of meetings. The less than 3 hour drive to Calgary is an easy round trip drive in one day,I have done it often. Driving between Montreal and Toronto is a very long haul between much larger cities and still they for not offer scheduled service later in the evening or over night. The cost is a real issue of you are traveling with another person or a family. If they cannot make it work in Ontario,why would it work in Alberta where people love their SUV and Ford 250's?
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 06-10-2015 at 08:17 PM.
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  12. #112
    grish
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    ^how many HSR technologies at the time of dirt roads?

    They should study both options to see which one will offer the most transport relief and options for the $.

  13. #113

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    It was called the National Dream. Building the transcontinental railroad. It is in your Canadian history book. Read it sometime. Difference was that the automobile had not been invented yet. There was no other way to transport goods across the country. Steam trains was the only choice.

    It is hopeless to explain this all over again to someone who refuses to acknowledge the risks of investing billions on a system that cannot be tested on a small scale. Please read the HSR thread where this was all explained to you by many other posters and where you refused to listen to them as well.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 07-10-2015 at 05:36 AM.
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  14. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    It was called the National Dream. Building the transcontinental railroad. It is in your Canadian history book. Read it sometime. Difference was that the automobile had not been invented yet. There was no other way to transport goods across the country. Steam trains was the only choice.

    It is hopeless to explain this all over again to someone who refuses to acknowledge the risks of investing billions on a system that cannot be tested on a small scale. Please read the HSR thread where this was all explained to you by many other posters and where you refused to listen to them as well.
    That last paragraph is going to be saved for future LRT discussions and will come back to bite you in the ***.

  15. #115
    grish
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    EPRT:
    so, no studies to compare how best to use the $$ are required because you already know the answer. So much for reasoned, informed opinions.

  16. #116

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    Did you even read the TEMS Report?

    If you did, you would realize that it was highly biased and was based upon false and unsupported data.
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  17. #117
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    Did you read what I suggested?

    I would like the province to study both options on equal merits to make a decision based on facts.

  18. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Did you read what I suggested?

    I would like the province to study both options on equal merits to make a decision based on facts.
    They did. They paid for an expensive study. There were lobby groups proposing HSR. Ed Stelmach himself asked me my opinion on HSR.

    They decided that they could not afford HSR and there was not enough demand. They are choosing to continue to widen sections of the QEII incrementally.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 09-10-2015 at 06:01 AM.
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    If roads were held to the same financing standards as HSR (i.e. that they be able to self-fund with ticket sales), no roads would be build whatsoever.

    Roads are massively subsidized compared to rail, and thus cost the taxpayer magnitudes more. The discussion of HSR has revolved around "how long will it take to pay itself off", and we have deemed that time to be too long. The road will NEVER pay itself off. Not in 1,000 years.

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    All in all if you think of the necessary infrastructure, width of the ROW, cost of rail bed, rails, stations vs. cost of road bed, gravel, asphalt, I'm not sure which would be cheaper to build. Over time rail would probably be cheaper to operate and is definitely more energy efficient. However rail is less flexible than road. And yes probably neither actually "pay for themself".

    But anyway both Edmonton and Calgary need at the very least commuter rail from areas around 30 miles out to the center of the cities. It doesn't have to be HST but would help traffic a lot in both regions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Did you read what I suggested?

    I would like the province to study both options on equal merits to make a decision based on facts.
    HSR was studied and rejected as not feasible by an all-party legislature committee less than 18 months ago. As is evident from Appendix B of their report, there was extensive public consultation prior to the decision being reached.

    The committee report is available here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ttee-1.2652342

    The question of whether, how, where, and when the QE2 needs widening and other upgrades should be debated on its own merits.

  22. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    If roads were held to the same financing standards as HSR (i.e. that they be able to self-fund with ticket sales), no roads would be build whatsoever.

    Roads are massively subsidized compared to rail, and thus cost the taxpayer magnitudes more. The discussion of HSR has revolved around "how long will it take to pay itself off", and we have deemed that time to be too long. The road will NEVER pay itself off. Not in 1,000 years.
    Do you have a source for your hyperbole?

    Where would we be without highways. The economy would stall. Truck transport is the lifeblood of this country. The economic benefits of an efficient road system is a national priority. The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways in the USA was a huge economic boom to the country because it made overland travel so much faster and more efficient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    If roads were held to the same financing standards as HSR (i.e. that they be able to self-fund with ticket sales), no roads would be build whatsoever.

    Roads are massively subsidized compared to rail, and thus cost the taxpayer magnitudes more. The discussion of HSR has revolved around "how long will it take to pay itself off", and we have deemed that time to be too long. The road will NEVER pay itself off. Not in 1,000 years.
    When roads become congested and unsafe (as the QE2 is becoming) there is both an economic and human cost to not taking action.

    I for one would be prepared to pay a toll in exchange for expedited upgrades to the QE2.

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    ^ Until there is a cost-effective way of tolling every kilometer of road in the province, I'd rather see $2.00 / L gasoline and $2.50 / L diesel due to increased fuel taxes than any road tolls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    If roads were held to the same financing standards as HSR (i.e. that they be able to self-fund with ticket sales), no roads would be build whatsoever.

