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Raise Gas Taxes!

bestnightmare

Cyburbian
Messages
61
Points
4
we can't seem to kick the oil habit. why not use artificial means to make it more expensive (read: gas taxes increases)?

let's see...i could be a leftist who wants to take away your personal mobility, financially cripple the average american, hurt small businesses that rely on truck and car tranport, stifle free enterprise in general, promote a socialist, activist, and corrupt government, all while destroying the economy.

or, i could be a visionary with a simple idea that could singlehandedly save the american landscape from sprawl, improve the environment, create a demand for viable and useful public transit and other gov't services, not to mention better, cleaner products and services from private enterprise, raise the average citizen's quality of life by a significant amount...etc.
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,149
Points
27
Well, I'm not too sure if you are being serious or if you are being trollish. Either way, I'm going to give you the benefit of doubt.

I'm all for raising gas taxes, but there has to be reason for it, other than rasing gas taxes for the sake of raising gas taxes. Sure, the tax could account for externalities, but how does that play out to the general public? Heck, even as college degree-holding planner, I am not too sure what an externality is. What we need is politically salable justification for a drastic increase in gas taxes. If I were told that a $0.99 increase would pay for more sidewalks and better public transit, then I'd support it. But if that tax were to be put toward highway construction, then I'd be against it. Give me a reason to support your gas tax, and I might just do that.

bestnightmare said:
we can't seem to kick the oil habit. why not use artificial means to make it more expensive (read: gas taxes increases)?
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
bestnightmare said:
we can't seem to kick the oil habit. why not use artificial means to make it more expensive (read: gas taxes increases)?

let's see...i could be a leftist who wants to take away your personal mobility, financially cripple the average american, hurt small businesses that rely on truck and car tranport, stifle free enterprise in general, promote a socialist, activist, and corrupt government, all while destroying the economy.

or, i could be a visionary with a simple idea that could singlehandedly save the american landscape from sprawl, improve the environment, create a demand for viable and useful public transit and other gov't services, not to mention better, cleaner products and services from private enterprise, raise the average citizen's quality of life by a significant amount...etc.
I vote for # 1. :)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Gas prices/consumption tend to be elastic, ie cost of the fuel has little to do with how much is consummed, for the most part.

I hate gas taxes. I look across the street at the sign and see 75.6 cents/litre which equals $2.86CDN/US gallon.

Of that 75.6 about 60% is tax in some form or another.(excise, HST, PST and road tax)

The gov't claims it is to improve our roads, but you should see the pot holes and crumbling infrastructure in our province.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
I don't agree with raising gas taxes for the sake of raising gas taxes. I would like to see better distribution of existing gas taxes - as Donk pointed out, Canada has fairly high taxes on gasoline (nothing compared to Europe though), and yet our transportation infrastructure is crumbling.

We're trying to get a dedicated gas tax in the Greater Toronto Area to support re-investment in public transit. While I agree in principle with the idea of dedicated taxes, I would prefer a redistribution of existing tax revenue rather than the introduction of a "new" tax.
 

bestnightmare

Cyburbian
Messages
61
Points
4
yes, i am being tongue in cheek.

let's add three conditions to this gas tax increase...

1. it must be done gradually enough to allow the average consumer to adjust their habits (e.g. ditch the suv for a more fuel efficient car; carpool; use public transit; combine trips, etc.) so as not to make any sudden dents on the personal pocketbook.

2. true, the tax shouldn't be just for the sake of adding artifical cost. say, for example, this tax could be used to help shore up the countless states that are experiencing major budget crises, slashing everything from state police personnel to university funding to road maintenance. even a dime increase would help significantly with these costs. what if, however, my alterior motive is, in fact, to simply make driving more expensive?

3. under no circumstances could this be a nationwide federal tax. nor could it be a statewide tax. it would be a county and municipality imposed tax. for example, why should people on the rural eastern shore of maryland, sparsely poplulated with little urban space, have to pay as much to drive as those in, say, montgomery county, home of the top half of the capital beltway, notoriously bad traffic everywhere, and an aggressive zoning policy that prohibits suburban development in the northern part of the county?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,837
Points
59
Here's something to ponder ...

