Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Quote of the Day: On traffic jams

“A traffic jam is a collision between free enterprise and socialism. Free enterprise
produces automobiles faster than socialism can build roads and road capacity.”

- Andrew Galambos


  1. Train the army to build roads....

    For those who say it can't be done y'all had best go to my link before you come bustin' my balls

  2. Make it possible for free enterprise to build roads

  3. The latest planning "trend" is to regard congestion as a "tool" to encourage people to use the planners' preferred modes - the slow ones.

  4. Has there ever been an example of privately funded roads serving a city better than government built ones?

  5. @ Jamie - where to begin....

    Firstly, I'm sure it can be done. You can take soldiers and train them to drive graders, or operate crushing plant, or lay asphalt. Equally you can train an engineer to be a solidier, or a lawyer to be a barista (although judging by most lawyers, the coffee would be over-priced and of mediocre standard). But, excepting time of war or civil emergency where it might be appropriate for the army to build roads or other infrastructure of a temporary nature (the rationale for the US Army Corp of Engineers), why on earth would you want to do that??

    Secondly, how is transferring the responsibility from one gov't entity (who at least know roads) to another gov't entity (who are trained to fight wars) a solution? When NZTA is told to build a road in a particular place, they have it designed, and then put the construction out for competitive tender to the private sector - and the construction is generally completed in a timely and efficient manner.

    There's no problem or shortage with road building resources. It's something the private sector provides very well in most cases in a very competitive environment, and handing it to a gov't entity to do in-house would surely be a retrograde step. The problem arises when the entity making decisions on what to build (the gov't) is largely immune to price signals and market forces - and the ability to respond to demand in a timely manner is further hampered by the RMA.

  6. @ Scott - Yes, you can that at work in post-quake Christchurch, specifically Victoria Street - the part of the city now with the most vibrancy, and the quickest to rebuild - because it was outside the control of the CCDU. In response to the increasing numbers of office blocks and restaurants opening up, they've phased the lights exiting on Moorhouse Avenue to only let through 3 cars or so at a time, resulting in the street being backed up and taking about 10 minutes to enter or leave much of the time. If it's deliberate (and I suspect it is), it's absolutely disgusting.


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