    Roads are massively subsidized compared to rail, and thus cost the taxpayer magnitudes more. The discussion of HSR has revolved around "how long will it take to pay itself off", and we have deemed that time to be too long. The road will NEVER pay itself off. Not in 1,000 years.
    Do you have a source for your hyperbole?

    Where would we be without highways. The economy would stall. Truck transport is the lifeblood of this country. The economic benefits of an efficient road system is a national priority. The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways in the USA was a huge economic boom to the country because it made overland travel so much faster and more efficient.

    Excuse me? What hyperbole?

    Roads are paid for 100% out of indirect taxes such as the income tax and gas tax. They have zero direct payment systems. Ergo, that are completely and entirely subsidized by the taxpayer, whether or not said taxpayer ever uses them in their life.

    Conversely, rail is expected to pay for itself 100% out of direct payment systems.

    There is is an argument to be made for the large economic impact rail lines would grant us (in fact, the study commissioned by the province suggested that to be in the tens of billions, much higher than the cost of construction), but we still expect rail to pay for itself.

    I fail to see where there is hyperbole. We expect rail to pay for itself directly, but have no problem subsidizing roads completely with tax dollars. Both have a huge economic impact, so that is clearly not the reason for this distinction.

    ^ Until there is a cost-effective way of tolling every kilometer of road in the province, I'd rather see $2.00 / L gasoline and $2.50 / L diesel due to increased fuel taxes than any road tolls.
    Tolls are good because they are direct. They are used to finance the piece of infrastructure you are paying to use, directly. We don't need to toll every km of road to make it a good idea for financing one road. There are many cost effective ways to do this.

    Gas taxes should be increased as well, but for other reasons. They are pigovian taxes that account for the damage caused by vehicles. Direct tolls are a superior method of financing infrastructure.

    HSR was studied and rejected as not feasible by an all-party legislature committee less than 18 months ago. As is evident from Appendix B of their report, there was extensive public consultation prior to the decision being reached.

    The committee report is available here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ttee-1.2652342

    The question of whether, how, where, and when the QE2 needs widening and other upgrades should be debated on its own merits.
    My point was that HSR was rejected on the premise that it cannot pay for itself out of tolls. I am suggesting that we apply the same logic to the QEII, at least partially, and introduce a tolling system. That would allow us to expedite construction and financing.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 09-10-2015 at 12:17 PM.

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    ^ Tolls on some roads but not others are inherently unfair - users of the toll road pay the toll on top of fuel taxes, while users of non-tolled roads pay fuel taxes only. Either raise fuel taxes to cover all (or nearly all, some general revenue subsidy of local roads with a significant number of non-motorized users could be justified) of the road construction and maintenance costs in the province, or toll everything on a weight x distance basis.

  27. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    . The road will NEVER pay itself off. Not in 1,000 years.
    Do you have a source for your hyperbole?
    Excuse me? What hyperbole?
    The comment in bold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^ Until there is a cost-effective way of tolling every kilometer of road in the province, I'd rather see $2.00 / L gasoline and $2.50 / L diesel due to increased fuel taxes than any road tolls.

    Perhaps you enjoying paying more money for your groceries, building materials, anything you buy basically as well? Thats what will happen. The trucking industry will not eat the costs of the gasoline taxes or road toll per kilometre that you propose, you the consumer will pay for it ultimately.

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    Gotta love how some folks insist on bringing their favorite hobby horses into every road transportation discussion (grish = HSR, Jaerdo = tolls, etc)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    . The road will NEVER pay itself off. Not in 1,000 years.
    Do you have a source for your hyperbole?
    Excuse me? What hyperbole?
    The comment in bold


    The road does not collect any tolls. It is literally impossible for it to pay for itself, if no money is collected for its use.

    The road will only be paid through indirect taxation.


    __

    Maybe I wasn't clear:

    HSR is expected to "pay for itself" in that it needs to be an economically viable business proposition: it needs to collect enough fares to pay for its financing, otherwise people reject it as non feasible.

    No such qualification is required for road projects. We do not require them to collect ANY fares to pay for their own financing.


    ^ I get that HSR comment, but I think tolls are very relevant. If we want to expand the QEII, they are the cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to do so. What is your dream conversation, exactly? "Wow, we should really expand this."... "Yup." /fin
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 09-10-2015 at 02:07 PM.

  31. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonic death monkey View Post
    gotta love how some folks insist on bringing their favorite hobby horses into every road transportation discussion (grish = hsr, jaerdo = tolls, sonic death monkey = everyone else's posting style, etc)
    ftfy
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    Quote Originally Posted by GranaryMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^ Until there is a cost-effective way of tolling every kilometer of road in the province, I'd rather see $2.00 / L gasoline and $2.50 / L diesel due to increased fuel taxes than any road tolls.