Would you support a 25 centgallon (six cent/liter) tax on gasoline, if it went into a fund that would pay for removal of billboards along Federal aid highways?
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
bestnightmare said:


2. true, the tax shouldn't be just for the sake of adding artifical cost. say, for example, this tax could be used to help shore up the countless states that are experiencing major budget crises, slashing everything from state police personnel to university funding to road maintenance. even a dime increase would help significantly with these costs. what if, however, my alterior motive is, in fact, to simply make driving more expensive?
When I was home visiting a couple of weeks ago I read in the newspaper that South Carolina is actually considering this.

SC currently has one of the lowest gas taxes in the region, one of the largest state road systems in the country, a major budget shortfall, and a booming population. The new govenors plan is to institute a significant rise in the gas tax, keep property taxes, and eventually phase-out the state income tax. This is perhaps the first progressive thing to come out of that state in 200 years. This not only addresses transportation but also taxation equity (If you drive a gas hog then you will pay for your share of road wear. You can afford afford a million dollar home then you can pay the taxes. You make minimum wage and can't afford either, then you deserve to keep your money) and economic development.
I know this is close to going off subject, but what do you guys think?
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Dan asks: Would you support a 25 centgallon (six cent/liter) tax on gasoline, if it went into a fund that would pay for removal of billboards along Federal aid highways?

Who would the 25 cents go to? The business of the advertiser for loss of business? The owner of the billboard for loss of revenue? The owner of the farm or property for loss of lease revenue? Or to pay the man removing the billboard?

Don’t get me wrong, I HATE billboards, I just can’t figure out how the 25 cents per gallon could remove them.

And yes. I would pay this if it were tax deductible.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
bestnightmare said:
under no circumstances could this be a nationwide federal tax. nor could it be a statewide tax. it would be a county and municipality imposed tax. for example, why should people on the rural eastern shore of maryland, sparsely poplulated with little urban space, have to pay as much to drive as those in, say, montgomery county, home of the top half of the capital beltway, notoriously bad traffic everywhere, and an aggressive zoning policy that prohibits suburban development in the northern part of the county?
This would not work, because if the tax was too high, people would simply drive an extra 30 miles to a cheaper area and fill up if there is a signficant savings.

We already have obnoxious gas taxes. Govenrment should use that money more wisely instead of raising them.

Another problem with gas taxes is that they are regressive. Someone making 50,000 a year would complain about paying 3.00 a gallon, but they would still fill up without giving it much thought while someone making minimum wage who depends on a car to get to work would really be hit hard if the taxes were significantly raised.

How about we charge bus riders the actual cost of providing mass transit? ;)
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
jtfortin said:
...How about we charge bus riders the actual cost of providing mass transit? ;)
WOOOOO! Now were trolling ;)

I think that may be an argument for raising gas taxes - so people will get closer to paying the actual cost of private transportation, which is even more heavily subsidized. I feel its not so much the amount, but our missed priorities in spending it.

Here in Western PA the state is spending several billion on new highways that few people will use in relation to the well routed but glogged and crumbling roads we have now. (One of these highways plans to cut through the middle of a couple of well established neighborhood in the city) At the same time the port authority is having to cut back on the bus service and light rail expansion that a couple hundred thousand of people, like myself, use on a daily basis, without much promise of increased funding from the state. Just an example.
 
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Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
jtfortin said:
How about we charge bus riders the actual cost of providing mass transit? ;)
How about they make mass trasit more useable? In this area I'd have to walk over 2 miles to get to a bus stop that would take over an hour to get me the 12 miles to work. I'm not getting up at 4 in the morning to get to work.

