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~$76million/year Virginians Pay to the Dulles Greedway!

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by beahmer, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    The roads are entirely different and were built on different pretenses by different people. There will never be any model like you described as long as the greenway is private. They are two separate toll roads that are abutted together.

    And people do complain about the Dulles Toll Road, because it's toll rates are climbing at astronomical rates, and are known to keep on that path because of the 'pass the buck' deal the State made with the airport authority to fund metro.

    Advocates for distance based tolls ignore that the company will never implement a model that would cause their revenues to go way down. Just because Ashburn is halfway down the toll road.. that doesn't mean your tolls would be cut in half.

    I could care less what the greenway charges... let them decide what their customers are willing to pay. But what is wrong is the state relying on the bypass as a main artery in the area.
     
    latka likes this.
  2. latka

    latka Member

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    Duh, but The Greenway is voluntary. You only pay it if you want to use it. Your beef is with VDOT and the State government.
     
  3. SK8R

    SK8R On the Clover Meadow

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    The road is pristine, and there is nary a paper cup on the side. Never see any dead critters either.
    Those Greenway "workers" drive around in a truck all day.
    A couple years ago I thought,' wow I would love to work for the Greenway. What a cushy job'
    I bet they get paid very well to look important and wear those reflective vests.
    So, these employees need to get paid.
    I do not envision any time in the future that fees will be distance based.
    It would not be profitable.

    I avoid the Greenway. I use it about 5 days out of the month at most. That will be over once the 'rents are in Ashby Ponds. No more trips on the Beltway to the house in Annapolis.
    I can't wait.
     
  4. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    With regard to revenues, I can understand the argument about the distance-based tolls lowering revenues on weekdays. What about on weekends though? I suspect the Greenway operators could make their revenues go UP if they lowered the rates to increase usage on the weekends. There are lots of times I would love to take the Greenway to get someplace quicker on a weekend, but I don't out of principle for not wanting to spend that astronomical amount of money for a short trip to Home Depot and back.
     
  5. J Williams

    J Williams New Member

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    The Greenway business is a case study in economics. If you are willing to pay, you take it; if you are not willing to pay, you find other routes. Additionally, the Greenway owners will adjust prices to maximize their profit.

    With that said, in capitalism, you vote with your dollar. If you have issues with a business, you simply do not give them money (and perhaps persuade others not to either). If you support a business, you patronize that business. In this case, the more people that chose not to pay the higher price west of Route 28, which leads to worse conditions are on Route 28 and Waxpool road, which leads to more pressure there is for VDOT and county government to do something about the congestion. However, pressure for change comes down to citizen and local business involvement.

    With all of that said, these points may be moot if there are any governmental dollars or tax breaks involved (which I do not know). Governmental dollars and tax breaks can skew economics to other intended or unintended outcomes. The following examples are purely conjecture: For an example of an intended consequence, Government involvement may have allowed a road to be built when it would not have otherwise, allowing for an increase in the rate of economic development within Loudoun County. An example of an unintended consequence could be the county being bound by associated agreements or dipping into the transportation budget that would otherwise address congestion issues on these roads or work to complete the network in other areas.
     
  6. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Your simplification ommits all the elements that make it complex. It's more about Politics than it is economics. Your simplification ignores the business has regulated price structures, that it has mandates that are supposed to control it's pricing, that the business is used as an excuse for government NOT to deliver on it's obligations to it's tax payers.

    It's not econmics... it's more akin to if Congress decided "the USPS should only be mandated to have to deliver mail weekly.. those that want something better can use UPS/etc". Where government can defer it's responsibility by pointing at much more expensive private enterprise options... rather than ensure reliable services it has been tasked to deliver or oversee.
     
  7. hometheaterguy

    hometheaterguy New Member

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    This year there has been continuous discussion between brambleton and south riding re: alt2 south of brambleton. I'm curious if alt2 is built, would that benefit Broadlands residents?
     