    Perhaps you enjoying paying more money for your groceries, building materials, anything you buy basically as well? Thats what will happen. The trucking industry will not eat the costs of the gasoline taxes or road toll per kilometre that you propose, you the consumer will pay for it ultimately.
    Yes, higher fuel taxes or universal road tolls would cause the prices of most goods to rise due to increased transportation costs, but in return we would either get better government services or lower non-fuel taxes.

  33. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    . The road will NEVER pay itself off. Not in 1,000 years.
    Do you have a source for your hyperbole?
    Excuse me? What hyperbole?
    The comment in bold


    The road does not collect any tolls. It is literally impossible for it to pay for itself, if no money is collected for its use.

    The road will only be paid through indirect taxation.


    __

    Maybe I wasn't clear:

    HSR is expected to "pay for itself" in that it needs to be an economically viable business proposition: it needs to collect enough fares to pay for its financing, otherwise people reject it as non feasible.

    No such qualification is required for road projects. We do not require them to collect ANY fares to pay for their own financing.


    ^ I get that HSR comment, but I think tolls are very relevant. If we want to expand the QEII, they are the cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to do so. What is your dream conversation, exactly? "Wow, we should really expand this."... "Yup." /fin
    Have you lost you grasp of reality? Are there not taxes on gasoline and diesel? Are their no taxes on corporste income taxes on businesses and income taxes on individuals that are collected and then used for transit and transportation projects? Are their no oil royalties and lease fees that contribute to the government coffers? Next time you claim that there drivers don't pay for the roads they travel on, I will take you to a truck stop and you can tell all the truckers that they are a bunch of freeloaders who don't contribute to the upkeep of the roads. I will call 911 before your rant ends so you will get immediate medical attention and the mob gets dispersed by EPS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Next time you claim that there drivers don't pay for the roads they travel on, I will take you to a truck stop and you can tell all the truckers that they are a bunch of freeloaders who don't contribute to the upkeep of the roads. I will call 911 before your rant ends so you will get immediate medical attention and the mob gets dispersed by EPS.
    They don't pay as much as they should. More money is spent on roads than is collected in fuel taxes, and heavy trucks cause most of the wear and tear on most roads.

    Back to highway 2, it certainly could use another lane, but I'm not sure if it is the most pressing highway project in the province right now. Flow breakdown due to excessive traffic is still rare.

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    Having endured the QE2 gong show this past weekend, I gotta say bring on the minimum 3 lanes per direction, from Leduc to Airdrie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Have you lost you grasp of reality? Are there not taxes on gasoline and diesel? Are their no taxes on corporste income taxes on businesses and income taxes on individuals that are collected and then used for transit and transportation projects? Are their no oil royalties and lease fees that contribute to the government coffers? Next time you claim that there drivers don't pay for the roads they travel on, I will take you to a truck stop and you can tell all the truckers that they are a bunch of freeloaders who don't contribute to the upkeep of the roads. I will call 911 before your rant ends so you will get immediate medical attention and the mob gets dispersed by EPS.
    People always struggle with understanding the concept of "indirect" vs "direct" financing. Tolls directly finance a road. They are "user pays". If you use THAT road, you pay for THAT road. Gas taxes and income taxes are INDIRECT taxes. You pay into EVERY road, even if you don't use ANY road.

    FYI - industry groups support tolls in place of general taxation. It allows them to be innovative and efficient with routes to save money, and saves them from having to pay for roads they never use.

    The basic premise: if you use something, you pay for it.

    Here is a good article on the value behind "user pays". There are a whole bundle of positive spinoff effects as well. http://www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/...ban-growth.pdf


    Having endured the QE2 gong show this past weekend, I gotta say bring on the minimum 3 lanes per direction, from Leduc to Airdrie.
    It was extremely busy, but the average speed of traffic was around 120-125, which I think is perfectly fine. The problem was several huge slowdowns that brought speeds to 70-80. Every single time, they were caused by a trucker trying to pass up a hill. If we banned that practice in all 2-lane stretches, the QE2 would be perfectly fine as it is.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 13-10-2015 at 07:29 AM.

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    ^ Fuel taxes aren't directed at specific roads, but they are directly correlated to total road use. You pay for every road in proportion to the amount that you use any road, but you don't pay if you don't drive. That makes fuel taxes a lot more like tolls than like general taxes (income tax, GST, property tax etc.)

    I agree that it should be illegal to be in the passing lane unless you are going at least 10 km/h faster than the vehicle beside you, and that you should pull back into the right lane as soon as possible if there is traffic behind you, but how would you enforce that?

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    ^ Yes, they are more like them as they are Pigovian taxes. They are actually essential to keep, because they also help account for environmental damage. However, they are not direct. They are less efficient to financing infrastructure projects, and there are flaws.

    For instance: a theoretical person on a motorcycle can drive every day, all day and all night, 365 days a year, and cause zero damage to our road system. They contributed exactly zero to our maintenance budget, yet they would pay a very large amount in fuel taxes.

    A fully loaded semi-truck could drive for 3 hours once a week and cause damage. Yet they would pay only a few cents into fuel taxes.

    Tolls also aid decision making in infrastructure projects. It is much easier to do a case by case cost-benefit analysis and correctly site/scope projects if they are planned in order to pay themselves off internally.

