Alleviating concerns of potential opposition

There has been great opposition to eliminating forced parking, low-density zoning, and outright subsidies. This opposition has been largely from citizen groups that do not want the negative effects of the automobile. Their concerns will be met by this plan, as follows:

Cars parking in front of people's homes. Solution:

Give property owners the power to control street parking fronting their property. In practice, many property owners would contract with a "parking management company" (similar to property management companies) and effectively rent out the spaces. For those people not owning cars, it equalizes the present street parking subsidy so that even they benefit.

Higher-density development causing increased traffic congestion. Solution:

There is no increase in traffic if all users of the development above the amount specified by current zoning travel to the development by means other than driving a car. This can be accomplished, for example, by charging a large fee on the property based on the average number of cars brought to work on a working day (or the average number above the current amount), and vary the fee to keep demand at the desired level. For high density residential development, implement a similar fee for each access by automobile, and vary the fee by time of day.

Financing of automobile-related city services. Solution:

The only way to eliminate traffic congestion is by using demand-pricing fare collection, and the cheapest and most palatable form is by Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI). AVI can easily be implemented on some of the lanes of any road, giving people the option of paying for road usage either by their time or by their pocketbook. (See Modern Fare Collection, page 7.)

Cars driving through neighborhoods. Solution:

Neighborhood protection is assured by using zone charging (using AVI technology). Sensors are placed to charge a premium to deter traffic from using neighborhood streets. Those who have a neighborhood destination are not charged (if they stay a while, or leave the same way). See illustration, page 8. The present system uses 4-way stop signs, traffic barriers, winding street patterns and other impediments and is extremely inefficient. It is counter-productive, as it discourages bicycle, walking and transit usage more than it does car usage. The monies collected from driving through neighborhoods would be divided among the dwelling units of the neighborhood to decrease the property tax of those who must bear the noise and air pollution (or compensate loss of property rental value).

Poor people cannot afford to pay the full costs of driving. There are two solutions, depending on one's viewpoint on welfare:

1) give or increase welfare checks equal to the value of the auto subsidy that would be removed. This gives freedom of choice to the poor person, further benefiting him/her. Many will use the money for other than motoring purposes, resulting in a decrease in air and noise pollution, and in congestion. This is a social benefit for all people over the current system of giving out automobile subsidies only to people choosing to use automobiles.

2) The poorest, who cannot afford a car, can even less afford to pay the regressive sales tax for freeways and property taxes (through rents) that pay for most automobile-related expenditures. The true poor would definitely benefit. As automobile transportation costs become paid by direct users, taxes that today pay for these costs should be reduced in an equal and balanced manner. An auto non-user substantially benefits. An auto user would come out about even (while some out-of-pocket costs would be higher, efficiency would also increase, such as eliminating most congestion, or lack of parking spaces).

Poor people would be forced to wait in traffic, unlike those who can afford to pay for the fareways. Solution:

They would wait less than they do today. By using demand pricing, the automobile capacity of roads increases, thus reducing congestion for all traffic lanes in the corridor (including "free" lanes).

There will not be enough parking spaces at employment areas as employers convert many parking space for more productive purposes. Solution:

By charging market price for parking, the demand for parking spaces would be reduced to assure availability of some empty parking spaces. An efficient method for charging for parking is detailed in How to equalize the parking subsidy. It is extremely important to eliminate "free" parking. Several empirical studies show that solo-driver commuting would be reduced by 20% or more if drivers had to pay for their own parking. There is no incentive for employers to charge for parking (thus leaving empty parking spaces) unless the land can legally be used for other purposes.

Employees will object to parking fees. Solution:

The present parking subsidy is an employer-provided benefit with a monetary value. But, only employees who drive cars are given this benefit. The benefit needs to be equalized for all employees. In essence, the parking fees collected need to be re-distributed to all employees as a bonus in their pay.


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