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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Conservation Incentives

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  • Chris Loyd
    ... It s not necessarily people that you will have to sell this on -- it s people who actually vote. Even those are often duped, or cynical. Then again,
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 3, 2004
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      > People have to be sold on a program, and I like to start by thinking
      > of how to return the most value for the tax revenue. Maybe that isn't
      > the most politically effective route, but mature people with diverse
      > interests would probably feel government would be better if it would
      > take an approach of returning true value.

      It's not necessarily people that you will have to sell this on -- it's
      people who actually vote. Even those are often duped, or cynical. Then
      again, maybe this is only in Houston or South Texas; Wisconsin may be
      different. Anyways, voters rarely can bring about their own initiative.
      Someone or some group is going to have to lobby a representative or a
      Senator to propose the bill. Even then, it may get locked up in committee
      forever and never see the light of the day. In Texas, I don't think that
      there's much of a committee process, so the legislature votes on the bill.
      Along with ten-jillion other bills in that same day. Don't expect much
      debate, although the Conservation Incentive is so radical (for state
      politics), that it will make the news, and there will be a debate. Now,
      this is assuming that Wisconsin has the same type of legislature method as
      Texas (it's the only state method that I know of).

      In any state, you're going to need to win over a representative or senator.

      You can lobby the one from your own district, but if you're like me, you
      live in a district where the local population has its own ideas of what the
      government should do. I couldn't lobby my own representative because she
      would shut me down the moment she saw me. Since Wisconsin is more
      Progressive than Texas, there's probably a better chance that your district,
      or a district that you can move to, has a a population and a represenative
      more sympathetic to the Conservation Incentives.

      Alternatively, you can join the Green Party and run as a candidate, and go
      through the joys of campaigning and electioneering.

      Once you've managed to win over a representative, or win the election, your
      bill will be controversial. Expect political attacks. If you have ever
      done anything remotely deviant in your state, expect it to be made public.
      If you're a Saint, they will just plain lie, and "denial means 'yes' ".
      I've had acquaintances and read about how third parties, or anyone who's not
      already part of the local political scene, try to run for office. Expect
      loaded questions ("Won't your gas tax hurt the rural poor? Isn't it funny
      how people don't like helping los Latinos rurales?"), vandalism, newspapers
      distorting everything that you say, and dirty tricks from the local radio
      and TV stations.

      Try to think of every immoral, evil, and untrue statement/question that
      opposes Conservation Incentives, and create a winning response. You gotta
      have the moral upper hand, even in appearance only. Even if your opposition
      is immoral and evil, that won't matter if the TV cameras don't make it look
      it. It's not enough that you must win, your enemies must fail, in order for
      Conservation Incentives to become a reality.

      Hopefully, Wisconsin isn't this dirty and low-brow. It's my take on getting
      anything different and radical through legislature, which is what your
      proposal wil most likely need to do. I can't imagine the state
      Environmental Agency suddenly being empowered to do and enforce all the
      things that CI has, but then, anything can happen.

      Oh, I almost forgot. If your bill goes into referendum, and voters need to
      vote on it, that's another playing field. Take lessons from GWB on how to
      inspire fear and terror into voters, if only for a short period of time.

      It might be easier to engineer a land-grant city, and build a carfree area
      from the gound up, using loads of federal money. I take it, though, that
      you want state/nation-wide reform, so that may not be relevant.
    • mtneuman@juno.com
      On Sat, 3 Jan 2004 12:34:23 -0600 Chris Loyd ... That s true. But how do you get it too the voters to vote on if you don t have support
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 3, 2004
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        On Sat, 3 Jan 2004 12:34:23 -0600 "Chris Loyd" <tybalt@...>
        writes:

        > It's not necessarily people that you will have to sell this on --
        > it's
        > people who actually vote. [snip]

        That's true. But how do you get it too the voters to vote on if you
        don't have support from the politicians?

        I'd like to continue pushing for this plan in Wisconsin but I'm not sure
        how to go about that anymore. I will explain below. But I would also
        like to see others states (or metro areas) create similar such incentive
        program (to reduce annual driving miles), because for every gallon of
        fuel burned in driving, another 22 pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon
        dioxide gets added to the already increasing volumes of greenhouse gases
        in the atmosphere. CO2 remains for up to 120 years in the atmosphere
        before it get sequestered back into the earth. While in the atmosphere,
        it contributes to a warmer atmosphere. [Each CO2 molecule absorbs an
        additional amount of radiated heat emanating off the earth's surface
        after sunlight strikes the earth, thus adding to the ability of the
        atmosphere to trap (slow the release of) heat near the earth's surface.

