Nevada drivers locked into endless traffic congestion are facing a Catch-22 situation. It is clear new highway construction is a must but voters and politicians will not support gasoline tax increases to fund new highway construction or added lanes.
Economists predict the $90 a barrel we have now will be increasing to $200. That leaves higher gasoline taxes out as an option for highway construction funds.
Lawmakers are working to solve this dilemma in preparation for the 2009 Nevada Legislative session. The issue was discussed at the first meeting of an interim subcommittee formed to study transportation issues.
Private toll roads, as well as toll lanes on I-15 from California through Las Vegas and on to Mesquite would go a long way to relieve congestion. A toll lane for passenger cars was discussed as well as a separate lane for commercial vehicles. To facilitate the collection of toll money, drivers who regularly drive onto a toll road or lane would have a card similar to a credit card and an electronic reader device would read the card and a toll bill would arrive in their mailbox each month.
Aside from new highway construction, discussions abound regarding the best way to provide proper road maintenance. Nevada Department of Transportation's operations analyst Russ Law recently advanced the theory that a single 80,000-pound truck causes the same amount of damage as 9,600 passenger cars!
Former state Transportation Director Garth Dull added that 86 percent of the commercial trucks on Nevada highways did not originate in or have a destination in the state.
State Senator Bob Coffin plans to introduce bills at the 2009 Legislature that call for a six-cent-per-gallon increase in the diesel tax and to create a weight distance tax. Other legislators disagree and so it goes — arguments are definitely heating up in preparation for the 2009 Legislature session
Las Vegan Chad Stone, a self confessed computer nerd, brings help to computer users and he does it in a unique way. His business owns three ambulances, all powered by vegetable oil. A call from a frustrated computer owner and an ambulance is sent off to the rescue. Chad is used to the stares as he arrives and rolls out computer parts on a stretcher. When questioned, Chad says he believes it is the smaller businesses that are going to make a difference in our environment, commenting, "If we wait for big business to go green, we're going to be waiting forever."
It's bad enough the rising fuel costs of the past few months have kept us closer to home but consider the plight of one Las Vegas business, Eagle Windows. Not only is the owner hurting when he tanks up his vehicles, he has to face higher freighting costs to bring in his product and, to add insult to injury, the price of the windows he orders have jumped thanks to petroleum-based components on the windows, such as plastic molding and trims.
I guess we had all better pack up and move to Newark, New Jersey where the price of gasoline is the lowest in the country.
While you are mulling that over, don't forget to make plans to attend the 55th WPMA Annual Convention February 19-21, 2008 at the Mirage Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tuesday, February 19, the WPMA Scholarship Open Golf Tournament on the Bali Hai golf course on the Las Vegas Strip starts off three days of informative meetings. On Wednesday, the opening Keynote Speaker is John Stossel, a correspondent and co-anchor of ABC News 20/20. Thursday morning, attend Management Workshops. At noon, Grand Finale Awards Luncheon Speaker Archie Manning will cap off an interesting and informative convention!
The fun doesn't stop at end of the convention — immediately afterwards, a group from the WPMA is invited to fly to Nairobi, Kenya and embark on an African Safari, traveling to Kenya, Mt. Kenya and then on to Samburu and Masai Mara Game Reserves. For information and reservations, call Destination Travel at 801-446-5000 or e-mail WWW.destinationsinc.com.
Originally published in the December 2007 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2007 by KAL Publications Inc.
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