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Re: Conservation Incentives

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 of 10 , Jan 11, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          --- 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 4 of 10 , Jan 13, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            > 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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