Why not make SUVs harder for people to buy? They guzzle gas, why not make people have to prove the need and future use of a vehicle like that? (Perhaps I'm just pissed off that people think they're so much safer in that big freakin' car and, while they are, they still suck as a drivers and I'm more in danger when they come barreling towards me in my little Focus!)
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
In response to TexasPlanner: Why not make SUVs harder for people to buy? They guzzle gas, why not make people have to prove the need and future use of a vehicle like that? (Perhaps I'm just pissed off that people think they're so much safer in that big freakin' car and, while they are, they still suck as a drivers and I'm more in danger when they come barreling towards me in my little Focus!)

Yes, I agree. The other day I was sitting outside on an urban street during lunch and watched person block traffic for a least 5 minutes with they're HUGE SUV (like a Navigator or something). They were trying to struggle into a parallel parking spot that most any car could of easily made into, they just could not. Eventually they gave up and drove away with a pissed of look on their face.

It made my day.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I agree with TexasPlanners comment about making mass transit more useable. I would estimate that for the large majority of people, mass transit is just not an option. If I were to take the bus to work, I would have to transfer 3 times and still have to walk about a mile to work. The total trip would take 1-1.5 hours and that is simply unacceptable considering I can get to work in less than 15 minutes by car. I am never going to waste 3 hours a day riding on or waiting for a bus and my guess is that most people are in the same position.

If there was an option where I could take a train to work and walk a few blocks, then I probably would consider it, but until mass transit can provide an option that is quick and easy, I will stay in my car.

I think that people have to start to focus on other things than getting people out of their cars, because it is a losing proposition. I wish they would put a minimum Miles Per Gallon restriction on automakers. The technology is there, lets use it.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Raising the tax on gas can have no good effect on congestion reduction. Instead of roads choked with cars we would just end up with sidewalks jammed with Segways.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
In a perfect world cars would plant flowers along the roadside as they cruised along on good Karma and anti-war thoughts. These cars would only receive NPR on their radios and they would change colors like a mood ring and snuggle the bums of their users in hemp upholstered heated seats and never run out of soy based aromatherapy oils.

In the real world Mom's and Dad's worry about getting to work on time and putting food in the mouths of babes. They buy the cars they think they need. Some times they get it wrong and pay for it. It should hurt to be stupid or to make bad decisions. Some times, most of the time they get it exactly right. Every vehicle I have ever had was more or less the right one at the right time. As my needs, and family and surroundings changed I changed my vehicles, or transportation options or accessories.

Some people need vans, SUVs and other "incorrect" vehicles. Letting people make the decision that are best for them works wonderfully well. It has gotten us this far, and we really are not in the disaster that the doomsayers claim. You can buy an electric car and get a nice federal tax break. Yep, we are subsidizing the eco wienies. We subsidize the poor and the rich with public transportation. We subsidize those darn pedestrians with the cost of our sidewalks and public trails. We subsidize everything with my and your tax money. So why the outrage just about cars? I think I detect an anti car bias behind many of these arguments for public transportation - and that is a personal bias and not a cause.

I'm all in favor of a system that charges people for the burdens they put on the system. A tax on gas is fair - if it reflects somewhere near the actual amount impact upon the system a user generates. TexasPlanner's Ford Focus could drive its entire life span and not do the amount of damage one irresponsible 18-wheeler does in 10,000 miles.

My 19 year old Volvo is basically fuel efficient (23-28mpg) for a car of that age. It is safe and it fits my needs. I don’t buy a new vehicle every five years like many people do. I keep it in tune and the tires inflated correctly. When I need to haul something I hook up a small trailer. This is the right vehicle for me. But if my life involved a job in agriculture or a different occupation it might not be the right vehicle. My point is I made the decision and you can never know enough about my life to decide for me what is an appropriate vehicle.

Taxing the snot out of gas to make a point only makes the point that you are using a big club to kill a small percieved problem. Let's spread the burden to the actual users in a fair proportion. Let's tax as necessary, but let’s not tax to engineer a society.

