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Old 07-17-2014, 03:21 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,008,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
We incentivize transit far more than the automobile.
Perhaps (or perhaps not) directly financially in terms of which gets more government dollars, but your conjecture is certainly false if we look at incentives more broadly. As a country, we have bent over backwards for the private car. Land use policy which favors the private automobile--lots of parking lots AND on-street parking, highways, driveways (which are required by garage setback under many city's codes), garages--spreads everything out and reduces the value of PT. It is sufficient to look at the density of cities pre- and post-automobile to prove which form is truly more incentivized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
So yes, we incentivize driving as well, largely for reasons of the greater good by reducing the cost on lower-income households at the expense of higher-income households. Transit isn't really any different in except in the scope of the subsidy.
The private car, while a valuable tool, is expensive and a financial burden on the poor, whose dollars might be better spent (or, perhaps, left unearned by spending time not working) elsewhere if the car was not, in many cities, all but required.

 
Old 07-17-2014, 03:40 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
We incentivize driving private automobiles because we are Americans. Individual choice always wins over the greater good. Most arguments for prioritizing car travel focus in "it is most efficient for me. We rarely look at it from the perspective of the greater good of the city/community/network/planet.
Pushed wrong URL.

Puhlease. Who decides the "greater good" and how do you compensate those you took from for your version of "greater good"?

Most of the things you want to "benefit" are mythical, abstract concepts like "community".
The constitution protects persons. When folks start using "good for the community" as support for the proposition is nearly always associated with taking property from a defined group of individuals without compensation and only vague promises as to how a "community" (who would that be?) would somehow be better off. What's certain is that the people you take from are not better off.

Individual choice is paramount as are property rights. Communitarians and "urbanists" have been attempting to eliminate both for many years with "shared space", HOA-burdened housing, etc. They claim "good for the community" with zero evidence. The only thing that is certain is the loss to the individuals.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 03:46 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,008,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Individual choice is paramount as are property rights. Communitarians and "urbanists" have been attempting to eliminate both for many years with "shared space", HOA-burdened housing, etc. They claim "good for the community" with zero evidence. The only thing that is certain is the loss to the individuals.
That's a very large topic, probably better reserved for the politics forum.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,726,427 times
Reputation: 26676
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
In terms of fuel usage the average car beats the bus unless the bus is packed. My experience with transit is that outside of rush busses are rarely packed. For the employer the advantage is freedom to set work hours and location without regard to the availability of transit.For the driver freedom of departure time, non-stop door to door direct trips. It is often a much better way to travel.
A few things are flawed here:
1. The bus doesn't need to be "that full" to use fuel in a comparative way
2. The bus doesn't have to use gas (we are at about 30% Natural Gas now, and I don't know how many hybrids in my local transit operator)
3. The impact of driving a car is much much greater than the amount of gas used: road capacity, parking spaces and land use are impacted when we only prioritize one mode of transit.

I'll take a local example, Standford University, a big employer in our region, realized that it wasn't a good use of their land and money to build more parking spaces. They needed the land for more productive purpose (students/research/hospital) so they decided to rethink their policies and processes to get less people to drive. They decreased the number of people driving alone from 72% to 47% by making it easier for people to get out of their cars:
Transport U: Stanford Turns Green Commuting Into Greenbacks | Streetsblog USA

But your point illustrates my point completely, we have a very me-centric lens as Americans. All of your benefits only work for you individually, and not the "greater good" of anyone else. Even your example of the employers being able to set work hours without regards to transit is very "employer centric." Clearly the employer wouldn't be mindful of the reality of the employees: who might have to deal with congestion,far distances or limited transportation options based on the employers preferences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Pushed wrong URL.

Puhlease. Who decides the "greater good" and how do you compensate those you took from for your version of "greater good"?

Most of the things you want to "benefit" are mythical, abstract concepts like "community".
The constitution protects persons. When folks start using "good for the community" as support for the proposition is nearly always associated with taking property from a defined group of individuals without compensation and only vague promises as to how a "community" (who would that be?) would somehow be better off. What's certain is that the people you take from are not better off.

Individual choice is paramount as are property rights. Communitarians and "urbanists" have been attempting to eliminate both for many years with "shared space", HOA-burdened housing, etc. They claim "good for the community" with zero evidence. The only thing that is certain is the loss to the individuals.
How does an individual lose if there are more mobility choices and options to get around town. Right now we have built our society around eliminating choice. We made a de facto choice: cars. And people can no longer choose the best tool for the job, since there is only one tool that has proper infrastructure (and has been incentivized by policy at all levels.)

We claim to be about giving people choice, but we don't make choices to enforce choice for individuals.

Last edited by jade408; 07-17-2014 at 04:06 PM..
 
Old 07-17-2014, 04:41 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
That's a very large topic, probably better reserved for the politics forum.

Perhaps you should have made the same comment with respect to jade408's post.

The entire thread was little more than an attack on cars based upon the hypothesis that the fuel tax isn't sufficient to cover roads and a faulty economic analysis.

The hypothesis is mostly irrelevant and the economic analysis suffered from numerous flaws.