        I proposed the Conservation Incentives plan as a Wisconsin DNR
        (department of natural resources) alternative plan to the Wisconsin
        Department of Transportation proposed $24 billion 20-year highway
        construction plan alternative. The transportation agency administrators
        were caught totally off guard by the proposal the after the Milwaukee
        Journal/Sentinel newspaper published the proposal as "the DNR's
        alternative plan (which it was then) to DOT's huge highway development
        plan for the state. But after the real people in power in the state at
        the time (the governor, the governor's cabinet of state agency heads, and
        the road building and real estate industries), then the crap really hit
        the fan. The Secretary of my agency (cabinet position) got cold feet
        (maybe more than that), and he shifted his position on the drive-less
        plan 180 degrees almost overnight. They blamed me in their responses to
        the media and accused me of sidestepping my agency's authority (not true,
        but I was order not to speak to the media and refer all calls to the
        secretary's gopher at the time). I personally ended up being reassigned
        by my agency to work only on duties that do not in anyway relate to
        reviewing or coordinating transportation project plans. Enough history.

        Presently, I believe the eruption of the crisis over global warming will
        soon develop, and as a result, the setting for attempting to advance this
        idea is better now than before. In addition, there exists excessive
        automobile congestions in many metropolitan areas of Wisconsin and other
        states in the country which will also work to the advantage of people
        accepting this form of "transportation demand management" (congestion
        reduction). Even in 2000, many people I talked to on a personal level
        (voters) told me they thought the idea of encouraging people to drive
        significantly less (or not at) by offering them more than just token
        amounts (or bus tickets) made sense, especially considering the millions
        and even billions of dollars it takes to build new and wider freeways to
        accommodate more motor vehicle travel, oftentimes at considerable
        environmental and socio/economic expense, and certainly detriments to air
        quality, human health and quality of life in the cities and outlying
        areas transected by the more heavily travelled freeways.

        So what I'm saying is that Government may soon be pushing much harder for
        people to drive less (and hopefully fly less, too), as a one of two ways
        to reduce transportation caused greenhouse gas emissions from the
        population. (The other way is by requiring automobile companies to
        produce more fuel efficient automobiles.). Offering positive
        conservation (financial) incentives as motivation for people to car pool
        more, take transit, walk, bicycle, etc., might make some people think
        twice before hopping in the SUV and driving solo somewhere everyday.

        I am probably starting to repeat myself from other posts, so I will close
        my response by referencing some links news media articles which were
        published in 1999 - 2000, beginning with the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel's
        initial front page story of "the DNR plan" which pays people to drive
        less, as an alternative to funding the state's massive state highway plan
        for the year 2020.

        One note of caution - in reading the Milwaukee J/S's story, I noticed
        they chose to call attention to the figure of $2,800 for people who agree
        to reduce their driving completely (rather than just cutting back some on
        their total vehicle driving miles per year). I suppose they did this
        because it sounded more newsworthy to say people would earn the larger
        amount. What they did not report was that it was estimated that the
        typical Wisconsin household subscribed to the program would receive
        around $400 - $800, for reducing their annual driving mileage to more
        "community sustainable" levels of driving. In doing so, they probably
        added to the controversy surrounding the proposal.

        Mike

        DNR Comments on Highway Plan (May - November 1999); proposal starts page
        10 of DNR comments
        http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/dnrshp.pdf
        http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/dnr-shp2020.html
        http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/dnrcomments.pdf
        http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/shp.html

        First complete draft of proposal (January 2000):
        http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/vmr.pdf

        Article for Wisconsin Bicyclists newsletter (April 2000):
        http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/trans/neuman_vmt.html

        Submittal to President Clinton, Congressional Reps., Local Officials (May
        2000)
        http://danenet.danenet.org/bcp/neuman_gw_letter.pdf
        http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp/neuman_gw.pdf