Public transit has a threshold or quantum level of population density and societal attitude to be operated efficiently. What works in Mass. won’t work in Southern Illinois. We have to avoid these uniform “solutions” and look to the local and regional solutions that are available.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Just a thought - SUV's have lower gas mileage, thereby requiring its owner to put in more gas. That doesn't do much in the way of trying to use less gas, but makes them pay more for gas than a mid size car. Is this a disincentive? For me it was - I just bought a new car (2003 Impala LS) but I *really* wanted an Envoy. Mileage for the Impala was like 22 /31 or something and the Envoy was 14 / 19 or something. The gas mileage played a part in which vehicle I bought.

On another angle - rather than a gas tax, what about more toll roads? Any thoughts on that. I know where I'm at in MI the roads (especially I-69) are horrible. Ten miles south in IN is 80/90 which seems to be a great road, and a heck of a lot better than what we have here.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Toll roads here cost the last gov't power, not that that was a bad thing.

Plus, unlike in the US, the tolls here tend to be rather high ($3 to go 80km in NS, the Fred-Moncton was going to be $8 for 120km)

The Fredericton-Moncton highway, was constructed as a toll road /PPP and it is less then 3 years old and already needs repairs, doubt that tolls only would have improved the road.

On a related topic, does your jurisdiction bond construction of roads and water mains? I have mentioned it here a few times and people look at me like I am on the glue.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
donk said:
On a related topic, does your jurisdiction bond construction of roads and water mains? I have mentioned it here a few times and people look at me like I am on the glue.
Do you mean like performance bonds? Something that is released after say 3 to 5 years of the infrastructure holding up? If that's what you mean, then every municipality I've ever worked for has had that (including present).
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
Anyone who has driven on the Illinois Toll Roads can tell you that tolls do not equal decent roads. You pay 1.75 to cross the Chicago Skyway and it is perpetually under construction and always in horrble shape.

ElGuapo - great commentary.

In Wisconsin I think we pay 28 cents per gallon in gas taxes. The anti-SUV crowd likes to complain about how they guzzle gas, but that also means that SUV owners pay a lot more in gas taxes too.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
"Do you mean like performance bonds? "

That is exactly what I meant. I worked for a water utility in university that bonded evrything for 20 years with a sliding percentage after 10.

Most places here things are built and the companies can walk away as the province or City engineers have signed off on the work. I can think of many roads that are less then 5 years old that need to be completely redone.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
most research points to $2 a gallon as the threshold for gas prices. meaning that people won't change their behavior until gas reaches that price. A $.35 cent gas tax that went to fund Interstate II (an intercity rail project) and local transit would bring us up to $2 a gallon. I'm all for that. I like the billboard idea too.

I find it interesting that people would actually think twice that a sparsely populated country like Canada would have bad roads.
The US, with it's much larger population, and per capita VMT can't afford our transportation network. Despite having the second most users per lane mile - NJ has a 7 year maintenance back log. It's not that we just haven't gotten around to it. It's that we don't have the money. And that's just for deficient bridges. Even with the fix-it-first legislation it will take 20 years to catch up with todays tax rate and with no new road construction.

As far as people driving to a different jurisdiction and paying less taxes - and that cancelling out the tax is garbage. I live 3 miles from NJ (gas is much cheaper over there) and 25 miles from DE (where there's no sales tax).

Sure people fill up their tanks when they happen to be in NJ but they're not going to cross the bridge just to save $2 on a fill up. It's not worth their time.

I know of no one who goes to DE to shop despite it being common knowledge that "things are cheaper there" because the time and money spent on getting there would cancel out any savings you might make up in not paying sales tax.

People might do it for major purchases like new, hi-tech items like a flat screen TV - but i can tell you that there are no shortage of Best Buys, the Wiz, and other electronics or appliance stores in PA or NJ.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,896
Points
27
jtfortin said:
I I wish they would put a minimum Miles Per Gallon restriction on automakers. The technology is there, lets use it.
Last I heard, the Bush administration was rolling back the MPG minimum requirements that were supposed to be phased in. I agree - the technology exists to have vehicles with much better gas mileage than they do now. All you have to do is go to Europe, where the price of gas is much more expensive; virtually all the cars on the road are small and get good gas mileage. I don't recall seeing any SUVs when I was in Scotland four years ago.