    The passing lane law could be enforced the same way as speeding tickets. It seems to work just fine in other jurisdictions. "Keep right unless passing", simple concept but one that Albertans ignore.

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    ^ Except that truck A doing 100 km/h passing truck B doing 95 km/h is not violating a keep right except to pass law, despite causing a huge traffic jam, and any sort of minimum speed law would be problematic when road conditions are less than perfect. We might try forcing trucking companies to set their speed limiters to at least 110 km/h to reduce the amount of slow trucks, but that could set up an interesting showdown with Ontario and their mandatory 105 km/h limiters.

    Road costs involve more than repairing ruts from heavy trucks. Things like snowplowing, line painting and ditch mowing are independent of vehicle weight, and initial construction costs are only partly dependent on the expected vehicle weights. Road costs may not be directly proportional to vehicle fuel consumption, but the correlation is pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    For instance: a theoretical person on a motorcycle can drive every day, all day and all night, 365 days a year, and cause zero damage to our road system. They contributed exactly zero to our maintenance budget, yet they would pay a very large amount in fuel taxes.

    A fully loaded semi-truck could drive for 3 hours once a week and cause damage. Yet they would pay only a few cents into fuel taxes.
    You example is very weak. How many motorcycles run 24/7 and how many commercial trucks run 3 hours per week?

    Running a fully loaded semi gets uses about 40 litres/100km so in 3 hours it consumes about 120 litres, enough to power a motorcycle for about 3,000km or 30 hours. In three hours at 19 cents/litre in taxes a trucker pays about $23 in taxes for an Edmonton to Calgary run. Hardly a few cents in taxes. Your examples and claims are false.

    A semi-truck in Canada travels 150,000 to 200,000 km annually and pays about $12,000 to $16,000 in fuel taxes or $60 per day, 5 days a week.

    The motorcycle driven 24/7 contributes almost nothing to the economy but the truck provides an essential service transporting goods for export and import including the fuel for the motorcycle plus donuts and coffee for the poor, hungry rider.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 13-10-2015 at 08:32 PM.
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  41. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    Road costs involve more than repairing ruts from heavy trucks. Things like snowplowing, line painting and ditch mowing are independent of vehicle weight, and initial construction costs are only partly dependent on the expected vehicle weights. Road costs may not be directly proportional to vehicle fuel consumption, but the correlation is pretty good.

    Agreed
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  42. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    I agree that it should be illegal to be in the passing lane unless you are going at least 10 km/h faster than the vehicle beside you, and that you should pull back into the right lane as soon as possible if there is traffic behind you, but how would you enforce that?
    So if the vehicle ahead of you is doing 101 km/hr on a 110 km/hr highway, you could not pass him without breaking the law by going 111 km/hr?

    Not only is such a law unenforceable but also impractical.
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  43. #143

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    People always struggle with understanding the concept of "indirect" vs "direct" financing. Tolls directly finance a road. They are "user pays". If you use THAT road, you pay for THAT road. Gas taxes and income taxes are INDIRECT taxes. You pay into EVERY road, even if you don't use ANY road.
    NO, we have no problem understanding tolls or indirect or direct taxation. What you do not understand is that toll roads have only limited usage. They have to be limited access highways or bridges. Even adding tolls to the QEII would require extensive changes to nearly 50 intersections with over 150 access points that would cost many millions of dollars for each one.

    Everything from healthcare to insurance to condo fees to fire services, to policing to sidewalks to garbage collection etc. are pooled forms of services paid by taxes or indirect fees. They are provided for the common good and equalize payments for the benefit of all users. Many of them are prorated based upon usage or consumption.

    They just proposed a 4 cent per litre tax increase on fuel. Instead of adding tolls, it is far more effective to simply increase fuel taxes another 4 cents next year. For the trucker, you have increased his taxation by $3,200 and the average driver by about $64. Yes, truckers pay about 50 times the fuel taxes for their usage.
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  44. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post

    Having endured the QE2 gong show this past weekend, I gotta say bring on the minimum 3 lanes per direction, from Leduc to Airdrie.
    It was extremely busy, but the average speed of traffic was around 120-125, which I think is perfectly fine. The problem was several huge slowdowns that brought speeds to 70-80. Every single time, they were caused by a trucker trying to pass up a hill. If we banned that practice in all 2-lane stretches, the QE2 would be perfectly fine as it is.
    Traveling back from Calgary in the late afternoon yesterday, the traffic slowed to a standstill several times. One this happens, traffic can back up for kilometers in no time. The worst congestion was around Bowden. The congestion finally eased on the 3 lane stretch going up the hill north of Innisfail. From what I could observe there were no accidents or lane closures slowing things down, just heavy traffic volume.

    The most dangerous thing about the congestion is the reckless actions it causes in some drivers. One ***** was passing cars on the left shoulder. At least 3 other vehicles ahead of us drove through the ditch to get onto the service road (at least one of them from the left lane crossing a lane of traffic).