        Newspaper Reports:
        (Full text of articles provided last)
        http://www.jsonline.com/news/Metro/nov99/hiway30112999a.asp
        http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=tct:1999:12:07:233907:Editor
        ial
        http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=tct:1999:12:20:235282:Public
        %20Works
        http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=tct:1999:12:20:235286:Public
        %20Worker
        http://www.madison.com/archives/read.php?ref=tct:2000:03:20:146097:Public
        %20Worker

        Conserve, Now! Proposal (Written in November 2000)
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/229
        http://www.geocities.com/mtneuman/tribute_flag.html

        ========
        DNR plan would pay people not to drive
        Gas-tax rebates of up to $2,800 could limit road expansions, it says
        By Larry Sandler
        of the Journal Sentinel staff
        Last Updated: Nov. 29, 1999

        Instead of building more highways, Wisconsin could pay people to drive
        less, a state Department of Natural Resources official said Monday.

        The DNR has asked the state Department of Transportation to consider
        sending gas tax rebate checks of up to $2,800 a year to residents who
        voluntarily limit their driving.

        That could help reduce the environmental damage from highway expansion,
        said Michael Neuman, a DNR specialist on transportation and the
        environment.

        "I think it's the only answer to solving this nightmare of highway
        congestion we have in this country," Neuman said.

        But key legislators of both parties and a DOT official immediately voiced
        skepticism about the concept, which apparently would be the first of its
        kind in the nation. They said the rebate plan would cost too much and
        wouldn't make a difference in how much people drive.

        "The DNR hasn't considered any of the downsides of doing it," said Ernie
        Wittwer, DOT investment management administrator. "They just tossed
        another idea out at the 12th hour."

        Neuman said the rebates could cost as much as $800 million a year but
        would be balanced by an equal cut in highway spending. If people didn't
        reduce their driving, the state wouldn't pay that much, he said.

        The rebate idea is part of a broader assault on the $20 billion
        long-range highway plan. Over the next 20 years, the plan calls for
        adding 2,800 miles of highway lanes and 34 bypasses, using 25,000 acres.

        DNR Secretary George Meyer has said that this much highway expansion
        could threaten air, water, land and wildlife.

        At the same time, a coalition of local governments, environmentalists and
        transit activists declared Monday that the highway plan should be
        rewritten to consider alternatives to highway expansion, and to place a
        higher priority on maintaining state and local roads instead of building
        state highways.

        The DOT has touted its highway plan as a balanced proposal that assumes
        train and bus service would be increased. But critics said that rail
        lines, bus systems and local streets would suffer, because the highway
        expansion would cost $4.2 billion more than gas taxes and license fees
        can cover at current rates.

        Neuman suggested the rebate concept in his critique of the DOT plan.
        According to the DNR comments, still in draft form, the DOT should study
        such rebates and other incentives, among them higher parking fees, to
        persuade people to drive less and to reduce the need for more highways.

        Drivers who want the rebates would agree to bring their cars to a
        Division of Motor Vehicles office once a year and let state employees
        check their odometers. They would pay a $30-a-year fee to cover the cost
        of administering the program.

        Checks would be based on the vehicle miles traveled and the number of
        drivers, other people and cars in each household. For example, a family
        of two drivers and three children could earn a $1,200 rebate by driving
        less than 10,000 miles a year.

        Households without cars could qualify for the maximum $2,800 rebate by
        filling out a form and paying a $10 fee.

        Andrea Broaddus, campaign director of the New Transportation Alliance,
        praised the rebate as a "really innovative" idea that would pump more
        money into the consumer economy instead of into costly highways.

        But Rep. David Brandemuehl (R-Fennimore), chairman of the Assembly
        Highways and Transportation Committee, said people wouldn't turn from
        driving to public transit as long as gas is "relatively cheap."

        Brandemuehl said the state must continue to support highways until it can
        build a far more extensive network of passenger and freight rail lines.
        Residents wouldn't stand for letting highways deteriorate, he said.

        Even Sen. Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee), a critic of the highway plan, called
        the rebates "an idea whose time hasn't come."

        Burke, co-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee in the Legislature,
        said, "We have to focus on smart growth and better transportation
        planning and more travel options and voluntary measures before throwing
        money at a proposal such as this."

        Still, Meyer said Monday that he is negotiating directly with
        Transportation Secretary Charles Thompson and his top deputy to bring
        more environmental sensitivity to the highway plan.