The problem now with SUVs is that so many people want them because it gives them a sense of security. (Often a false sense -- the brakes aren't any better in a four-wheel drive vehicle than a two-wheel drive one.) Every little car company from Saturn to Mercedes Benz has its own SUV now. As TexasPlanner notes, it's tough being in a small car when some big SUV comes barreling down the highway. I'm hoping the SUV craze will eventually fizzle out. But that might not happen until the price of gasoline goes above $2 - $3 per gallon.

Remember the energy crisis of the early 1970s? 35 cents a gallon? Woo!
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
I'd be all for upping the tax on gasoline/diesel gradually and significantly.

I'd also prefer:
* Graduated vehicle registration fees based on weight and volume
* Significant (like $200+) annual drivers license fees
* Raise minimum drivers license age to 18
* Moratorium on new road construction/enlargement, existing level of road funding maintained then gradually reduced and immediately shifted to maintenance
* Increased tax revenue directed towards public transit, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and healthcare

Now, isn't everyone glad I'm not king for the day...
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
How about some type of policy that requires 1 mile of bike/pedestrian paths or sidewalks for every 5-10 miles of highway reconstruction?

I would be against raising the price of diesel because it would have a dramatic affect on the price of consumer goods. Since most of the country's goods are shipped via diesel truck, we would all be hurt by it, especially low-income families. Same with requiring obnoxious annual license fees.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
What if we did away with parking requirements? If there is no where to park, people would want to take public transport, I would think.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I think that the market would create a demand for parking, resulting in businesses creating parking lots even if they are not required.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
I think that the market would create a demand for parking, resulting in businesses creating parking lots even if they are not required.
**********
If the market demands it that's great but we shouldn't be requiring developers to build parking that exceeds demand (for more reasons than just traffic) and we shouldn't be subusidizing them either. Parking is a waste of ratable space. Locally, the building is what's pulling in 90% of the property tax revenue. Parking lots aren't earning us but are using community resources just the same through the requirement of upgraded waste water treatment facilities to handle the run-off and increased emergency service calls.

beyond that, within the SUV debate, sure people have the right to drive whatever cars they want to but don't tell me it's a necessity. What were people doing 30 years ago when families were larger?

I don't know why so many Americans insist on acting like spoiled teenagers. "I can do whatever I want!" No, you can't, and for good reason. You can do what you want insofar as it doesn't have a negative effect on someone else.

No one would get away with firing up an oil powered electric plant in the middle of my neighborhood because of the negative impact it would have on everyone's health and general quality of life. Yet, we'll allow 100,000 individuals to cruise around in their own mini power plants and put off just as much pollution as that power plant - but without permits. It has the same, if not worse, effect on quality of life. South Philly is already ringed with oil refineries (the emissions of each one equivalent to 100,000 cars) but i'd gladly take another one (or a power plant) if it meant that we kept 100,000 cars a day from entering the neighborhood.

When you travel through life with a self-contained atmosphere maybe then you can get away with saying, "i can burn as much oil as i want for whatever purpose i see fit."
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Dan said: I think that the market would create a demand for parking, resulting in businesses creating parking lots even if they are not required.

Then why do we require parking???????
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Huston said:
Dan said: I think that the market would create a demand for parking, resulting in businesses creating parking lots even if they are not required.

Then why do we require parking???????
Good question. With the exception pf ADA and emergancy access compliance, Why do we require a minimum number of spaces for retail developments? I have seen entire hilltops razes around here for develpments that are 90% surface lot and are never close to capacity..

