Re: [carfree_cities] Re: "America's Epidemic of Youth Obesity"--NYT article
- Don't forget the private sector subsidies to the automobile. The cost of employee parking comes out of your salary, and the cost of shopping center parking is paid for by the goods stores sell. According to Auto Nation, each automobile in North America requires seven parking spaces on the average.
Individuals don't get off lightly, either. Around twenty percent of family budgets are for their motor vehicles, more than they spend on food. The entire system has been built around increasing consumption to stimulate motor vehicle sales, with the result that more highways, free parking, and street-widening caused vehicle mileage to increase faster than the population. It is a very effective system that does what it was designed to do during the Eisenhower administration, at the expense of families and the taxpayers. Auto Nation states that car travel is increasing thirty percent faster than the rapidly increasing US population. The problem is, this system was designed to stimulate jobs in the US. In the past thirty years, US automakers have lost almost half their market share and foreign suppliers will grab a bigger share of US petroleum dollars every year from now on. It's interesting how people cling on to antiquated economic systems, long after the original perceived needs are no longer there. It certainly will be a challenge for groups like Carfree Cities to right this wrong, at least until the realization of the true cost of carburbs sets in.
----- Original Message -----
From: "turpin" <turpin@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 2:05 PM
Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: "America's Epidemic of Youth Obesity"--NYT article
> "paulparma" <info@v...> wrote:
> > Exactly what are the amounts and items subsidized.
> > Acording to the Department of Xportation, most
> > federal Highway money comes from gas taxes, the
> > rest, a much lesser amount, coming from income
> > taxes.
> Not many roads in Austin are federal highways. We get some state and
> highway money for I35, 183, and other highways and their
> interchanges. But the vast majority of our roads are maintained by
> the city, which issues bonds and pays them off from general revenues,
> i.e., property tax and the 1% of sales tax it gets. In addition to
> road maintenance itself, there are two other areas of significant
> public expense due to automobile travel. (1) Police efforts dedicated
> to enforcing traffic laws. This, again, is paid from general city
> revenues. (2) Emergency response and area hospital costs incurred
> from automobile accidents. Some of this is city paid, but there are
> other revenue streams also.
> It's important to focus on city roads rather than highways, for
> several reasons. Cities are really the hub of transportation issues.
> They are where the cost shifting is greatest. And it is far more
> reasonable to get some cities to try out alternatives than to shift
> federal policy. Unfortunately, you can't change cities without
> changing state policies. For a city to implement some of the
> transportation ideas frequently discussed, it MUST control its
> boundary and the regional roads through it. Unless the state gives a
> city this kind of control, you see the kind of growth pattern visible
> in some towns in Arkansas, that are ten miles long and three blocks
> wide, stretched out along the state or federal highway.
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- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...>
> I see a window of opportunity here. The next year or two are goingShould we be targeting the transportation departments as well as ,
> to be years of budget crises in the USA, especially at the state
> level. ....................
> Are we ready? Can we organize to take adantage of this opportunity?
> Can we start a massive program of writing to legislators and news
> media? Can anyone take responsibilty for coming up with the best
> numbers we've got and working them into some generalized press
> releases? Can others tailor these for local environments and get
> them into the right hands? Lots of work, but some real chance of
> a payback.
maybe even preceding lobbying the legislators? These guys are are the
ones under presure; there's all that federal money, waiting to be
matched, because we are still driving and paying those federal gas tax
dollars, so the federal pile keeps getting bigger, and unused. Won't
the state folks know that as the DIRECT gas taxes go up, the gas usage
goes down. Which I think, if this is in fact so, can be properly
countered with, sure, now you'll have all the money you need to do
what ever people want to pay for.... so trtansit, and most central,
dense building and rebuilding, wil get a fare shake.
To me this is the thing we have to discuss, besides the numbers, and
were it comes from now stuff; that is we need to diccuss what we think
the very astute sense of the xportation administrators to know that if
they raise the gas taxes, revinue, especially in a recovered economy
will be down from what it could be in the current methodology. I
think that the game has in fact changed in that toll roads are now
the previlent building mode.... discussion by more informed