        In a letter to Thompson earlier this year, Meyer said he was particularly
        concerned that the plan "accepts increased vehicular travel as a given
        and accommodates it through increased highway capacity."

        Meyer said the DOT hasn't addressed his concerns. Wittwer disagreed,
        saying the DOT has thoroughly considered the environmental impact of its
        plan.

        And although the DOT hasn't studied the rebate idea, it did ask the
        Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to examine 15 or 20
        other ways to encourage people to drive less, Wittwer said.

        None of those ideas would have significantly reduced driving, the study
        found. Nor has driving been reduced because of rising gas prices or
        higher vehicle registration fees in other states, Wittwer said.

        Public hearings on the state highway plan are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to
        8 p.m. Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County in Wausau
        and from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Dane County Expo Center in Madison.
        Written comments may be sent to the state Department of Transportation
        until Dec. 17.

        Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Nov. 30, 1999.
        ========
        "Rebate Idea Not A Joke"
        Capital Times :: Editorial :: 10A
        Tuesday, December 7, 1999

        ``We are realistic at the Department of Natural Resources,'' announced
        DNR Secretary George Meyer in a letter dismissing an idea by an agency
        employee that Wisconsin could pay people to drive less instead of
        building more highways. A DNR transportation specialist -- assigned to
        critique the Department of Transportation's long-range highway plan and
        come up with alternatives -- floated just such an alternative when he
        suggested offering people gas tax rebates for voluntarily limiting their
        driving. When the DOT weighed in, however, Meyer caved in, saying ``the
        idea is, at the very least, controversial, but was offered as a trial
        balloon to help spark public consideration for a wide variety of ideas.''
        No, George, it wasn't controversial -- it was creative. That's the kind
        of thinking that should be encouraged, the kind of thinking Wisconsin's
        citizens need if we are ever to curtail the DOT's penchant for paving
        over the state.

        The DOT's 20-year plan calls for building 2,800 miles of highway lanes
        and 35 new highway bypasses, which will eat up 25,000 acres. DOT gets to
        decide which transportation alternatives it will study and it has already
        nixed the rebate idea.

        Meyer says DOT's plan will result in a transportation system that ``in
        two decades substantially increases congestion . . . continues to
        facilitate poor land use and harms Wisconsin's environment, economy and
        quality of life in numerous, irreparable ways.'' But he must stand up for
        his own department's ``trial balloons'' if we are to believe his concern
        is genuine and that his department's alternatives will actually challenge
        the DOT's road-building mentality.

        The DOT will hold a public hearing on its highway plan in Madison
        Wednesday -- tomorrow -- where citizens can see if they have any ideas
        that don't use concrete.

        =======
        Author Defends Offering Rebate For Not Driving
        Others `floor It' To Get Away From Proposal
        Capital Times :: Public Works :: 1C
        Monday, December 20, 1999
        By David Callender The Capital Times

        Mike Neuman says he wasn't surprised by the uproar he provoked when he
        suggested to a group of local officials last month that the state pay car
        owners up to $2,800 a year not to drive.

        But the Department of Natural Resources analyst says he was dismayed when
        Secretary George Meyer publicly dumped the proposal in less than a day,
        even before it received a fair hearing.

        ``It made me sick,'' he said in an interview. ``I felt personally
        embarrassed and embarrassed for the department. I'm a 25-year employee,
        and this is the kind of work I do.''

        Although the DNR secretary has now disowned it, and the state Department
        of Transportation said it would not even consider studying it, Neuman's
        proposal remains at the center of a debate over the direction of the
        state's long-term transportation plan.

        Environmental groups and some local government officials have hailed it
        for recognizing that building new roads and widening old ones carries
        costs beyond just construction and concrete, without necessarily easing
        traffic congestion.

        Meanwhile critics -- road builders and their supporters in the
        Legislature as well as Meyer -- have rejected Neuman's proposal as
        unreasonable and unrealistic.

        The debate over the proposal hasn't fazed Neuman, a soft-spoken
        self-described environmentalist who regularly bikes to work from his home
        on Madison's west side. He says he intended to provoke people into
        talking about the state's future.

        But he says he has been stung by how readily his own agency dropped the
        proposal at the first sign of opposition -- and, more importantly, how
        willing it was to shut down discussion about the long-term consequences
        of what he views as Wisconsin's current road-building mania.