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    People always struggle with understanding the concept of "indirect" vs "direct" financing. Tolls directly finance a road. They are "user pays". If you use THAT road, you pay for THAT road. Gas taxes and income taxes are INDIRECT taxes. You pay into EVERY road, even if you don't use ANY road.
    NO, we have no problem understanding tolls or indirect or direct taxation. What you do not understand is that toll roads have only limited usage. They have to be limited access highways or bridges. Even adding tolls to the QEII would require extensive changes to nearly 50 intersections with over 150 access points that would cost many millions of dollars for each one.

    Modern tolls consist of a camera at on-ramps and off-ramps that track distance travelled. Enhanced modern tolls consist of the same thing, plus a swim lane for trucks that weighs them as they enter the road. The barrier to entry is nowhere near as high as you are suggesting, and jurisdictions around the world routinely use this model effectively. It has been used successfully in Washington, Dallas, Ontario, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Dubai, Iran, India (extensively across the country), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Phillipines, Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Australia (extensively), and far more.

    We are VERY much behind the global standard, and in absolutely no circumstance are these only reserved for hyper-dense environments with massive traffic flow.

    Fuel taxes, again, are great, but they do not offer the same benefits in decision making on project placement and scoping, and they are not directly associated with the proposed project. They are best used as Pigovian taxes for environmental damage and for road damage of non-tolled areas.



    On QE2 traffic speed problems:

    I just drove the Calgary->Edmonton again yesterday. Average speed of traffic around 125-135. One slowdown, again as a truck was passing up a hill. Think we're seeing a theme here?
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 15-10-2015 at 09:56 AM.

  46. #146

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    Please go on telling me about toll roads. I am stupid. Want to see my bills this past couple of months from my usage of the Highway 407 while I am here in Toronto?

    Maybe you can tell us about your proposal, the amount it cost to set up the equipment and infrastructure for the tolls between Edmonton and Calgary. We are awaiting your cost estimates. We also need to know how you can guarantee that the monies collected will go only into QEII upgrades and not into general tax revenue.

    Also, thanks for not apologizing for the false claims you made.
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  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post

    Also, thanks for not apologizing for the false claims you made.
    From the guy claiming that ORT tech is not feasible due to cost, long distance vs. small projects, and lower volumes, despite successful examples all over the world.

    ^ Discussions tend to gravitate toward "how should we do this" after they pass the point of "should we do this". If it were up to you, threads would die after about 10 posts. What is it you want to see?

    "Gee whiz guys, it sure would be nice to add another lane to the QEII."

    "Yup, you said it!"

    "Nice conversation, let's create 10 different new threads for every derivative of it!"

  49. #149

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    Wow. This thread was started in 2007 and the highway is still in major need of upgrading.

    There is a nice new 6 lane section north of Airdrie that goes for about 40 km, but other than that the highway looks the same as it did in 1985. I noticed a number of overpasses that would need to be replaced as there just isn't enough room underneath for 6 lanes, and the bridge at Leduc is a big project too.

    It just doesn't seem to be a priority for the province at all.

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    we will have to wait and see what the NDP have planned...you are correct though, it wasn't a priority for the PC governments that we had in power for the last 44 years.

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    Why would it have been for the majority of those 44 years?

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    To be fair, there have been much higher priorities for the province:
    - TCH twinning
    - Yellowhead twinning
    - Hwy 43 twinning
    - Hwy 63 twinning
    - ring roads around Edmonton and Calgary
    Plus if you looked at a Travel Alberta road map from 1971 you'll see that many highways we drive on today didn't exist or were unpaved.
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    Ramp metering is one of the cheaper solutions that can be implemented around Nisku, another would be a law prohibiting slow vehicles from most of QE2 and barring trucks from the left lane.

  54. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    To be fair, there have been much higher priorities for the province:
    - TCH twinning
    - Yellowhead twinning
    - Hwy 43 twinning
    - Hwy 63 twinning
    - ring roads around Edmonton and Calgary
    Plus if you looked at a Travel Alberta road map from 1971 you'll see that many highways we drive on today didn't exist or were unpaved.
    True. There's only so much money to go around, but with most of these projects wrapping up (or complete) going forward QE2 should be a higher priority.

  55. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    To be fair, there have been much higher priorities for the province:
    - TCH twinning
    - Yellowhead twinning
    - Hwy 43 twinning
    - Hwy 63 twinning
    - ring roads around Edmonton and Calgary
    Plus if you looked at a Travel Alberta road map from 1971 you'll see that many highways we drive on today didn't exist or were unpaved.

    Hiway 28 and 63 from Edmonton to Grassland needs twinning, some of that stretch can be downright dangerous and has claimed many lives including the gibbons bus crash.

    Also hiway 2 still requires some twinning and bypass work from Calgary to the USA border as well iirc. And completion of the Ray Gibbon bypass and twinning around St Albert.

    Minor projects compared to the existing ring road and 500+km twinning projects undertaken in Alberta over the last 2 decades.

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    Sorry nope, nothing in the 3 year plan for QE2 than just repaving and bridge rehab. And nothing for Ray Gibbon either.
    http://www.transportation.alberta.ca...onProjects.pdf

  57. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by blainehamilton View Post
    Minor projects compared to the existing ring road and 500+km twinning projects undertaken in Alberta over the last 2 decades.

