Former roughneck, longtime journalist and communications professor Randy Salzman promotes transportation demand management that actually changes driving behavior and decreases America’s oil dependency, greenhouse, congestion and foreign policy issues while aiding public health.
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For Whom the Tolls Toil…

Toll roads are the “rage” these days with tolling operations opening in the Northern Virginia suburbs and in the actual center of the freeway world, Los Angeles. One of my favorite thinkers, Don Shoup, is an advocate of these “dynamic” or – his term – “Goldilocks” pricing operations where the toll is dependent upon adjacent...

Under the Radar: Western Bypass bid ploy

This latest questionable practice pushing the fast-tracked “Charlottesville Western Bypass” toward construction is that the Skanska-Branch “design” bypasses the recorded agreements between Commonwealth Transportation Board, the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and Albemarle County by extending Leonard Sandridge Road on the Darden Business School campus OVER U.S. 250 prior to starting the official bypass.^ In this...

The Worst and the Worser

I’m in a quandary about our national politics. I can’t vote for Mitt Romney because he says his “day one” agenda will include approving the Keystone XL Pipeline and I can’t vote for President Obama because he now has a history of ignoring the environment in programs like “Cash4Clunkers” and “Stimulus” highway building, plus he’s...

Common Sense?

The Taxpayers for Common Sense, in an October report subtitled “Two trillion in common sense cuts to avoid the fiscal cliff,” notes the so-called Charlottesville Western Bypass is a financial boondoggle: “This bypass is extremely expensive as compared to similar projects and will cost almost $40 million per mile. Furthermore, state transportation officials found that...

The Law of Reality

It’s only a few months old but Australia’s carbon tax is already fraying, illustrating yet again that there are always unintended consequences of new governmental actions. In Australia’s case, both the unions – which heavily supported the Labor Party government which brought in carbon taxing – and business – which did not – have discovered...

The Future of the Planet

Dr. Peter Newman, one of my heroes (hell, what am I saying, my ONLY hero) put it like this as we waited on respective planes in the Melbourne Airport: “I’ve got to go back to Perth and fight the bureaucratic battles. I should be fighting for the future of the world.” Which he does. Presently...

All the World’s a Stage…

The Administration’s new auto fuel-efficiency standards will save 12 million barrels of oil and $1.7 trillion if 1) automakers can actually get to 54.4 average miles per gallon by 2025; 2) consumers will buy those fuel sippers; 3) 20-plus years of “safety” advertising can be totally overcome; and 4) history quits repeating itself. A half...

“Somethin’s Happenin’ Here”

I come from the generation that Time Magazine once called the “most idealistic of all time” yet we’re the ones who won’t inconvenience ourselves enough to save the planet. We have the power, both major party presidential candidates are in our age group, and we have the facts, there are no major scientists any longer...

Death of Democracy

Over the past month, I’ve watched the death of democracy in my hometown as three county supervisors have completely ignored their publics and strangled any rational discussion of the spending of borrowed $250 billion on a highway that virtually no one locally wants. In the latest, 15 of 17 speakers backed a motion which reiterated...

Road to Health (and Wealth) Destruction

We teach our school kids to do homework. Can we teach county supervisors? Since the last Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on Charlottesville’s 6.2-mile, $250 million-plus Western “Bypass” was completed in 2003, research studies linking highway exhaust to childhood asthma and reduced lung capacity are legion. Yet three Albemarle County supervisors in a recent letter to...

A Sinking Feeling

Yesterday Uncle Sam announced that a third carrier group was arriving in the Persian Gulf to protect world oil supply after yet another Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. Last week The Washington Post reported the Pentagon’s top weapons analyst testified that a small $700 million ship being designed for combat with swarming...

Sunday Dialogue

It is, I think, a sign of better times that response to a 275-word note that the New York Times ran suggesting increased gasoline taxing has gotten overwhelmingly positive response. The Times’ op-ed editor said this when I asked for the “hate” letters that I was sure were flooding in: “They almost all agreed with...