        Driving need: Neuman says he hit on the idea of rewarding citizens for
        not driving several years ago.

        He says his inspiration came during a 25th anniversary celebration of the
        Institute for Environmental Studies at the UW-Madison, where he received
        master's degrees in water resources management and agricultural
        economics.

        The premise of his proposal is simple.

        ``Basically, the less you drive, the greater the (financial) incentive,''
        he says. Participation in the rebate program would be voluntary, and
        payments would range from $400 to $2,800 depending on the number of miles
        driven. The money would be a rebate from the Transportation Fund, which
        is supported by the state gas tax.

        The rebate would cost $826 million a year and would last for 10 years,
        for a total cost of roughly $8.3 billion.

        The Department of Transportation would register participants, who would
        pay a small fee, about $30 annually, to get the rebate.

        Those who don't own cars would also be eligible for the rebates, but
        households whose members drive more than 15,000 miles a year would not.

        Neuman says the DOT's 20-year highway plan demonstrates the urgent need
        for more alternatives to driving.

        In the past three decades, the number of vehicle miles traveled by
        Wisconsin drivers has more than doubled, from 25 billion in 1970 to 56
        billion in 1998. The DOT plan predicts state drivers will travel at least
        62 billion miles by 2020.

        The DOT's road-building plan calls for adding 2,800 new miles of highway
        lanes and 25,000 additional acres of highway infrastructure at a cost of
        $20 billion.

        The environmental costs will be greater, Neuman says.

        Wildlife habitats, wetlands and agricultural land will all be lost, while
        tons of pollutants will be released into the air.

        What's more, the road-building will trigger new development in the
        countryside that will consume ``at least 10 times'' as much additional
        land as that used by the roads. Residents will move further into the
        countryside because new roads will take them to their jobs and other
        destinations faster.

        Neuman contends those costs far outstrip the $826 million annual price of
        his rebate proposal. And he argues that if the rebates remain in place
        for 10 years, drivers will have changed their habits enough that the
        additional roads won't be needed.

        Hostile reception: Neuman says the DOT's and lawmakers' response to his
        proposal -- and even the speed with which top DNR officials distanced
        themselves from it -- wasn't a complete surprise.

        ``Most people, when they hear this, they just casually dismiss it because
        it appears a little too radical and unrealistic,'' he says.

        But he says it often takes a long time for people to change their
        thinking, so it could be years before people recognize how the proposal
        could improve their lives.

        For example, if the plan were to take effect, in 30 years Dane County
        would look pretty much as it does now, with farms, wetlands, and open
        spaces remaining.

        Neuman adds that even those who don't participate in the rebate program
        may benefit from it.

        ``They'll have less congestion on the roads they drive. They'll have
        lower gas taxes because less highways will be needed. They'll have
        cleaner air to breathe, and there won't be so many people moving out of
        the cities to where it's no longer the countryside,'' he says.
        ==========
        Boss Had Signed On To `unrealistic' Idea
        Capital Times :: Public Worker :: 1C
        Monday, December 20, 1999
        By David Callender The Capital Times

        Department of Natural Resources analyst Mike Neuman says officials in his
        agency haven't told the whole story about their support for his
        controversial rebate proposal.

        The day after news stories about Neuman's comments to a coalition of
        local government officials appeared, DNR Secretary George Meyer called
        the rebate ``a trial balloon to help spark public consideration of a wide
        variety of ideas'' to help reduce the need for more new roads.

        ``The DNR is realistic,'' he said.

        But according to DNR records, Meyer himself launched the rebate ``trial
        balloon'' along with two other alternatives in a letter last May to DOT
        Secretary Charles Thompson.

        The other options called for giving employers cash incentives to
        encourage their employees to quit driving to work by increasing parking
        fees and for creating ``restricted auto use zones'' in some cities, such
        as the State Street Mall in Madison.

        But Meyer's May letter gave the most attention to the rebate proposal --
        which was essentially the same ``plan'' that got Neuman into trouble when
        he presented it to the Fair Share Coalition on Nov. 29.

        Meyer said this week that he objected to Neuman making the rebate
        proposal public because it ``was not fully developed and did not receive
        the endorsement of the administration of this agency.

        ``I personally would not take out such a plan without taking it to the
        Natural Resources Board. This was not a minor proposal. This was an $800
        million, taxpayer-supported proposal.''