  8. J Williams

    J Williams New Member

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    Flynnibus, you must have missed the last paragraph of my comment. Without writing a treatise to cover all aspects, my point was that when government gets involved in business, there are ripple effects . I do not know what the stipulations are that are involved in the Greenway deal. However, this is all economics. From the public sector prospective, government can only provide services if it has the budget or is able to finance these services (not to open up debate on if and how much government should finance). Please expand on how this is a politics issue--I am not sure how simply not providing services advances anyone's political interests.

    As for your USPS example, is this not exactly the cessation of Saturday mail discussion? This is a government service that we all enjoy, but it is again an economics issue. USPS actually self-funded, with price controls, and is buckling under its weight due to tight regulation, which actually proves my point. However, as demand increases because of the increase of use of other postal services, supply (of the service) will increase, which will drop prices, assuming a fair market. As a side note, I personally have been forced to use other courier services for all business purposes because of the poor performance of the USPS.

    I am not sure what government obligation you refer to, perhaps you refer to the honest use of public funds. The political and financial climate since the recession has squeezed municipal governments all over the country. Our region was somewhat insulated, but the recession affects decisions. Public/private partnerships allow the government to do more than they can on their own based on budgets and public perception of expenditures. As much as we as citizens like to have free access to as much as possible, the decision was made that it was in the county's interest to build the Greenway, and the only way to do it was with the help of private investment. In capitalism, investment requires a return in order to make it worthwhile.

    This brings me to the bottom line I hoped to make in my first post. Your dollar is your vote. If you do not like something, do not give it money and encourage further activity that you do not agree with. If we decide as a county we do not want a private company running the Greenway, we should start a discussion on how to buy the ownership stake from the current owners and then fund its maintenance if we decide to no longer collect tolls.
     
  9. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Then why are you debating it's pretense and impacts?

    The Greenway was secured and built with it's own money. The Greenway is not subsidized. The Greenway is a private venture that was allowed under an law written specifically for roads like this.. under the guise that private industry would build so the public would not have to... private does it better, cheaper, faster, etc.. with the trade-off that the private roads would be regulated in their tolls such that they would remain reasonable cost and not fleecing people by requiring all toll increases to be approved by the state and justified under specified criteria.

    The Greenway was SUPPOSED to be a private alternative road (it was built as a bypass for Rt7) that would service people who CHOSE to use it under regulated pricing. What it has evolved into though is an excuse for the government to not address the transportation needs of the region with uncontrolled pricing because of a limp regulatory body and fancy bookkeeping by the road owners.

    Because if you can give people something they want... without paying for it... it's a political win. See the deal the state swung with WMATA to 'green light' the silver line. The politican gets to say 'yeah we did it!' without having to face any of the consequences of the cost. Because he just passed the buck to the next term and they make WMATA look like the bad guy because they raised the tolls instead of the politicans raising a tax. In the case of the Greenway, it is political in the transportation planning and funding in the region. It's also tied to the state regulatory committee tasked with enforcing the requirements on the tolls.. and how they are scrutinized and approved.

    The Greenway does not exist in a vaccum - it competes with services that are supposed to be funded and built out for the common good. Here the Politicans again get to avoid having to fund things when they can say "you have this great road over here you can use...". It no longer becomes a choice.. when people are being funneled into using it because the public funded roads are so overloaded.

    We don't need more cars on Rt 7 or Waxpool to prove a need. The roads are over loaded and the greenway is not. So there is this idea there is capacity still in the region.

    Relationships that under law were allowed providing the citizens were protected against unrealistic costs... and why they were regulated. But the Greenway has skirted those requirements through creative ownership and spending (rack up debt... paying interest to your real pocketbooks.. and then argue you need higher tolls because of your high debt load).

    You have the cart leading the horse here sir...

    I assume you are new to the region J Williams? You don't sound familiar with the history of the road over it's lifetime in the county.
     

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