    That is 25km/year. Big whoop...
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  58. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Sorry nope, nothing in the 3 year plan for QE2 than just repaving and bridge rehab. And nothing for Ray Gibbon either.
    http://www.transportation.alberta.ca...onProjects.pdf
    But the NDP just committed a bunch of money for infrastructure. Could that change the three year plan?

  59. #159

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    They've committed money to do the planning of QEII. I just hope it's not a fruitless exercise.

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    Not sure why do yet another plan, there are tons already they can just take off the shelf.

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    Default NDP to look at high speed rail as alternative to QEII widening.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/poli...n-on-highway-2

    "The high speed train between Edmonton and Calgary is something that we're beginning to ask about."

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Not sure why do yet another plan, there are tons already they can just take off the shelf.
    - Budgets change
    - Materials change
    - New technologies become available
    - Old plans might involve defunct companies
    - Properties that would need to be expropriated have changed hands and definitely property values
    - Projects have been built which would make the old plans obsolete or woefully outdated
    - Agreements with counties/towns/cities may have expired
    - Labour costs would have increased dramatically
    - Aim of the old plans might not align with what is currently being asked for

  63. #163

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    Given how easily plans expire, they should not create anymore plans unless they are going to actually use them.

  64. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaerdo View Post
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/poli...n-on-highway-2

    "the high speed train between edmonton and calgary is something that we're beginning to ask about."
    The line would need between eight and 10 million passengers each year to be sustainable, the report said.

    22,000 to 27,000 people per day.

    nuts!

    Show me one system in the world between two cities of 1 million, about 300km apart that has anywhere near that usage.

    Consultants must be making big bucks on these reports.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 29-10-2015 at 01:43 PM.
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  65. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/poli...n-on-highway-2

    "The high speed train between Edmonton and Calgary is something that we're beginning to ask about."
    Oh brother.

    "A legislature committee last year studied the feasibility of high-speed rail between Edmonton and Calgary but ultimately determined the cities don’t have the necessary populations to make it profitable.

    The line would need between eight and 10 million passengers each year to be sustainable, the report said.
    "

    If we already know that we're not even close to being able to support HSR, why are they wasting more time and money to find the same answers we already have????

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    My understanding is that they're asking questions about a proposed right of way, and the property acquisition that will have to be done. It's probably best if they can coordinate it with the widening of the road, so they aren't just paying to do it all again if/when the HSR actually goes forward.

    Buy property now as part of widening and it'll be cheaper than buying it in 15 years specifically for HSR. Also, if they already have the property in their pocket it adds clarity to the next step, and so on for the steps after that.

  67. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post



    The line would need between eight and 10 million passengers each year to be sustainable, the report said.

    Good point, let's apply it to widening the QEII.

    How many vehicles do we need to have run to make it profitable? Oh right, we don't care if it is profitable or not. We don't collect a single cent from users.

    The purpose of them bringing this up was in context of finding an alternative for widening the QEII, therefore we should apply the same thinking to it as we would to road widening. Unless you're going to suggest we should toll the QEII to 100% cost recovery, profitability isn't an argument you can use against a train.

  68. #168

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    Avoided cost issues are a real argument.

    If it costs $10 Billion to build a HSR line and you never recover the capital costs and struggle to even cover the operating costs through ticket sales then you have a $10 Billion outlay plus financing costs.

    If widening costs $1 Billion or $2 Billion that you never recover, then you have a $8 Billion savings in avoided costs.

    Let's not even mention that the HSR would have to have a huge ridership and that the EIA would be downgraded to a regional airport in favor of an expanded Stephen J. Harper International Terminal in Calgary.

    please continue with the circular arguments. We do enjoy your struggles with basic economics.
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    So by your reasoning, we should subtract the projected cost recovery from the cost of the train, and compare that price to the cost of widening the road? I guess that makes a little bit of sense... bar the fact that the road widening will not solve traffic capacity in the long-run so long as our population grows.

    How about we look at a superior model of public decision making: total economic impact as a ratio to investment.

    As for the airport argument, I could not care less. An Alberta where Calgary and Edmonton are connected by a train that moves between the cities in the same amount of time you drive from the core to the airport does not need petty, childish competition between city boosters. We would be a stronger province if we could focus on one airport, and a rapid link between both cores would allow that to happen. A world class train network would make it possible to commute from a condo in downtown Edmonton to an office in downtown Calgary, every day. The economic potential is massive.

    To your funny little ad hominem at the end: you need to brush up on your fallacies if you're calling that circular logic.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 29-10-2015 at 02:47 PM.

  70. #170

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    You do not realize that if the EIA becomes a regional airport, air travel costs to many destination will increase as you will have to take a $200 round trip rail fare plus possible overnight hotel stays to catch the early a.m. flights and those returning late after the final train leaves for going home to Edmonton.

    Please read all the issues on the HSR thread before posting on this QEII HIGHWAY UPGRADE thread.
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    ^ Read over what you're suggesting, and then take a look back at where you claimed I don't understand basic economics.