        Meyer also said there were ``significant differences'' between the May
        and November versions of the rebate proposal, but he could not identify
        what they were.

        Both Neuman and Meyer acknowledge that the rebate proposal reflects an
        ongoing fear within the DNR that continuing road construction and
        ever-increasing traffic flows threaten Wisconsin's environment.

        And they both say the DNR is becoming increasingly frustrated by the
        DOT's unwillingness to consider more alternatives to driving.

        In his May letter to Thompson, Meyer said the DOT's 20-year
        transportation plan ``accepts vehicular travel as a given and
        accommodates it through increasing highway capacity.''

        ``The result, I fear, will be a transportation system that in two decades
        substantially increases congestion on our secondary and local road
        systems, continues to facilitate poor land use, and harms Wisconsin's
        environment, economy, and quality of life in numerous, irreparable
        ways,'' he wrote.

        The DNR, which reviews DOT plans as part of the environmental impact
        study process, has consistently recommended that the state's extensive
        highway-building plans should include some mechanism to cut down on
        driving, which would reduce the need for new roads in the future.

        The DNR began to voice those concerns five years ago in response to the
        DOT's ``TransLinks 21'' long-term transportation plan.

        Neuman, as a DNR transportation and environmental liaison, authored
        several DNR reviews that recommended the DOT develop more alternatives to
        new road construction.

        The DOT repeatedly ignored those recommendations, ``and they got away
        with it one too many times,'' he says.

        That's why the DNR's review of the new highway plan recommended that the
        DOT study the rebate proposal and two other alternatives to driving.

        And to underscore the DNR's commitment to getting the DOT to consider the
        alternatives, Neuman and Meyer filed a formal statement, dated Nov. 8,
        reminding the DOT that they had proposed three alternatives in their
        earlier report.

        ``We see no indication that this has been done,'' the two DNR officials
        wrote.

        Meyer and Neuman then warned that if the DOT did not address the DNR's
        environmental objections to the highway plan, ``they should be elevated
        to Cabinet-level discussions.''

        =====
        Controversial Dnr Analyst Is Reassigned
        Capital Times :: Public Worker :: 1C
        Monday, March 20, 2000
        The Capital Times
        DNR officials have reassigned an analyst who last year proposed paying
        motorists to drive less as an alternative to building highways.

        Mike Neuman, a 25-year Department of Natural Resources employee, was a
        liaison to the Department of Transportation. Neuman proposed offering
        rebates to people for driving fewer miles. Neuman offered the plan in
        response to the transportation department's massive 20-year road building
        plan.

        DNR Secretary George Meyer initially backed the rebate plan as a ``trial
        balloon'' with two other alternatives to driving in a letter to
        Transportation Secretary Charles Thompson. But Meyer distanced himself
        from the scheme after Neuman made it public.

        Neuman told The Capital Times last December that he was ``personally
        embarrassed and embarrassed for the department'' after Meyer publicly
        disavowed the proposal.

        George Albright, Neuman's supervisor, said Neuman's reassignment
        ``certainly was related to the controversy that developed after the
        review of the state highway plan and the VMTs, or vehicle miles traveled,
        we had put forward in 1999.''

        Albright said Neuman would no longer be assigned to transportation
        issues.

        ``He's going to be working on a number of projects and issues we've been
        dealing with for years,'' Albright said.

        Neuman's new duties include working up environmental impact reports for
        the Army Corps of Engineers and the University of Wisconsin. He'll also
        be coordinating some fiber optics projects, Albright said.

        Albright said Neuman's reassignment was ``not necessarily because of his
        statements to the media'' and that it was not a disciplinary move.

        He said, however, that Neuman was no longer allowed to speak with the
        media.

        ``This has to do with an internal management issue and our interpretation
        of the right duties for him,'' Albright said. ``Obviously, we want him to
        be successful.''



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      • Chris Loyd
        ... You probably can t. The laws will vary among jurisdictions, but I ve never heard of a referendum being put in place outside the support of at least one
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 10, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          > That's true. But how do you get it to the voters to vote on if you
          > don't have support from the politicians?

          You probably can't. The laws will vary among jurisdictions, but I've never
          heard of a referendum being put in place outside the support of at least one
          politician.

