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July 04, 2006

Big trucks on highway

In the wake of the horrific accident on Interstate 70 that took the lives of four ladies from Kansas City, I see that the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, Pete Rahn, has an "idea" for relieving the anxiety of driving next to the huge semi-trailer trucks between Kansas City and St. Louis (7/1, Local).

His idea is to build separate lanes for trucks and cars at a cost to taxpayers of $3.5 billion. He wants two lanes in each direction, for a $7 billion outlay.

Wait a minute. Didn't we used to have this already? Wasn't it called the railroad?

Georgia Mueller
Belton

Comments

GCYL

“How about something like, when you subsidize a business to give it an advantage over another business (even in an accidental sort of way), you will have to keep on doing it.”

I’m not comfortable with calling the up keep of public transportation or public infrastructure “a business advantage”. The history of the changing means of public transportation is interesting and we could agree on different mistakes made by both our government and consumers but is this really a subsidized business? Are the trucks in question weighed and some form of taxes collected? What would MO lose if more restrictive laws and taxes were passed on these trucks? They could start by passing MO (ok with me) but at what cost?

Second, you can always stop subsidizing a business. The state was “subsidizing” something prior to highways and then they more or less stopped.

“Now MoDot is telling us we need bigger highways for the highways to be safe for trucks and cars together. Or maybe something like, you get what you subsidize, even when, in the long run, you might be better off with the way things were before.”

I don’t like the thought of more roads and I would not vote for any measure that would support the building of more roads. What do you mean by being better off with the way things were before? What was the state “subsidizing” prior to highways that was better?

If you are saying that trucks are one of the errors in our history of public transportation then I would agree to a point. However the reality is that trucks do move a lot of freight though out our country and with in the state of MO.

Joe Barone

How about something like, when you subsidize a business to give it an advantage over another business (even in an accidental sort of way), you will have to keep on doing it. Now MoDot is telling us we need bigger highways for the highways to be safe for trucks and cars together. Or maybe something like, you get what you subsidize, even when, in the long run, you might be better off with the way things were before.

GCYL

Honestly Joe, what lesson do you see here?

Joe Barone

Ah, but the taxpayers didn't pay to build rails the way they paid to build highways. Maybe there's a lesson here.

 
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