An example is easily seen in many of the 'Town Centere' styled shopping malls popping up in suburban areas. In many of them, by the time the required nuber of spaces are put in, the development is swallowed in a sea of asphalt and is not different from any other strip-mall. So what's the point?
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I have heard that some communities are establishing "maximum allowable parking" instead of "minimum required parking" in order to limit the amount of parking that is allowed, especially at big box and grocery stores. If you look at most parking lots, there are areas that are seldom, if ever, used. Parking concentrates in a bell or semi-circle shape formation around the buildings entrance. Look at the attached WalMart and Jewel-Osco parking lots and notice where the cars are parked. I have been to that WalMart a few times and I have never seen the lot even 1/2 full. There is no reason that the parking area should be that big. The west side of the parking lot should be greenspace or outlots for smaller retail or restaurants.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Biscuit said: An example is easily seen in many of the 'Town Centere' styled shopping malls popping up in suburban areas. In many of them, by the time the required nuber of spaces are put in, the development is swallowed in a sea of asphalt and is not different from any other strip-mall. So what's the point?

Isn’t that just a kick in the @$$ for “New Urbanism”! I just love all the “New Urbanism” or “New Sub-Urbanism” rather that takes place on and old farm or patch of woods.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
Parking, like road capacity, has traditionally been designed by traffic engineers to meet maximum projected volumes (usually 85% of maximum). That parking lot may be half-empty most of the time, but it's probably designed to handle the higher volumes of the holiday shopping season.

Personally, I think that line of reasoning is b.s.

However, I have noticed that given the choice, most developers would rather exceed the minimum parking requirements. To them, more parking=less hassle for consumers, and therefore a more attractive development to retailers.

It's pretty hard to convince a developer to lower the amount of parking if the zoning by-law is pro-scribing a minimum rate.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Transplanner said: However, I have noticed that given the choice, most developers would rather exceed the minimum parking requirements. To them, more parking=less hassle for consumers, and therefore a more attractive development to retailers.

You are the “Transplanner”, but I would have to debate that your case might hold true in areas where land is cheap, however, I see a different side in South Florida. Developers of apartments, retail and commercial often plead and beg the local planning departments to give them a variance on minimum parking requirements because they say they cant afford the land and often there is no land. They (with our help) try to cite compensating factors such as public transport, close (walking) proximity to “places of daily errands”, etc..

Sometimes projects get variances, sometimes they don’t. I could see a parking maximum like jtfortin said, but in an urban area with provided public transportation, I just cant justify a minimum.

Many times developers have to cut down a tree that was to be preserved in order to meet the min. requirements, and that just sux.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
PS. putting “Transplanner” in quotes was in no way a stab, just stating that by calling yourself that you must be a transportation planner.


cheers.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
Huston said:
You are the “Transplanner”, but I would have to debate that your case might hold true in areas where land is cheap, however, I see a different side in South Florida. Developers of apartments, retail and commercial often plead and beg the local planning departments to give them a variance on minimum parking requirements because they say they cant afford the land and often there is no land. They (with our help) try to cite compensating factors such as public transport, close (walking) proximity to “places of daily errands”, etc..
[/B]
You're quite right - in fact, I work for a city like that too. Our parking rates are extremely low, at least in the central area. We do get developers (especially with luxury condos) that want to provide additional parking - in that case though, the cost of the parking space is passed on to the condo-purchaser.

p.s. - the "quote" function (located at bottom right corner of a post) makes it much easier to respond to someone in a post.

p.p.s. it's tranplanner! :)
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Follow up to: “Many times developers have to cut down a tree that was to be preserved in order to meet the min. requirements, and that just sux.”

Also, sometimes they have to knock down buildings to make a parking lot. This ruins urban areas by spreading them out and taking away walking proximities!!!

I just don’t get parking minimums in urban areas with public transport!!

Sorry for the rant…
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Tranplanner said:
p.s. - the "quote" function (located at bottom right corner of a post) makes it much easier to respond to someone in a post.

[/B]
thanks
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
jtfortin said:
I would be against raising the price of diesel because it would have a dramatic affect on the price of consumer goods. Since most of the country's goods are shipped via diesel truck, we would all be hurt by it, especially low-income families. Same with requiring obnoxious annual license fees.
If you don't raise diesel fuel taxes as well you would just encourage the shift to a less desirable fleet of private diesel vehicles replacing the gasoline vehicles.