    The only way the EIA loses routes is lower demand. Routes are there due to the ability to make money. The only reason people would take the train to Calgary is if the total cost was less. If the total cost is more there will still be demand in Edmonton, ergo, the routes will remain here.

    Your argument doesn't make any sense at all.

    FYI - the reason I posted the article here is because the NDP suggested they are going to look at HSR as an alternative to widening the QEII as the planning process proceeds.

  72. #172

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    Others would disagree with you including EIA

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    ^ I'm not sure you followed. The only way people will "go south" is if the total cost of taking the train/hotel and flight is cheaper. If the cost of travelling down there is greater than the amount saved on fares, there will still be a market in Edmonton.

    The Edmonton airport is only at risk so long as it can't compete with the price of Calgary fares+train travel+hotel. And honestly, if it can't? Who cares. Good riddance, we're better off with one airport if that is the case. If you can take a 40 minute train ride and still pay less, why wouldn't we be supporting that?

  74. #174

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    ^are you grish or edmonton daily photos alter-ego?

  75. #175

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    We are not in a competitive market as we only have a couple of airlines with limited routes in Edmonton. The economics of consolidated hubs has reduced direct service to many places and it is easy for airlines to rationalize flights to Calgary if a HSR is built. The cost of traveling to Calgary by car is reduced if traveling as a family or group and can have significant airfare reductions flying from Calgary. But for that same group, going by HSR is very expensive.
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  76. #176

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    Can we not discuss high speed rail in one of the many high speed rail threads? This is about QE2 needing an upgrade, not about some white elephant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    ^are you grish or edmonton daily photos alter-ego?
    No.

    We are not in a competitive market as we only have a couple of airlines with limited routes in Edmonton. The economics of consolidated hubs has reduced direct service to many places and it is easy for airlines to rationalize flights to Calgary if a HSR is built. The cost of traveling to Calgary by car is reduced if traveling as a family or group and can have significant airfare reductions flying from Calgary. But for that same group, going by HSR is very expensive.
    So you're saying that we should refuse to build high speed rail, just so we can let a small minority of air passengers continue to use our airport at a slightly lower cost?

    No thanks. I would rather select the option with the huge positive economic impact that will bring Alberta up to proper global standards.

    Either way though, this entire conversation about the airport is kind of a non sequitur. It is highly unlikely that rail would have the impact of shutting down one of the airports in our lifetime.

    Can we not discuss high speed rail in one of the many high speed rail threads? This is about QE2 needing an upgrade, not about some white elephant.
    I posted it here because the NDP are looking at this with the realization that widening the road is not an end solution to traffic capacity issues. I don't know what else to say about the QEII: we all agree that it needs an upgrade. Personally I think a rail line that takes a huge portion of the daily traffic away would be one of the best upgrades it could receive.

  78. #178

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    Please read the HSR thread rather than us having to repeat everything that was posted there.
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    *Sigh*. The airport argument is trash there, and it is trash here. You're the one who brought it up here, and that you also stated it ad nauseum in other locations does not make it a good argument. It is a complete non-issue.

    Otherwise, I agree with Medwards that this conversation should be happening in that thread. I only posted it here as it is the latest update on the widening conversation.

  80. #180

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    Ok, that is your opinion.

    Where you are going to find 8-10 million passengers when that is about 100% of the total traffic between the two cities, (many of whom need a car at the other end or are traveling through to Lethbridge, Banff, Grand Prairie, Ft. Mac or need to haul a load) I do not know. The amount of traffic between Edmonton and Calgary pales by comparison with other cities.
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    75% of roadways in Alberta are gravel or dirt in 2015 and the government would spend billions on HSR? If they do it will be time for a revolt, again.

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    ^^ I don't agree that you need 8-10 million passengers. I don't subscribe to the ideology that rail needs to pay itself off, but roads should be totally subsidized. Rather, I think a balanced approach to both is needed. Enough user fees to keep costs under control without counteracting the economic benefit of the project.

    I would rather see the QE2 tolled, and a HSR built now. In the future we are going to have to transition to HSR. It is a definite eventuality, so why not enjoy the benefits and relatively lower price of building now? Recoup some of the costs, with the expectation that ridership will continue to increase as time goes on.

    ^ Why exactly do we need to pave Rge Rd 21095821091b, 300 kilometers from civilization? Most of our roads have no use being paved.

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    So says the guy living in a beautiful dust free world full of pavement. You are EDP I think, or his long lost brother.

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    Yeah, so says the guy who chose to live in civilization where tax dollars spent on pavement benefit hundreds of thousands of people, rather than 4 guys and a herd of cattle.

    Why should society invest millions on a road that really only serves you?

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    However the 75% of Alberta roads, that are gravel, do not serve about 2/3 of Alberta's population, QE2 does.

  86. #186

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    HSR is not gonna happen for at least 50 years. So in the meantime, let's get on with fixing the QE2.

