Archive for Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kansans are driving less, using efficient cars

June 19, 2012


— With Kansans driving less and using more fuel-efficient vehicles, the state is studying the possible impact of a drop in fuel tax revenue.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says the decline in revenue from motor fuel taxes is a concern because that money is the primary way the state funds its highway projects.

The Wichita Eagle reports Kansans drove 82.2 million miles each day last year. That's an increase from 81.9 million miles in 2010, but a drop from 83 million in 2006.

Leif Holliday, a traffic engineer for the transportation department, said traffic had grown 1 to 3 percent annually until 2007, when it dropped to levels seen five to eight years before.

KDOT spokeswoman Sally Lunsford says most states are collecting declining motor fuel tax revenue.


labmonkey 5 years, 9 months ago

When my half-ton Silverado wrecked, I decided to get a more fuel efficient truck and bought a 3/4 ton Duramax.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 9 months ago

All Americans are socialists. That's why older folks cash social security checks, farmers cash subsidy checks, students can attend public schools and universities, we can drive on public streets rather than exclusive use of toll roads, etc. If you don't want to be a socialist, you have to live in a place like Syria where the "president" controls everything...

frankwiles 5 years, 9 months ago

Saving money at the pump is socialist now? I'd call that being fiscally responsible.

Bobby Burch 5 years, 9 months ago

Pssh. Responsibility. Sounds like typical socialist rhetoric ...

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

Buncha bleeding heart, dim-witted liberal environmentalists ruining things for everybody.

grimpeur 5 years, 9 months ago

Soooooo lemme get this straight. We drive 300,000 more miles than the previous year, but the headline reads "...driving less..."

Since 2007, lots of Kansans haven't been driving to work.

signoflife 5 years, 9 months ago

Lighter more fuel efficient cars do less damage to the roads,.. therefore less maintenance will need to be done to them per vehicle mile traveled. Also, less miles means less maintenance is needed. Granted most of the damage to roads is through heavy truck traffic and weather, the percentage paid by those doing less damage to the roads should be proportionately less. I don't think taxes need an increase because revenues are dropping. I would consider the trend a good thing. Down the road, perhaps charge more at truck weigh stations for the heavy traffic.

labmonkey 5 years, 9 months ago

If they would build roads right the first time, they wouldn't have to repair them as much. Yes, the cost is more up front but it is a better value in the long run. Study the engineering of Germany's Autobahn vs. the US Interstate system. Their roads are 44" thick and are built in sections so all they have to do is close off a lane and replace the section when there is a bad spot with a pre-built section. The US Interstate highway averages 21" thick and vary from state to state. 44" can take a hell of a lot more beating than 21" can.

dwendel 5 years, 9 months ago

Ssssssshhh. Germans are socialists. ( And those commie Chinese are kicking our butts too. )

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 9 months ago

That's so true, labmonkey. There was a time when highways were built right the first time, out of concrete, back in the 1920s.

To take a look at a highway that was built right back in the 1920s, out of concrete, take a day trip to Troy, Kansas, about 60 or so miles north of Lawrence, and look at old Highway 36 east of town.

It is true that old Highway 36 has a lot of curves and is narrow. It is also true that there is a slight bump between the sections of concrete.

But, considering that old Highway 36 has been in continuous use for over 80 years, it is in remarkable shape. But, building things right the first time is either a lost art, or is not valued today. After all, the contractor will get paid the next time a road needs to be rebuilt, and if the roads last as long as old Highway 36 has, it will be his grandchildren or great grandchildren that get the contract.

And, since old Highway 36 is still in such remarkable condition, there is no telling how many more decades it will last.

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