Oh, and I've got another whammy for the trucking industry / shippers. I'd immediately require all truck drivers to receive at least the minimum hourly wage. The current pay system of only paying for actual miles driven on a per mile basis only encourages truck transportation that would (and used to be) better handled by heavy rail.

"Obnoxious annual license fees" are used quite effectively in places like Japan to encourage "professional" drivers/driving and provides a strong incentive for public transit use.

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it I might even raise the minimum driving age to 21 (with maybe the option for a occupational license down to age 18). Think of how improved our high schools and college campuses would be with less required parking and closer in living.

While I'm at it (and careening hopelessly off topic) I'd mandate "no fault" insurance for motor vehicles and starve the lawyers of their beloved liability insurance. Although I guess this would have the negative effect of reducing the cost of auto ownership.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Runner said:
Think of how improved our high schools and college campuses would be with less required parking and closer in living.

I work with universities and this issue is one of their greatest problems.

Amen
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Comment on parking lots, especially wal-mart and Canadian Tire, and I bet similar chains are not far off.

Canadian Tire straight up told me that it is company policy to have a minimum oif 200 parking spaces directly in front of the store, regardless of store floor area.

Wal-mart told us their policy is 300 spaces in front of the store.

In dealing with wal-mart I visitied many in our province. All of them have parking lots with 400+ parking spaces and all of them are packed. I do not look forward to the week that walmart opens here, traffic will be a nightmare.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Pretty lopsided debate here so I figured I'd chime in.

let me clear up a couple of items:

Developers provide parking based on a market condition. Minimums are historically required by zoning ordinances in order to prevent parking shortages. Particularly for retail operations, there is no worse observation that a consumer can make like "there's never any place to park there."

In the case of the big boys, malls, boxes etc...it is no secret that the parking ratio is designed for both convenience of the customer but also for about 1 month of the year and maybe up to 7/8 days in particular, including the day after Thanksgiving. The Christmas season drives most retailers and having a parking problem can be catastophic.

For office let me give an example of the minimum maximum debate. Say a juristiction has a minimum parking reg equalling 3.4 spaces per thousand feet of office. But the market, meaning the requirement of office tenants, needs 4.0 per thousand. Of course the developer must build more spaces. And parking spaces aren't exactly cheap, maybe up to 1400 per space surface parked, so building to the market requirement and not more is the aim. Maximums play havoc with the market condition. For kicks, say the maximium was below the market? then what. And its important to relate that the market changes--ie your Dilbertesque cube gets smaller and new tech companies save money and space by jamming more people in building.

Yes, the market condition change if public transit on an urban scale is introduced, and this happens across the country.

No one here has really provided a good reason for rasing the gas tax. It appears more agenda based, for a lifestyle that many on these boards prefer, or even demand. This silly notion that we can ALL live without cars is ludicrous and is many cases its achievement hurts the public welfare more than helps. Why raise the gas tax again? Somebody explain?

This anti-SUV thing is typical of the profession. It is an attempt to engineer behavior.

30 years ago, families drove Grand Torino wagons with paneling on the side.

Todays air is cleaner than 30 years ago.

If you want to argue that gas tax money in some areas should be allocated more in favor of public transportation in lieu of roads, thats a fine and legitimate arguement.

Somebody earlier brought up an excellent point but let me expand--who will do the analysis of the impacts on the trucking industry (read: costs of products) an increase gas tax would have? As Planners I find most of us NEVER balence our individual lifestyle desires and want for everyone else to live like us with the economic impacts of such policies.

Lets start.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
Runner said:
If you don't raise diesel fuel taxes as well you would just encourage the shift to a less desirable fleet of private diesel vehicles replacing the gasoline vehicles.