          > I'd like to continue pushing for this plan in Wisconsin but I'm not sure
          > how to go about that anymore. I will explain below. But I would also
          > like to see others states (or metro areas) create similar such incentive
          > program (to reduce annual driving miles), because for every gallon of
          > fuel burned in driving, another 22 pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon
          > dioxide gets added to the already increasing volumes of greenhouse gases
          > in the atmosphere. CO2 remains for up to 120 years in the atmosphere
          > before it get sequestered back into the earth. While in the atmosphere,
          > it contributes to a warmer atmosphere. [Each CO2 molecule absorbs an
          > additional amount of radiated heat emanating off the earth's surface
          > after sunlight strikes the earth, thus adding to the ability of the
          > atmosphere to trap (slow the release of) heat near the earth's surface.

          Nit: where are you getting the 120-year lifespan figure? I've found numbers
          suggesting lifespans of 250 - 400 years.

          It would be very difficult for metro areas to reduce miles driven via gas
          taxes -- people will drive outside the city limits to guy gas. An
          infrastructural approach may be more effective. I've been thinking how one
          could build carfree areas in current cities, with as little as money as
          possible (thinking poor cities like San Antonio), and with money to burn
          (thinking rich cities like Houston). That's a different message altogether,
          if not a different list-serv.

          > So what I'm saying is that Government may soon be pushing much harder for
          > people to drive less (and hopefully fly less, too), as a one of two ways
          > to reduce transportation caused greenhouse gas emissions from the
          > population. (The other way is by requiring automobile companies to
          > produce more fuel efficient automobiles.). Offering positive
          > conservation (financial) incentives as motivation for people to car pool
          > more, take transit, walk, bicycle, etc., might make some people think
          > twice before hopping in the SUV and driving solo somewhere everyday.

          As been posted before, simply walking or biking anywhere may be very
          unpleasant, even dangerous. Financial incentives alone won't make walking
          and biking nicer and safer. Impediments to walking and biking need to be
          removed.

          Your plan may be a model that other states may want to adopt, as the current
          Fed administration is beyond any reasoning that may be put in front of it.
          If it failed in Wisconsin, it may go nowhere in other, less progressive
          states.
        • dubluth
          ... wrote: ... Why would this not be the group to discuss infrastructure approaches? Maybe that is meant as a criticism? I think I get it. I think it
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 11, 2004
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            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Loyd" <tybalt@p...>
            wrote:
            <snip>
            > It would be very difficult for metro areas to reduce miles
            > driven via gas taxes -- people will drive outside the city
            > limits to guy gas. An infrastructural approach may be more
            > effective. I've been thinking how one could build carfree
            > areas in current cities, with as little as money as possible
            > (thinking poor cities like San Antonio), and with money to
            > burn (thinking rich cities like Houston). That's a
            > different message altogether, if not a different list-serv.
            >

            Why would this not be the group to discuss infrastructure approaches?
            Maybe that is meant as a criticism? I think I get it.

            I think it is a mistake to dismiss the role of financial incentives.
            Of course, not all the people on this list are interested in the role
            of incentives.

            bill
          • Chris Loyd
            ... This IS the group to discuss that. I was talking about actual implementation, something that I think Joel brought up months ago, regarding having a
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 13, 2004
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              > Why would this not be the group to discuss infrastructure approaches?

              This IS the group to discuss that. I was talking about actual
              implementation, something that I think Joel brought up months ago, regarding
              having a different group for locale-specific issues. For example, Carfree
              Amsterdam. I don't think the idea has caught on in that quite of a large
              scale, yet, though the experiments in Germany and the carfree holidays are
              great.

              By the way, I tried finding the actual message where Joel brings up have
              different groups for locale-specific topics, but didn't find it.

              > Maybe that is meant as a criticism? I think I get it.

              No, it's not meant as criticism. Merely that the actual conversion process,
              for different types of cities with different available resources (money,
              etc), would be at least a different message, if not an entirely different
              discussion group.

              > I think it is a mistake to dismiss the role of financial incentives.
              > Of course, not all the people on this list are interested in the role
              > of incentives.

              It may be that some jurisdiction is going to have to actually implement it
              before anything new about financial incentives can be discussed (speaking
              for myself here). Further discussion has only gone 'round and 'round. When
              a place tries it out, it will definitely warrant examination. I may
              disagree with the idea, but that shouldn't stop a given place from trying it
              out.
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