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    I'm all for QE2 improvements but HSR would be a waste of money. Even TO and Montreal don't have it with metro areas combined population of over 10 million. Just rediculous. The money could be spent in better ways, or better yet, not spent at all

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Yeah, so says the guy who chose to live in civilization where tax dollars spent on pavement benefit hundreds of thousands of people, rather than 4 guys and a herd of cattle.

    Why should society invest millions on a road that really only serves you?
    Because those 4 people pay taxes and should see some benefit from paying them. That and you eat that heard of cattle every time you grab a steak or ground beef from your local grocery store.

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    Why bother?

    All the talk in the freeway thread is saying that cars won't exist in 50 years so why build infrastructure for them today? I say...why build HSR when we will have teleportation devices in 75 years?
    Last edited by GranaryMan; 29-10-2015 at 08:29 PM.

  90. #190

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    Widening the highway is an incremental cost that can be done in stages. We all know it is and will be used more, benefiting all Albertans even if they never use it because their goods are transported on it and economic gains are made in the efficient transport of materials. Building HSR is a completely different matter. Building an expensive experiment to see if people will use it, all up front costs, no assurance of revenue and no benefit to those who do not use it. It cannot handle freight and offers only limited service at a high price to a few points on a very limited schedule.


    I am sure that EDP is present.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GranaryMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Yeah, so says the guy who chose to live in civilization where tax dollars spent on pavement benefit hundreds of thousands of people, rather than 4 guys and a herd of cattle.

    Why should society invest millions on a road that really only serves you?
    Because those 4 people pay taxes and should see some benefit from paying them. That and you eat that heard of cattle every time you grab a steak or ground beef from your local grocery store.
    There is zero justification to pave those rural roads from the provincial budget. They are, rightfully, manger by the counties in the same way as neighbourhood streets are in the city, only my street is 400' long and serves 16 homes so it's paved at a lower cost per property than graveling the rural road that's a mile long and borders 4 quartersections which in many cases don't even have homes or farmyards/buildings anymore.

    There may be no case for HSR but the financial case for paving every rural road is even worse.

  92. #192

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    Widen the highway, ban trucks from driving on the left lane, and raise the speed limit.

    Absolutely NO HSR, I am disappointed that the NDP government is even looking at it.
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

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    Just to be clear, the numbers tossed around such as 10Billion for HSR and 1Billion for high way widening are pure speculation. The real numbers could be higher or lower for both projects and a true comparison/ analysis is only possible after a proper comparison and costing analysis is made.

    Widening the highway only works for transit by car/bus/ truck. Widening the highway does not address getting from Calgary to Edmonton in general. Lets have a look where this leads and not start having premature regrets over something that hasn't been decided one way or the other.

  94. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Widening the highway does not address getting from Calgary to Edmonton in general.
    Can you explain that? Cause, last time I checked most people get to and from Calgary on that highway.

  95. #195
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    ...
    Absolutely NO HSR, I am disappointed that the NDP government is even looking at it.
    You (collectively not personally) get what you vote for. The NDP has always been pushing for more mass transit/transportation, less cars.

  96. #196

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    ^Agreed, HSR is a no brainer for the NDP. Rather than leave behind an extra lane, they leave behind a new option for people. Its one of the few things "I" agree with them on. I don't want more spending, but if they must spend, at least spend it on something that puts us on the map a little bit, we've already got lots of roads. I'd take HSR over Calgary ring road extension and this QEII lane anyday.

  97. #197

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    ^ Red Arrow, Grey Hound and eBus offer low fares, fast service and modern conveniences such as: "ebus offers 13.7-metre Prevost high-roof coaches, free wireless internet, electrical outlets, seat belts, footrests and extra legroom - and professional and courteous drivers."

    Lets let the private sector handle the intercity transport on the existing infrastructure rather than spending billions on HSR and turning over the management to a private company, possibly one of the bus companies.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  98. #198

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    ^if the private sector wants to build the extra QEII lane, I'm cool with that. That's not typically the way infrastructure has worked in Alberta though.

  99. #199
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    This thread is such a classic Albertan mess. No vision, no desire to turn Alberta into something great. Just people who are happy with the status quo - an Alberta that exists only to extract resources, and die as soon as they are gone.

    ^ Agree with Moahunter on this one. Other countries sell the rights to operate highways to the private sector. Sell the QE2 rights contingent on widening and maintenance to a firm who can recoup costs with tolls. It works elsewhere, and it takes all the risk away from the public. No public investment needed, and taxpayers who never use the highway don't have to subsidize it any more.

    Meanwhile - China is investing billions in upgrading their train system to connect the whole country to 300+mph HSR. They have vision, and it will lead them to dominate the global economy.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 30-10-2015 at 10:29 AM.

  100. #200

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    Right, China and Alberta are so similar.

    1.38 Billion compared to 3.6 million
    377 times the population

    145 people/km2 compared to 5.7 people/km2
    25 times the population density

    China 113 vehicles/1000 people
    Canada 607 vehicles/1000 people

    List of major cities in China
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._by_population

    Give me a bloody break. You are Edmonton Daily Photo.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 30-10-2015 at 01:10 PM.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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