Since the unstated argument seems to be "non-public transit isn't paying its share of the cost of roads so therefore such use should be taxed more or otherwise discouraged", maybe the OP should consider answering the following:

i) should a tax or additional fee be imposed on users that do not purchase fuel, e.g., bicyclists, non-rail public transit? Or maybe only tax-paying, fuel-based vehicles should be permitted on the road?

ii) given public transit isn't covering its costs, maybe the charge to the transit rider should be increased or other steps should be taken to discourage rather than encourage public transit?

iii) given the "cost of roads" seems to have been latched onto, why shouldn't the "cost of public transit" include the costs of related infrastructure such as all the concrete, sidewalks, parking areas, etc. that are there to support "public transit"?

iv) given the clear anti-anything-but-public-transit agenda from the post, how about cutting off all non-public transit to whatever city the OP is in and see how long the city lasts without food and other consumables as they debate who should be paying for roads.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 05:07 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
How does an individual lose if there are more mobility choices and options to get around town. Right now we have built our society around eliminating choice. We made a de facto choice: cars. And people can no longer choose the best tool for the job, since there is only one tool that has proper infrastructure (and has been incentivized by policy at all levels.)

We claim to be about giving people choice, but we don't make choices to enforce choice for individuals.
This coming from a me-centric urbanist who expects the world around her to be modified for her convenience, entertainment, etc?

I would agree that choice is illusory and that folks who know people would not make the choice that proponents want have to resort to legislative action to ensure people have no option.

As far as the "de-facto" choice you claim, you claim to ride a bicycle and have touted public transit in the area you live. So it sounds like you have plenty of choice and your argument seems anti-car and about eliminating choice for others. Obviously you despise cars - so don't ride one. But don't expect employers to limit locations where the employees all have to live within a short public transit commute from condo ghettoes.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 05:30 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,008,823 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Perhaps you should have made the same comment with respect to jade408's post.

The entire thread was little more than an attack on cars based upon the hypothesis that the fuel tax isn't sufficient to cover roads and a faulty economic analysis.

The hypothesis is mostly irrelevant and the economic analysis suffered from numerous flaws.

Since the unstated argument seems to be "non-public transit isn't paying its share of the cost of roads so therefore such use should be taxed more or otherwise discouraged", maybe the OP should consider answering the following:

i) should a tax or additional fee be imposed on users that do not purchase fuel, e.g., bicyclists, non-rail public transit? Or maybe only tax-paying, fuel-based vehicles should be permitted on the road?

ii) given public transit isn't covering its costs, maybe the charge to the transit rider should be increased or other steps should be taken to discourage rather than encourage public transit?

iii) given the "cost of roads" seems to have been latched onto, why shouldn't the "cost of public transit" include the costs of related infrastructure such as all the concrete, sidewalks, parking areas, etc. that are there to support "public transit"?

iv) given the clear anti-anything-but-public-transit agenda from the post, how about cutting off all non-public transit to whatever city the OP is in and see how long the city lasts without food and other consumables as they debate who should be paying for roads.
Let's be clear about a few things:

1) The only thing the OP did was craft a narrative which personifies the way many people think about gas taxes, and taxes generally. That the thread became another private vs. public transit thread is due to certain members leading it that way.

2) The truth is gas taxes do not cover the cost of our roadways. There's no getting around it. And, frankly, they wouldn't even if we spent $0 on PT.

3)The FRR for transit is a parallel but separate discussion (which we've had over and over and over again, with certain members providing very useful statistics and links, if only to prove her point)

4) Your statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Individual choice is paramount as are property rights. Communitarians and "urbanists" have been attempting to eliminate both for many years with "shared space", HOA-burdened housing, etc. They claim "good for the community" with zero evidence. The only thing that is certain is the loss to the individuals.
The supremacy and nature of "individual choice" and of property rights is a much larger and separate topic, is a matter of political viewpoint, and, as such belongs in a different thread in the poli forum.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 05:31 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,679,028 times
Reputation: 1843
I hear a lot of counter-arguments to the OP that transit is subsidized. Yes, that is certainly true. But transit at least makes some costs back via fares. Without exorbitant tolls, roads would have no way to return any expense. None. Mass transit would have expensive fares to have to make up costs, also true. But keep in mind that there is far more road to be maintained, and to keep them maintained would require a lot more than mass transit systems, as they carry far less people pound-for-pound than transit.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 06:04 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Let's be clear about a few things:

1) The only thing the OP did was craft a narrative which personifies the way many people think about gas taxes, and taxes generally. That the thread became another private vs. public transit thread is due to certain members leading it that way.
Poorly crafted, poorly supported, and clearly promoting a transit-over-car agenda.

Quote:
2) The truth is gas taxes do not cover the cost of our roadways. There's no getting around it. And, frankly, they wouldn't even if we spent $0 on PT.
They aren't "your" roadways and your point is wholly irrelevant. Who said a "fuel tax" should pay for 100% of the cost of a road?

Quote:
3)The FRR for transit is a parallel but separate discussion (which we've had over and over and over again, with certain members providing very useful statistics and links, if only to prove her point)
Define FRR.

Quote:
4) Your statement: ...........

The supremacy and nature of "individual choice" and of property rights is a much larger and separate topic, is a matter of political viewpoint, and, as such belongs in a different thread in the poli forum.
So did you forget you already "shared" your comment on #4 previously or did you just think you needed to disagree twice to the same post? A bit hypocritical (twice) considering you did not suggest the "community over individual rights" post that prompted a rebuttal comment should have been moved to a different thread. Apparently it's the viewpoint rather than the topic that you prefer be moved.
 
Old 07-17-2014, 06:11 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,357,519 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I hear a lot of counter-arguments to the OP that transit is subsidized. Yes, that is certainly true. But transit at least makes some costs back via fares. Without exorbitant tolls, roads would have no way to return any expense. None. Mass transit would have expensive fares to have to make up costs, also true. But keep in mind that there is far more road to be maintained, and to keep them maintained would require a lot more than mass transit systems, as they carry far less people pound-for-pound than transit.
People aren't the only things transported by road-using vehicles. "Mass transit" by definition pretty much only hauls around people and often excludes all other uses of its pathways (subway, rail, etc.)
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