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Re: Billions for WCN [was Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Exodus - was: Latest from Jim Kunstler]

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  • Jason Meggs
    Ah! Thank you for elucidating my knowledge and sorry for my ignorance. I got that factoid from the SFCTA web pages on the topic. All the more reason for any
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 6, 2008
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      Ah!

      Thank you for elucidating my knowledge and sorry for my ignorance. I got
      that factoid from the SFCTA web pages on the topic.

      All the more reason for any implementation to result in revenues dedicated
      to transit and other alternatives, mitigating the impacts of the
      automobile and transforming automobile-first environments.

      Jason


      On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, bruun@... wrote:

      >
      > Jason
      >
      > Actually, the Feds stole the $1 Billion from the Transit Trust Fund to
      > finance demo congestion pricing projects. However, since they are
      > opposed to raising the gas tax, which hasn't increased since 1993,
      > they have made no plans to ever give the money back. That is why I use
      > the word "stole" rather than "borrowed".
      > They wanted to "borrow" the remaining $4 B from the Transit Trust Fund
      > too, but thank God the Congress stopped that idea.
      >
      > Eric Bruun
      >
      >
      > Quoting Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...>:
      >
      >>> As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
      >>> will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
      >>> roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
      >>> dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
      >>> abandon too many roadways.
      >>
      >> Hm. At TCFC IV in Berlin, a presentation was made about toll roads and
      >> the importance of capturing their revenues for alternatives. There was
      >> vocal opposition to the idea that attendees spend any time doing anything
      >> that might further the goal of roads; no deals with the devil. Joel
      >> Crawford evidently concurs in a recent email regarding this thread.
      >>
      >> At this time, congestion pricing is a topic on the rise, and toll roads
      >> are essentially a subset. I'd be surprised if anyone legitimately on this
      >> list is opposed to congestion pricing zones (and would love to know why).
      >> CarBusters has its section on watching car culture, which I take as a
      >> strategic necessity. I don't want to discuss toll roads either, although
      >> congestion pricing is of great interest. The issue of where the revenues
      >> go remains at large, and is important; it can further car culture, or it
      >> can quicken a transition away from it. Political pressure is the order of
      >> the day, as usual. In the U.S., political opposition and perhaps some
      >> fumbling in New York and San Francisco are the status reports on
      >> congestion pricing efforts here. The Federal Government has reportedly
      >> recently assigned $1 Billion USD to the study and implemention of
      >> congestion pricing strategies, so there is some hope of success.
      >>
      >> Does it matter? (And do we care about roads at all?) Personally, if oil
      >> supplies drop off at the expected rate (8% per annum is not at all
      >> unlikely, resulting in half the available oil in under 8 years), there
      >> will be a rather large dampening on road building, toll collection, and
      >> driving in general. The current rate of roadway disappearance in the U.S.
      >> will accelerate. The focus will shift to providing basic services, and
      >> ideally, to an emerging sustainable economy with even higher quality of
      >> life for all (the likely reality may be more bleak). The wealthy who may
      >> yet enjoy that limitless access to fuel feeling will opt for large
      >> vehicles which happily trounce the worst of roads.
      >>
      >> More importantly...
      >>
      >> Speaking of $1 Billion: At the World Ecocity Summit in San Francisco, one
      >> of our members involved in funding in Asia discussed the novel idea, "What
      >> if a large funder gave $1B for GHG reductions to the WCN overnight?"
      >>
      >> After some initial wretching at the implausibility of the idea, she saw a
      >> light and said, "It might actually be the best possible use of a billion
      >> dollars -- if the funds were distributed to all the member groups" and let
      >> them run with it.
      >>
      >> Boggling the mind, one ponders the proper sequence of events to secure and
      >> distribute such a large fund without compomising that vision. The recent
      >> communication from Christi Brooks, until recently the fund raiser in
      >> Prague, forwarded by Joel Crawford on May 30, further informs that boggled
      >> mind.
      >>
      >> Yours in bureacracy-speak,
      >>
      >> Jason in Berkeley
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> On Thu, 5 Jun 2008, chbuckeye wrote:
      >>
      >>> --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
      >>> <Jetgraphics@...> wrote:
      >>>>
      >>>> --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@>
      >>>> wrote:
      >>>>>
      >>>>> I suspect that privatization will be
      >>>>> the order of the day.
      >>>>
      >>>> JG: Though I agree that partisan politics have no place in design and
      >>>> maintenance of transportation, I would not be happy with any private
      >>>> monopoly on roads or other means of transportation.
      >>>>
      >>>> Perhaps a compromise would be in order.
      >>>>
      >>>> A public corporation / authority, or a cooperative ownership of
      >>>> transportation assets may be more palatable.
      >>>
      >>> I don't favor privatization either. But the existing car-based
      >>> transportation system in the US is unsustainable. I think toll roads
      >>> operated and maintained by private toll-road operators with long-term
      >>> leases from the government is the current trend.
      >>>
      >>> As I understand it, this is how that currently works. The lessee/toll
      >>> road operator has to maintain the roadway to a certain standard set by
      >>> the government, and a government oversight committee usually has some
      >>> say in toll rates, but the lessee gets a monopoly on the route and can
      >>> keep the profits. Sort of like a utility, only the government
      >>> ultimately owns the land and can revoke the lease if the private
      >>> company isn't following all the terms of the lease. The leases are
      >>> generally 25 years or more.
      >>>
      >>> As states look for ways to pay for highway maintenance, I think there
      >>> will be pressure to allow more interstates that are not currently toll
      >>> roads to become toll roads. No one really wants to do it, but we've
      >>> dug a hole and have few options. I don't think the US is ready to
      >>> abandon too many roadways.
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
    • Ed Beighe
      ... Arizona has a (pretty standard) 19.4 cents per gallon, and no sales tax on gasoline. Here in fast growing Maricopa county (Phoenix metro area) we already
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 9, 2008
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        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "chbuckeye" <coleridge3150@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Jet Graphics"
        > <Jetgraphics@> wrote:
        > >the funding for most paved roads is derived from taxation on petroleum
        > consumption
        >
        > Not exactly, but close....
        > The state and local governments followed a similar pattern to the
        > federal government.

        Arizona has a (pretty standard) 19.4 cents per gallon,
        and no sales tax on gasoline.
        Here in fast growing Maricopa county (Phoenix metro area) we already
        have had a 0.5% general sales tax for years and years to fund highway
        construction.
        Now we are told this isn't enough, so a special interest group (with
        the support of the governor)is pushing a plan for ballot initiative
        that would add ANOTHER full percent to the general sales tax.
        (this would cause sales tax in the city of Phoenix, for example, to be
        9.3% -- among the highest sales tax in the nation).

        The group (heavy construction companies and whatnot) backing this
        proposal calls this a comprehensive transportation plan, including
        bus, trains, etc. However, the large majority of the money is
        earmarked for road construction.

        The governor even cooked up a secret deal with home builder's lobby
        (it leaked) for them to escape any sort of impact fees. (Sheesh, this
        sounds like some sort of conspiracy theory -- but I'm not making this
        stuff up!). The governor even stated flatly that this proposal (sales
        taxes) is the "only way" to raise the money -- in other words, use tax
        increases were for some reason impossible.

        http://azbikelaw.org/blog/deal-to-increase-sales-tax-to-build-roads/
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