ACC12_SEC13Booster

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 6 months ago on I-85 toll lane reaches all-time high

The I-85 HOT Lanes are basically an act of long-term social engineering in that the government is using them to slowly price excess traffic (excess traffic as in Single-Occupant Vehicle or SOV traffic) off of Atlanta region freeways and onto bus and eventually rail transit lines.

The government is basically going to force Metro Atlantans and North Georgians to use transit whether they want to or not by pricing virtually all non-business single-occupant vehicle traffic off of major roads (freeways and surface roads) over the next couple-of-decades.

Under the government's long-term congestion pricing plans, the HOT lanes and express lanes will have variable tolls that are priced to keep the lanes always moving at an average of 50 mph while the "regular lanes" will have variable tolls that are priced to keep the lanes always moving at an average of 40-45 mph. Vehicles with 3 or more occupants (carpools, vanpools, buses), motorcycles and business vehicles will pay lower toll rates.

0

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 6 months ago on I-85 toll lane reaches all-time high

Of course the tolls on the I-85 HOT lanes are not up to a level to cover the costs of converting, operating and maintaining the lanes.

That's because the I-85 HOT lanes are not necessarily about covering the cost of the lanes so much as they are about somewhat rather slowly introducing congestion pricing to Atlanta region and North Georgia commuters and steadily increasing congestion pricing and variable tolling on North Georgia roads.

They're not only going to add HOT lanes and tolled express lanes all over the metro area.

They're going to eventually add variable tolls to ALL FREEWAY LANES (carpool, express and general purpose lanes) in the metro region and throughout much of North Georgia. That includes adding variable tolls on express lanes through grade-separated intersections converted out of busy existing at-grade intersections on busy major SURFACE ROADS (like P'tree Industrial Blvd, Buford Hwy, Jimmy Carter Blvd, GA 20, Pleasant Hill Rd, etc).

0

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 6 months ago on I-85 toll lane reaches all-time high

Three examples of what Georgia and other states plan do with transportation infrastructure in coming years:

...In 2006 the State of Indiana leased out for 75 years the 157 mile-long I-90/I-80 Indiana Toll Road out to a private consortium for $3.8 BILLION. The private consortium leasing the road from the State of Indiana gets to keep all of the revenues from tolls and raise toll rates basically whenever they want in exchange for paying all operational and maintenance costs on the road during the 75-year life of the contract. http://reason.org/news/show/leasing-the-indiana-toll-road

...In 2005, the City of Chicago leased-out for 99 years the 8 mile-long Chicago Skyway bridge and approaching I-90 roadway to a private consortium for $1.83 BILLION. It is much the same deal as the State of Indiana with the private consortium getting to keep the tolls from the bridge and road and raise toll rates in exchange for having to pay all operational and maintenance costs. http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/988 http://theexpiredmeter.com/2012/12/chicago-skyway-tolls-going-up-january-1st/

...The State of Indiana is also using a public-private partnership to finance most of its portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project, a $2.6 billion project in which two new bridges and a new tunnel will be constructed on Interstates 65 & 265 and an existing bridge on I-65 over the Ohio River and a major freeway interchange at the junction of Interstates 65, 64 & 71 will be rebuilt in a joint effort by the States of Indiana and Kentucky, which is paying for its portion of the project through traditional toll and bonding financing methods. http://www.governing.com/blogs/bfc/col-indiana-public-private-partnership-ohio-river-bridges-project.html http://www.kyinbridges.com/

0

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 6 months ago on I-85 toll lane reaches all-time high

You are also so very correct about public-private partnerships being a long-term trend.

But the long-term trend in public-private partnerships in the State of Georgia appears not only to be the long-term leasing of these tolled express lane projects, but the the long-term leasing of entire multimodal transportation corridors and their real-estate parcels in the form of the "Super-Corridor" concept, if you will.

So instead of the state only leasing out just the I-85 HOT Lanes to a private company, under the multimodal supercorridor concept, the state will extend variable tolls to all lanes of I-85 (HOT Lanes and currently un-tolled general-purpose lanes) and lease-out the entire I-85 roadway along with tolled express lanes in grade-separation projects at the busiest at-grade intersections on parallel, nearby and connecting major roads like GA 316, I-985, GA 20, Buford Hwy, Jimmy Carter Blvd, Pleasant Hill Rd, Peachtree Industrial Blvd AND current and future bus lines AND future parallel high-capacity passenger rail transit lines between Atlanta and Gainesville (and beyond into South Carolina) and between Atlanta and Athens.

It's basically a long-term plan by Georgia and other states to place variable tolls virtually EVERYWHERE (on all lanes of freeways and at numerous grade-separated intersections converted out of current major at-grade intersections) and bundle those variable-tolled roads together with bus and rail transit lines and adjoining real estate parcels and lease those multimodal transportation bundles (in the form of multimodal transportation supercorridors) out for BILLIONS in return from private investor/operators.

0

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 6 months ago on I-85 toll lane reaches all-time high

...Excellent points. If the government was going to install HOT lanes along I-85 they should have ADDED them to the right-of-way like the proposed HOT lane project on I-75/I-575 North in Cobb County and the Express lanes on I-75 South in Henry County.

You are also so very correct that there are more of these projects in the pipeline (many, many more) as the I-85 HOT Lanes are only the first stage (opening stage) of a long-term project to eventually convert ALL LANES of the freeway system to variable-tolled lanes.

Here is a link to the GDOT plan to the first phase of the long-term plan for the widespread implementation of congestion pricing across the North Georgia: http://www.dot.ga.gov/Projects/studies/managedlanes/Documents/FINALREPORT.pdf

0

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 7 months ago on Work approved for long-awaited Ga. 20 widening

Because construction of the Northern Arc is a political impossibility (and has been since 2002), the long-delayed widening of the 2-lane GA 20 into a divided 4-lane highway is more than likely the best that we'll ever get.

0

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 7 months ago on Work approved for long-awaited Ga. 20 widening

Previous politicians (specifically, former Governor Roy Barnes and the Democrats) did support the Northern Arc and got thrown out of power head-first by a bunch of angry voters and replaced with Georgia Republicans who understandably equate any support of the unpopular Northern Arc with certain political death after seeing what happened to the Democrats after they supported it.

There are too many very-powerful and well-connected people with large and powerful anti-Northern Arc/anti-Outer Perimeter constituencies opposing the Northern Arc for it to ever be built.

This is particularly the case in Forsyth and Cherokee counties where the right-of-way of the proposed road was intentionally filled with high-end residential development so as to make construction of the unpopular road physically and politically impossible.

This is also the case in Bartow County where the ultra-powerful and affluent Rollins Family (of pest control fame) continues to successfully lead the ongoing local effort to block the Georgia Department of Transportation from constructing the unpopular I-75/US 411 Connector (a northwestern remnant of the former Northern Arc) through their land which includes some historic sites and prime land in the form of heavily-wooded mountain ranges.

0

ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 7 months ago on Work approved for long-awaited Ga. 20 widening

Traffic on GA 20 also would move faster if the state constructed separated-grade intersections on GA 20 at P'tree Industrial Blvd and Buford Hwy while widening GA 20 to 6 lanes between the I-85 junction in Buford and the GA 316 junction in Lawrenceville.

0

Prev