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it I might even raise the minimum driving age to 21 (with maybe the option for a occupational license down to age 18). Think of how improved our high schools and college campuses would be with less required parking and closer in living.
I should have clarified - I am against raising gas taxexs on ANY fuel type. We already pay up to 30 cents on every gallon of gas. That is plenty. I advocate for more wisely using the taxes we already pay. I have no problem with taking 10-25 percent of that money and using it for mass transit and bicycle/pedestrian facilities. I am just sick of taxes getting raised because government doesn't have the courage to cut programs and spending that are unnecessary and wasteful.

I would advocate for a driving age of 18 too. Many teenagers are too irresponsible to drive. I know I was irresponsible as a teen driver. I am totally opposed to 21 though. A significant number of people don't go to college. What do you propose that they do for 3 years? What about people that live in rural areas and need to drive to college because there are no transportation alternatives?
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
gkmo62u said:


For kicks, say the maximium was below the market? then what. And its important to relate that the market changes--ie your Dilbertesque cube gets smaller and new tech companies save money and space by jamming more people in building.

Yes, the market condition change if public transit on an urban scale is introduced, and this happens across the country.

Or lets say you take the bus to ride your bike? Which is the point in limiting spaces, less cars on the road.

&

That is the goal. Helping this change occur by enhancing the desire.

Remember driving is not a “right”.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Ok Huston I'll play along.

If driving is not a right, why is riding a bike or taking a bus a right?

But I actually think driving is a right--it must be earned, but it is a right nonetheless.


I understand the goal I guess. But it is not a universal goal. I don't want to ride a bike to work--25 miles and there is no bus service. And how can I drop 3 kids off at day care on my bike.

You see your goal is not everyone's and thats the point. Your advocacy works ONLY in an urban, dense setting, which is a choice.

And this debate should be always be about choices.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
gkmo62u said:
Ok Huston I'll play along.

If driving is not a right, why is riding a bike or taking a bus a right?

It is not a right. Just better quality of life.

less pollution
less pavement (roads & lots)
less traffic = more time
the list goes on and on
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
gkmo62u said:


I don't want to ride a bike to work--25 miles and there is no bus service. And how can I drop 3 kids off at day care on my bike.

That is the point again…

to spending the road and gas money on bus service.

What exactly do you like about traffic, smog and giant heat generating parking lots?
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Again you are missing the point.

You say its a better quality of life. But you don't speak for everyone.

I don't want to take the bus, you want me to take the bus.

Traffic is a by-product of choices. I can choose to live where the housing is cheaper but there are no jobs.

Don't get me wrong, all vehicles should have reasonable requirements to attain cleaner levels and reduce pollutants, and they do.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I think as planners, we should strive to make accommodations for those who choose to bike, walk, or take mass transit, however these accommodations should be done in conjunction with, not instead of, providing adequate accommodations for motorized vehicles because the majority of people have cars and NEED them in their everyday lives.

The way to get people out of their cars is to make it attractive and convenient for them to walk, bike, or take mass transit by installing interconnected systems of bike/pedestrian paths, requiring parking areas for bicycles, encouraging mass transit that is fast and convenient, and promoting development patterns that encourage the use of all modes of transportation.

The way not to do it is to force people out of their cars by jacking up gas prices/taxes, not providing adequate roads/highways/interstates, and any other means used for the sole purpose of punishing people who choose to drive because it fits their lifestyle.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
jtfortin said:
I would advocate for a driving age of 18 too. Many teenagers are too irresponsible to drive. I know I was irresponsible as a teen driver. I am totally opposed to 21 though. A significant number of people don't go to college. What do you propose that they do for 3 years? What about people that live in rural areas and need to drive to college because there are no transportation alternatives?
Those under 21 who do not go to college should get a job and then apply for an occupational license (meaning a license that allows them to drive to and from work). Those that live in a rural location and go to college could do what I did: have a licensed driver (parents, bus driver, etc.) drop them off at the beginning of the semester and pick them up at the end. Then during the semester rely on feet, bicycle, or public transit.
 
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